What You Need To Be Aware Of With A Vacant Property: The Top 4 Issues

When you are in possession of a vacant commercial property, it can be difficult to check up on the property regularly, particularly if you have a busy day to day schedule. However it is incredibly important to keep checking on a vacant property or at the very least to impose a variety of security measures onto that property, otherwise you can face a number of issues when you eventually come to sell or use the property.

Not taking into account accidental damages due to wear and tear, bad weather or general aging, these are the top four issues that many owners of a vacant property will have to face and it is important to have the relevant security measures to help reduce the risk of any of these incidents occurring.

4. Fire

In 2012 it was reported that an average of 60 fires a day took place in or next to an empty property or a derelict site in the UK alone. Regardless of whether these fires were accidental or intentional the statistic is incredibly high.

It is important to remove all possible combustible materials from the site to reduce the risk of intruders or trespassers setting debris alight out of boredom or spite. Turn off all the utilities including electricity and water and ensure that they remain off by installing security measures or padlocks.

Make sure to install alarms and fire alert systems in the case of an accidental fire and regularly visit and inspect the premises to ensure that there has been no build up of combustible materials since the last inspection.

3. Theft

You might think that simply because your property is empty, then there is nothing worth stealing. However 67,000 metal thefts on commercial vacant properties were reported in 2012, making this a serious issue. There has been a recent ban in the sale of scrap metal, however this has only served to reduce the number of thefts occurring and not stop it outright.

Installing security cameras and a secure perimeter protection with wire fencing or concrete safety barriers is essential. CCTV is particularly useful as there is still a significant amount of telecommunications cabling theft occurring which has not been affected by the scrap metal ban.

2. Squatters

If it is obvious that your property is a vacant property, it may become a target for squatters and travellers to set up camp within the premises. While this is not a huge problem and there are bailiffs who will serve eviction notices, the main problem is the mess and debris that is left behind. Often squatters can completely ruin the internal structure of a property and can leave a number of combustible materials behind, increasing the risk of an accidental fire.

Installing SITEX Security screens and steel security doors will prevent access into the premises and concrete barriers and temporary security fencing restricts vehicular access, however CCTV setup is recommended as should your property fall victim to squatters it is important to know straight away so that an eviction notice can be sent.

1. Vandalism

While not seriously damaging, vandalism is incredibly easy to do and is fairly troublesome to clean up. Simple graffiti needs to be painted over however property damage and arson are more serious and so it is important to make sure that the property is regularly inspected for signs of vandalism.

Vandalism may also be an indication of theft or squatting, so by protecting your site against vandalism you are also protecting the property against most other issues seen here. Steel security doors and SITEX Security Screens are recommended as they prevent general entry into the building. CCTV is also a successful deterrent as the culprits will be less inclined to commit acts of vandalism when they know there is video footage of the events.

With sufficient security measures in place and a regular visit from the owners you can help minimise accidental or intentional damage to your commercial property and prevent squatters or travellers from settling there. Whether you need something as simple as concrete barrier or you are looking for a more complete package such as wire fencing, steel shutters and more, ensuring the security of your vacant property is incredibly important and can mean the difference between merely paying for added security and paying considerably more for reinstatement of the damage to the property itself.