An empty property can attract all sorts of unwanted attention. From petty vandalism to robbery and unwarranted squatting, vacant buildings and land leave themselves vulnerable without the right protective measures in place.
Security is a high priority for many property owners, and leaving one or more sites vacant or uninhabited for an extended period is likely to occur more than once. Therefore, you must understand how to keep your vacant property safe and free from crime or damage.
As specialists in barrier systems and perimeter security, Maltaward understands better than anyone how to properly secure empty properties during transitional periods.
Follow our comprehensive guide to keep your vacant assets safe from harm.
How to Keep Vacant Properties as Secure as Possible
Involve The Neighbourhood
Your neighbours invariably represent your first line of defence when a property sits vacant for a long period. Provided that you have a solid relationship with them, kindly ask adjacent homeowners or neighbouring businesses to keep watch and report any suspicious activity or criminal damage to your site or its surrounding environment.
If neighbours are willing to keep an eye out, this will provide invaluable peace of mind, and you can then offer to return the favour if they ever find themselves in similar circumstances. This communal approach deters prospective perpetrators who fear a watchful community.
Maintain Its Appearance
The longer that properties lay dormant, the more waste that can quickly accumulate, especially during renovation, demolition or excavation works. Committing to basic upkeep even during its dormant state will send a message that someone is still regularly present at or around a property despite its emptiness.
Make arrangements for regular waste removal services to prevent the accumulation of litter or overgrown vegetation that could serve as a viable hiding place. Likewise, collect any postal deliveries promptly to avoid large pile-ups of correspondence and mail. Doing all of this is likelier to deter criminals or trespassers. Keeping up appearances also means…
Repair Damage Quickly
Should any vandals manage to break a window or otherwise deface your property, fix the damage immediately. Leaving signs of trespass untouched essentially welcomes more of the same, even if the criminal act was purely opportunistic. By handling repairs promptly, you send a clear message to would-be intruders that their actions will not be tolerated. The aim is to keep your property from appearing empty and giving the impression that it’s being regularly monitored.
Verify that every external door and window locks securely, including those belonging to any outbuildings or garage spaces. Gate off driveways and erect physical barriers across vacant land surrounding structures to control access. Change all of the locks if previous occupants had access or if you cannot account for potential contractors who may have key copies.
While it’s important to give trusted contractors or property professionals keys for access during maintenance or construction work, it’s important to keep track of who is coming and going. Keep tabs on all sets of keys and who is responsible for each.
Post Warning Signs
Place visible signage around the premises to alert trespassers that the space is protected by 24/7 camera monitoring, security patrols, or even dogs. Specify that trespassers will face prosecution; such warnings give pause to interlopers who fear discovery and the potential consequences should they be identified and charged. For extra peace of mind, you can always…
Install CCTV Camera Systems and Alarms
High-quality CCTV equipment provides active real-time monitoring and evidence gathering to cover a property, which will be reassuring during extended periods of vacancy. Position cameras to capture approaches from all directions, and install those in ‘tucked-away’ sections of the property (indoors and outdoors) that make prime entry spots. Conceal them where possible to evade easy detection and to deter intruders from attempting to access your property.
Link CCTV systems to your smartphone and a mobile alarm system for instant notifications in the event of suspicious activity or break-ins. High-resolution footage will help the police identify perpetrators after violations occur on your premises. Alternatively, you could…
Employ Security Guards
For owners of high-value vacant property, paying for routine patrols represents a small price to pay versus the risks posed by squatters, burglars, or thieves. Professional guards actively deter trespassers who wish to avoid confrontation. Always opt for licenced and bonded services to follow protocol and operate legally while on assignment.
Erect Physical Barriers
Perimeter security gates, metal fencing, bollards, sturdy concrete barriers, and other rigid enclosures offer the strongest protection by denying casual access outright. Carefully consider vehicle ingress points and possible weak areas in existing boundaries.
Professionals like Maltaward design purpose-built solutions that you can hire or buy outright to ensure your site stays secure. Our team can recommend budget-friendly and site-appropriate products that meet your needs and provide complete peace of mind. We can help you choose from metal fencing like HERAS fencing or palisade gates, as well as barriers like jersey concrete barriers or MASS barriers to control and validate access to approved personnel, and deter intruders and fly-tippers. For more information, please refer to this guide.
Vacant Property Protection Services You Can Trust
Don’t take chances with protecting your vacant property. As leading UK security barrier specialists, Maltaward brings over 20 years of experience helping clients maintain safety across thousands of locations.
Contact us today to schedule a site survey and discuss customised solutions to match your needs and budget. Our consultations come free of charge, so please feel free to get in touch to discuss your needs today.