Arson Attacks Spur Calls for Increased Job-Site Security

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A campaign of destruction by a radical faction of the environmental movement might force builders to rethink their security procedures.

September 01, 2003
Video cameras and night watchmen might have deterred this arson attack on the first phase of a planned 1,500-unit apartment complex in San Diego.

 

Petty theft and juvenile vandalism used to top the list of job-site security threats. Now, a campaign of destruction by a radical faction of the environmental movement might force builders to rethink their security procedures.

The Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for arson attacks including two nighttime fires in June at custom home job sites in Michigan and a $50 million blaze Aug. 1 at an apartment construction site in San Diego. "If you build it - we will burn it," proclaimed a 12-foot banner left by the ELF attackers in San Diego.

Twice this summer, the NAHB urged members to meet with local fire and police departments as well as insurance firms to develop better job-site protection plans. Those plans likely will call for an investment beyond the fencing and locked gates in place in San Diego at the torched La Jolla Crossroads site, owned by New Jersey-based Garden Communities.

Some builders might opt for security guards, but security systems and surveillance cameras might become more cost-effective security staples.

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