Kerry London News

Property Damage Risk in Vacant Buildings

Monday 25th July
Property Damage Risk in Vacant Buildings

At a glance

  • Additional precautions can be taken if you know one of your properties is going to be vacant
  • Physical security and CCTV can be employed in addition to or in lieu of personnel
  • Ensure regular visits to the vacant building are organised, and that workers don’t enter the property unaccompanied if possible
  • Make sure that no flammable contents are stored, as a fire hazard may not be addressed immediately

What is the risk?

The risk of fire, vandalism and other forms of damage is multiplied for property owners when it comes to a vacant building. There is little if any day to day maintenance and on-site management and in many cases a fire or prolonged period of property damage can continue for much longer before anyone is alerted to it.

With this in mind it is important to take additional precautions if you know one of your properties is going to be vacant for any period of time.

Manage the riskProperty Damage Risk in Vacant Buildings

  1. Physical security – Make sure that the physical security surrounding your building is strong enough to prevent vandals or the general public entering the building without permission and causing property damage. In some cases this will require reinforcing external doors, windows and letter boxes with secured boarding.
  2. CCTV – If your building has security guards but no CCTV installed, it’s worth using a portable CCTV or, failing that, a motion detection system to have effective surveillance of the premises.
  3. Flammable contents – It’s important to empty your vacant building of any combustible or flammable materials/liquids. This not only prevents these materials from spontaneously catching fire, but also from vandals using the materials to start a fire themselves.
  4. Water systems – Make sure the water systems are drained down and isolate public utilities wherever possible. This should not include utilities that are required for security, safety or environmental purposes.
  5. Regular visits – If your building has no CCTV or security guards, it’s important to organise visits on a weekly basis to ensure there’s no property damage or defects that need to be repaired .
  6. Unaccompanied workers – There is a considerable risk to workers who visit your vacant building unaccompanied. This should be avoided and restricted as much as possible.
  7. Insurance requirements – Check with your property insurance provider if they have any specific requirements for vacant properties. They may have conditions you need to comply with in order for your cover to be valid.

Find out more about Kerry London’s experience sourcing tailored cover for Property Owners & Investors.

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Property Damage Risk in Vacant Buildings