Prevent Costly Copper Theft: What You Need to Know
Copper theft prevention is a real issue as scrap prices continue to rise. Even energized wire hasn’t deterred some criminals.
In one year, AT&T reported over a thousand copper cable thefts, with more than a third of these disrupting service. The cost? Millions of dollars.
The typical copper theft claim involves damage from wires and plumbing ripped out of walls or the coils from a roof top HVAC system. Even in vacant buildings, thieves will often target water lines and sprinkler systems as well as the electrical wiring.
Once your property is hit, you must spend thousands of dollars to bring your premises back up to code again. It is this collateral damage that makes copper theft claims so expensive to your insurance company (and ultimately to you.)
Stolen copper worth hundreds means tens of thousands in property damage.
The loss of only a few hundred dollars in copper almost always results in tens of thousands of dollars in property loss. This is usually damage you must repair immediately, such as heating, cooling and water systems.
Even when covered by insurance, higher premiums ultimately cause you and your company to suffer the loss.
What can you do to prevent this?
Law enforcement often recommends taking measures to conceal the presence of your copper.
For example, spraying your copper with fluorescent paint.
They also recommend engraving your copper with your company information. You could even mark the copper with nanotechnology. These methods allow the wire to be identified when recovered.
However, no one measure alone will eliminate copper thefts.
You must take steps to reduce the risk, use sound security practices and appropriate technology.
This offers the greatest potential to prevent future theft.
Human guards have often become too expensive and unreliable for many sites.
The good news is that improving technology has made several more loss control options available.
Surveillance Security of Tulsa has proven highly successful in thwarting copper theft with their unique surveillance, deterrent and remote monitoring systems.