A Guide To Scaffold Alarms & Important Considerations

What is a scaffold alarm? Is it a real thing? Believe it or not, there is an entire industry devoted to this. And for good reasons.

Scaffolding is set up in various locations. Sometimes, scaffolding is used on construction sites where large pieces of infrastructure, such as bridge piers, are being built. In situations like this, the piece of infrastructure is in a relatively “remote” region, and is far from other pieces of infrastructure that may be of any value to a thief.

However, scaffolding can also be used in a more urban setting. One example might be when renovating the facade of an old building. During this renovation, the scaffolding is constructed flush with the facade. This means that anyone who lives above the first floor, who used to think a thief would need a ladder to access their apartment or office, now has a stairwell directly to their window. For this, and many more reasons, scaffold alarms are becoming common practice when working with scaffolding.

Another reason scaffold alarms are becoming more and more popular is simply because the insurance companies are mandating them. It may seem obvious, but any company that is providing insurance will want to ensure that precautions are taken to prevent thefts from occurring. One of the ways to do that is to ensure an alarm system is in place to detect if a thief has entered the premises of the property, and to notify the owner and the local law enforcement that someone is trespassing.

Factors When Installing a Scaffold Alarm


When it comes to scaffold alarms, there are many factors that need to be taken into account when it comes to the installation, one of them is regarding safety. Most construction sites have lots of loose articles running along the floor, and the goal of any construction professional would be to limit the amount of tripping hazards that exist. 

As a result, many scaffold alarms are wireless. Many operate with PIR (Passive InfraRed), which means that detection and monitoring can take place without having wires all over the scaffolding.

Entire System

In addition, in order to ensure that the readings are true, many scaffold alarm setups are now twinned. This means there are two PIR sensors running parallel, and in order for the alarm to be activated, both sensors must be activated. This avoids any false readings that can occur if only one sensor is used. 

Along with the sensors that are used to alarm scaffolds and other construction projects, the use of CCTV is also helping to protect contractors and owners from thieves.

Just like home alarms and dash-cams, CCTV’s can monitor not only if someone tresspasses, but also take video footage which can be used to catch a potential thief. Therefore when looking into purchasing a scaffold alarm, it is important that you can purchase an entire system, which consists of sensors as well as CCTV cameras which work together.


Scaffold alarms may not be at the top of your priority list when you are planning or biding on a construction job, but they are an essential tool. Not having one in place could result in loss and theft, and could result in your not being covered by your insurance provider.

About Alex Neumann

Alex has spent most of his working life in the concrete and cement business. While working in these manufacturing facilities, he worked on several projects, where health and safety was always the biggest priority. Whether it be working on small ready-mix concrete sites at minus 30 degrees Celcius (-22 Farenheit), or working inside large cement manufacturing facilities, working at heights meant requiring scaffolding to reach the hard to get-to places. It also meant working in areas where a fall could be dangerous or even deadly. From these various experiences, he developed an understanding and appreciation of scaffolding.

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