How to Secure Vacant Properties: A Quick Guide

Posted on in Guides
Vacant Site barrier

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.

Restrict Access

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. 

Steph Davies
Steph Davies
2 November 2023
I have been using Maltaward for about 12 years, mostly using their traveller eviction services. They have always been very helpful and easy to deal with. No fuss, just get the job done! More recently in my new company, I have brought them in to use utilised their vacant security services. They have worked with me to provide the correct service for our specific requirements. They have a common sense approach to everything. I really cannot recommend the team enough. They have been without a doubt the best security company I have been involved with.
Tom Lampard
Tom Lampard
2 November 2023
Everyone, and I mean everyone!, from the office team to the guys that drop the barriers, at Maltaward is very responsive, polite and genuinely helpful! I have used them at several sites and they have never let me down!
Syanne Mara
Syanne Mara
23 January 2023
Amazing service as always with a quick response time. Maltaward always have a solution to all problems and execute any works or requirements swiftly and thoroughly.
Julie Curtis
Julie Curtis
23 January 2023
Excellent product & delivery. We have ordered from Maltaward several times and we can't fault them.
PJ B
PJ B
21 November 2022
Quick turnaround and a good job. Many thanks .
Ian Rhoden
Ian Rhoden
26 August 2022
Great experience Keith was top-notch
Declan Goldie
Declan Goldie
9 August 2022
I have used maltaward for years. Jim has been very helpful throughout this time. Thanks
Sally Atkins
Sally Atkins
1 July 2022
Just wanted to say a big thankyou to your driver Del, although he didn’t like nettles 🙂 he carried out the job with no bother. Would highly recommend Maltaward

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We are really greatful for you guys organising these barriers, the driver was early, took no time at all and we are now properly secure. We will only use you for this sort of stuff in future, 10/10 service.

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