Maintaining the security of vacant property can be extremely problematic for any owner as there are many challenges to overcome.
Vandalism and theft alone cost the construction sector more than £1mn daily, and over 40% of commercial properties are vandalised annually. This can be even more of a problem for vacant properties which are in isolated locations. But theft and vandalism are not the only security risks.
Security threats to the vacant property sector
Some of the most common security threats to vacant properties include fire and arson, water damage, terrorism, fly tipping, trespassing or squatting. It’s not just new construction sites that face major security threats, as any vacant property can be at risk, particularly when empty for long periods of time. Around one in every six properties is at risk of flood damage due to river, coastal or surface water and property that’s left empty for a considerable amount of time is more likely to suffer water leaks or burst pipes, particularly when inspections are not carried out regularly.
Fire and arson costs the construction industry £400mn annually, with around 11 fires happening each day. In total, about 60 fires happen daily in the UK and are often close to derelict or vacant property. Fire is even more likely if properties are occupied by squatters. Squatting is not illegal in commercial properties, and property landlords will need to pay substantial sums to remove squatters and make good any damage.
These are just some of the hazards faced by property owners with vacant premises, so carrying out an effective risk analysis to mitigate the risks and put in place the best security solutions can be critical for anybody who owns vacant property.
Vacant property security risk analysis
When properties are scheduled to be empty for a while it’s important to remove any combustible materials, seal up all letterboxes and ensure utilities are switched off and drained. Property owners should carry out comprehensive risk assessments on site to ensure any potential hazards are identified. This makes it easier to put in place the best solutions tailored to individual properties.
Combating vacant property risk with security
Some of the accepted ways to combat risks to vacant properties include:
- putting in place deterrents;
- providing adequate risk detection methods;
- having a speedy response to deal with threats.
Different types of vacant property security services
We offer comprehensive risk analysis solutions to help identify the kinds of risks likely to be faced by owners of vacant properties. Some of the professional security solutions we can put in place include:
- Manned guarding, which can be an extremely effective security measure for vacant properties, although this can be the most expensive solution. Opting for guarded property means vacant premises are inspected on a regular basis, so any potential damage from water leaks is detected far more speedily.
- Keyholding, mobile patrols and alarm response can be a more cost-effective security solution for some vacant property and offers the same sort of advantages as manned guarding.
- Wireless CCTV systems are also available for vacant sites and these can be solar, wind or battery powered to suit owner requirements.
- Concrete barriers and fencing are effective short term solutions for some vacant properties.
- Wireless alarm systems can also be a useful deterrent.
We also provide cleaning and clearance services for sites subjected to fly tipping or illegal occupation.