How to shut down your construction site this Christmas

How to shut down your construction site this Christmas
How to shut down your construction site this Christmas

Many construction sites will shut down this Christmas to allow workers to spend time with their families and observe the festivities. But what happens to the construction site during this down period? There are plenty of things to tick off to ensure the site is secure. Whether you are shutting down for a few days or a week, this guide offers tips and advice for the construction site Christmas shutdown.

Christmas shutdown procedure for construction sites

  • Risk assessment and plan
  • Review the security system
  • Secure building materials
  • Remove or lock away valuable tools
  • Protect the site from the weather
  • Appoint a security point of contact

Risk assessment and plan

The first step to ensuring a successful Christmas shutdown for your construction site is to perform a risk assessment. This will involve finding answers to various questions, such as how long you will be closed and the consequences of shutting down. 

Once you have analysed the risks, you can implement various safety and security measures. When you have a list of what needs to be done, you can tick them off one by one with your shutdown date in mind. 

Planning this out carefully is important, giving yourself plenty of time to put all the best practices in place. If you leave it too late, you will be rushing around at the last minute, leading to mistakes.

READ ALSO: What is the best way to protect wooden floors?


Review security system

All construction sites will have some basic level of security in place, helping to deter theft and trespassing – which can lead to accidents. Before the Christmas shutdown, reviewing your current security system will ensure everything is working as it should and identify any holes that can be fixed.

When you are away from the site for Christmas, the construction area needs to become a fortress, with locks, concrete barriers, cameras, and access control systems all in place and operational.

You can also consider adding some extra temporary security during the shutdown for further peace of mind. After all, your current level of security is in place for evenings and weekends, so you might need something a bit beefier if the site is vacant for a week at a time.

Temporary measures can include CCTV and alarms that feed directly into a 24/7 monitoring system.


Secure building materials

Building bricks and materials on a construction site

When it comes to the content of the construction site itself, it’s important that those precious building materials are secure. They should be stored away safely and locked up using your security protocols. 

Not only will this prevent any theft, but if building materials are stored away correctly, you can also prevent any damage from being exposed to the elements. 

You also might want to consider the quantity of building materials you keep onsite during the Christmas shutdown. For example, you might not want to order materials you won’t need until after Christmas. That way, you won’t have materials lying around that need to be secured.

READ ALSO: What alternative building materials are there?


Remove or lock away valuable tools

Construction sites are packed with valuable tools and equipment. While some tools can be removed until the construction site reopens, this won’t be feasible for all equipment, especially larger items like power tools. 

Big and expensive construction equipment must be locked away securely, away from the gaze of onlookers outside the site. These should be stored in an alarmed area closely monitored by cameras.

You could also consider tagging such machinery with tracking devices. This way, you can track down any stolen items more easily. 


Protect the site from the weather

Construction site covered in snow

When shutting down for Christmas, it’s worth preparing for the worst that the weather can throw at the construction site. After all, the weather can be pretty bad in December, with rain, snow, and wind being possibilities.

Weatherproofing your construction site is, therefore, important. For example, you can utilise temporary protection products such as tarpaulins to protect exposed areas and construction site materials.

Excessive wet weather can also turn outdoor areas of a construction site into a muddy swamp, so to make things easier for when you return to work, consider laying down external ground protection.

For indoor areas, you will also do well to utilise a damp-proof membrane to protect the site from dampness while you are away.


Tips for preventing weather damage on a construction site

  • Ensure a solid and well-drained foundation is in place to prevent water infiltration.
  • Use waterproof membranes or coatings on concrete surfaces.
  • Protect outdoor areas, equipment, and materials with tarpaulins.
  • Lay down external ground protection.
  • Correctly seal all exterior wall openings, including windows and doors.
  • Use durable roofing materials and inspect the roof regularly to address any damage or leaks.
  • Install proper flashing on roofs to prevent water intrusion.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and debris-free to allow water to drain properly.
  • Ensure high-quality insulation is installed – including for water pipes to prevent freezing.
  • Secure outdoor materials and equipment to prevent them from becoming damaged by strong winds.

READ ALSO: Weatherproofing your construction site


Appoint a security point of contact or security company

Sometimes, security breaches happen, despite your best efforts and best practices. Even with a top-notch security system, preparing for the worst is a good idea.

Consider appointing a security point of contact should there be a break-in. This way, someone is on hand and ready to deal with the situation. This person or persons will be responsible for investigating should there be a security alert.

You could even consider hiring a security company for the Christmas period. They can monitor your CCTV and other security systems, responding should something occur.


Checklist before leaving a construction site for Christmas

Construction workers consulting each other

Look at the checklist below and find some top tips for preventing theft and keeping a construction site safe before the Christmas shutdown.

  • Ensure all doors, windows, and entry points are secure.
  • Ensure power points are turned off.
  • Turn off all lights that aren’t for security purposes.
  • Check all water sources are turned off.
  • Remove tools and equipment from the site if possible.
  • Lock away any equipment that can’t be removed.
  • Tag equipment with tracking devices.
  • Hide big equipment from view.
  • Install CCTV on the site.
  • Put up signs broadcasting that CCTV is in place.
  • Ensure the outside of the construction site is well-lit.

READ ALSO: Welfare facilities construction sites should have


We hope this guide has been informative and helps you to safely and securely shut down your construction site at Christmas.

With a careful and systematic approach, you can enjoy the festivities and return to a site exactly how you left it. For more tips and advice, visit our blog.

At Beck, we are the experts in temporary protection materials and products. If you want to protect your construction site, please browse our website for everything from window protection to carpet protection film.