At any one time there is a significant number of vacant commercial properties throughout the country and without adequate protection these properties can be subject to misuse and either deliberate or unintentional damage.
Vacant buildings are at heightened risk from fire, deterioration and criminal activity, leading to the reputation of a property owner being damaged and relations with your neighbours being put under strain. In addition, insurance premiums for long-term vacant properties can often be high unless those responsible can show they have taken a broad range of sensible precautions to protect the property.
Arson is responsible for more than half of the known causes of fire damage in commercial and industrial properties, so it is very important to take every possible step to minimise fire risks.
It’s important to remember that owners and managers of vacant properties have a ‘duty of care’ to anyone entering the building from trespassers to members of the emergency services. One of the most important first actions for the owner is to allocate clear responsibility for all aspects of vacant property management. This is an important role and includes managing the shutdown of the building, conduct- ing a risk assessment and reducing different types of risk.