Residential job site losses of office trailers, material goods, tools and heavy equipment or machinery account for an annual 1 percent to 2 percent increase in the cost of building a new home, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C. Despite this, less than 15 percent of job sites have identified an effective alarm system or other solution.

This surprising conclusion is from interviews by power tool manufacturer DeWalt, Towson, Md., of more than 200 end users on job sites across the country and polling of more than 1,500 construction end users and buyers by an independent research company.

The study identified job site security and the resulting loss of productivity as the No. 1 concern among professional contractors and other construction end users. These findings are supported by existing industry research and expose an estimated $1 billion in annual losses stemming from the lack of job site security. This figure excludes amounts that were not reported to insurance companies due to high deductibles.

Other key statistics from the study include:

- Tool and material theft and truck/van protection are the top types of job site losses;

- Tool theft is the No. 1 concern of more than 60 percent of construction end users and job site security system purchasers surveyed and has the greatest financial and economic impact;

- Replacement cost, lost time and decreased personal productivity are the top three reasons for job site security concerns;

- More than 50 percent of those surveyed have had equipment stolen in the last 12 months;

- More than 75 percent of job site theft occurs at night and on weekends;

- Nearly 77 percent of job sites have experienced theft up to five times each year over the past three years; and

- Professional construction theft rings that resell tools or tool and machinery parts to unsuspecting contractors are a major concern.

According to the American Insurance Services Group, “Security on construction sites should be a major concern for all contractors.”

“Having this research reveal that job site security is a major concern for so many people, but so few have found a way to address that concern, shows there is an opportunity for DeWalt to help the end user save money and increase productivity on the job site,” noted Bill Pugh, DeWalt group marketing manager.