If properties are left vacant for extended periods, numerous hazards to health, safety and security can threaten your business. Without proper supervision, unattended properties can cause a myriad of problems at the expense of the property owner.

As the number of vacant commercial properties continues to rise, more precautions need to be taken to secure empty or unoccupied buildings. So how can you protect your vacant property? Do you need vacant property security? Read on to find out more.

What Is Classed as a Vacant Property?

A vacant property – sometimes referred to as a void property – is any building that has no tenants and no furnishings. An unoccupied property falls into a similar category; the difference is simply whether or not there are personal items left within.

Time and intent are other factors that can determine whether or not a property should be deemed void or unoccupied. If you own or manage a commercial property and you’re awaiting the arrival of new tenants, the property is classified as “unoccupied” for that period. If you’re not awaiting new tenants after your old tenants have moved out, it is classed as “vacant” or “void”. In this article, we’ll be considering all empty properties that fall into both categories.

What Are the Risks Associated with Vacant Properties?

From empty high street shops to disused office buildings, vacant properties need constant supervision and maintenance. Using CCTV, keyholding services and vacant property security, potential issues can be managed and major problems avoided. Should any issues develop, the right level of security and monitoring will ensure that any trouble is dealt with swiftly and effectively. Common problems include:

  • Arson
  • Burglary and Theft
  • Environmental Damage
  • Squatting
  • Vandalism
  • Unauthorised Access

It’s advisable to review the security of your vacant property and decide whether or not you can handle the management of the property by yourself. With so many risk factors and potential hazards to health and safety, it’s recommended that you seek out professional vacant property security.

Dedicated security experts can handle problematic situations without you needing to risk your safety and wellbeing for the sake of your property. Experienced security officers are trained to deal with all types of emergencies and can be on call 24 hours a day, giving you peace of mind.

How Do You Secure a Vacant Property?

If your property has recently been vacated, you can implement a few basic strategies to help manage your property and mitigate low-level risks. But, it’s highly recommended that you seek out professional advice and assistance when managing your property even on a short-term basis.

  • Keep all internal and external doors closed

Shutting all the doors and windows to your vacant property will not only ensure the security of your building, but it’ll also mean that a fire will stay contained for longer, preventing further losses. If a fire should break out, buildings burn down faster if they have a steady supply of oxygen to fuel the flames. Closing all windows and doors is an easy way to quell potential threats to health and safety.

  • Turn off all electrical appliances and keep them unplugged

Keeping electricity outlets on while they’re unused will cost you money, and, even worse, could cause an electrical fire if left unattended for a long time. Ensure that all electrical appliances are switched off and that all outlets are functioning normally. Unplugging computers and other devices will protect any electronics from surges or power cuts, which could corrupt the devices and potentially cause data loss.

  • Dispose of your waste properly

Waste that is left unattended can become very unhygienic and unpleasant. Food waste will attract rodents, which aren’t just unpleasant but also carry disease. Rats and mice tend to chew through cables, which could require extensive repairs, not to mention calling out a pest controller.

  • Maintain the use of service providers, such as cleaners

It’s important to maintain the cleanliness of your building to uphold good hygiene standards, especially if nobody is around to do smaller cleaning tasks regularly. In the wake of COVID-19, there’s a risk of Legionnaires' disease developing in empty office buildings. This concerning discovery means that property owners should be extra vigilant when managing their property’s hygiene and safety.

Take the opportunity to do a clean sweep of your property and ensure that hygiene standards are maintained while the property is uninhabited. This will mean that when people return to your building, it’ll be in pristine condition, mitigating the risk of health and safety concerns and keeping your new tenants happy.

  • Ensure that fire alarms and security alarms are in full working order

Check the functionality and review the inspection dates of your important alarm systems so you can be alerted should something happen at your property. If a fire breaks out – or somebody breaks in – an alarm will allow your vacant property security to take action quickly, minimising the risk of property damage or other serious consequences.

Issues can go undetected without operational alarm systems, which could be catastrophic for your business and even endanger members of the public – in turn, affecting your public liability insurance.

  • Manage your building’s heating and cooling systems

Large buildings require a substantial amount of heating and cooling to keep occupants comfortable and mitigate the risk of environmental damage. If your property is unoccupied, it’s a good idea to lower the levels of your temperature controls to save on expensive bills while still maintaining the condition of your property.

It’s not advisable to turn these systems off entirely unless your property is completely vacant. Turning off main gas and water supplies can help mitigate the risk of fire or flooding. But if you’ve got tenants looking to return to your property, the use of heating systems should be maintained to avoid damp and other damage that can occur over time.

It’s also a good idea to make sure that gas and electrical systems are up to date with examinations and inspections. Unexamined and uncertified heating systems could void your property insurance if something goes wrong while your safety certificates are out of date.

The Benefits of Vacant Property Security

If you think that’s a lot to manage, you should consider hiring professional vacant property security to manage your building. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Regular internal and external inspections

Checking the inside and outside of your building and raising any potential concerns will maintain your properties condition and security on a long-term basis. If you don’t have the time to check up on your property, professional security can maintain a perimeter and allow you to focus on other important tasks.

  • Experienced, professional security officers

Highly trained and fully licensed guards will be on call to manage any potential security threats to your business. Capable of handling all kinds of emergencies — from unwelcome intruders to health and safety concerns — they’ll have your property covered.

  • 24/7 security, around the clock protection

Getting called out to your property in the middle of the night can be a nuisance. Delegate the task to a professional team that can be at your property to perform a full security evaluation the moment they are alerted.

A remote monitoring team can keep an eye on your property and report any activity to you as and when required. Should any suspicious activity be detected, security officers can be deployed to your premises immediately.

Why You Need Vacant Property Security

Protecting empty spaces from trespassers, environmental damage and vandalism isn’t easy, but implementing the right security measures will pay dividends. If you need a comprehensive solution to your property’s security, you’ll be in safe hands with Prime Secure.

With over 25 years of professional experience in protecting void properties, construction sites and corporate buildings, we’ll give you peace of mind. Don't leave it to chance, entrust your vacant property to the UK’s leading security company and let us take care of your business.

Do you need experienced security for your vacant property? Contact our friendly and professional team today to see how we can help you protect your vacant property.