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What Is a Scaffolding Alarm?

By Marlene Garcia
Updated May 17, 2024
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A scaffolding alarm provides notice of intruders on a construction site and protects unattended property on the site. Scaffolding alarms consist of infrared burglar devices activated by movement or body heat, solar-powered devices, and battery-operated alarms. Some scaffolding alarm companies link the construction site to television monitoring systems to provide extra surveillance.

Scaffolds are erected on residential, commercial, and industrial construction sites so workers can access upper floors of buildings. Certain safety standards must be met while assembling the planks, beams, and guardrails. Once the equipment is set up properly, it is impractical to disassemble and lock up everything after each work day. A scaffolding alarm system helps prevent theft of the apparatus when workers leave the site.

An infrared scaffolding alarm uses light beams to detect body heat from an intruder entering a construction site. Another system relies on movement to trigger the alarm, which is typically programmed to prevent activation by animals or bad weather. A keypad allows a supervisor to disarm the device when workers are present. He or she can set the alarm at the end of the day and on weekends when scaffolding is unattended.

Sometimes a scaffolding alarm is attached to planks to detect a thief in the process of disassembling the equipment. This type of system might activate sirens and strobe lights when someone tampers with the scaffolding, serving as a theft deterrent and safety feature. It typically alerts an alarm company, which contacts the person responsible for site security.

Some alarm models shut off automatically and reset after a predetermined period of time. They might record the date, time, and location of any activity that caused activation so that a safety inspection can be done before employees resume work on the scaffold. The type of scaffold alarm chosen for a construction site depends on individual needs and the location of the job. Signage might be added to warn off potential thieves.

Solar-powered scaffolding alarms might be used in remote areas without electricity. These wireless models use radio waves to sense intruders. Some solar and battery alarms can be programmed to call the site supervisor’s telephone number if activation occurs.

In addition to an alarm system, insurance coverage might protect against loss of scaffolding by theft. Many construction companies purchase liability and theft insurance for construction equipment that remains on site. Equipment is usually marked to enable identification if it is stolen and later recovered by law enforcement.

Liability coverage also covers businesses that rent scaffolding to construction companies. Work on this equipment is considered a high-risk job, with falls the number-one reason for injuries. Scaffolds are subject to health and safety regulations to protect employees from harm.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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