Long-term vacant property numbers are at their highest point since 2012, according to Action on Empty Homes, with figures almost 20% higher than in 2016. These numbers don’t consider the rising volume of unoccupied vacant commercial properties caused by the economic crisis and the pandemic.
If you have a vacant property, either residential or commercial, then it’s essential you take positive steps to protect your building.
Why are vacant properties targeted?
Vacant properties are a prime target for criminals for the following reasons:
• Vandalism – whether vindictive or not, vandals can cause damage to properties that is expensive to fix.
• Squatting – whilst it is illegal to squat in a residential property, police are unlikely to act if squatting takes place in a commercial premises so long as other crimes aren’t taking place. Such crimes include causing damage, not leaving when requested to do so by a court, or fly-tipping.
• Theft and damage – some criminals will seek to strip a vacant property of its parts and raw materials. Items such as lead, steel or even kitchen cabinets are impossibly hard to trace. Thieves know that they can sell these property components on at a profit and it’s unlikely that they’ll be caught down the line.
How to protect your vacant property
There are a variety of vacant property security strategies you can implement, and many of them can be used in combination to offer the strongest protection.
Some options include:
- Concrete blocks – by placing these around the perimeter of your property, this prevents trespassers and vehicles from getting close to your building. This measure also stops any chance of fly-tipping. Concrete blocks cannot be easily moved and are a clear visual sign that the property owner takes trespassing seriously.
- Audio sirens – these can be set up to trigger if an intruder crosses a boundary line. A warning sound will blare out at 120Db which will bring obvious attention to the trespasser’s actions.
- CCTV surveillance – cameras can be setup, in conjunction with rapid deployment towers as required, to provide coverage of your entire vacant property site. Surveillance cameras are a clear deterrent to criminals who don’t want their activities to be recorded, but they’re also useful in providing real-time monitoring of your site. Property owners or monitors can view footage of their site remotely to be reassured that a breach hasn’t taken place.
- Wireless video verification alarm – when power isn’t available, a wireless verification alarm can be set up. This provides video monitoring of your vacant property site, both internally and externally as required. If a security event occurs, then footage of the suspected incident will be sent to our NSI Gold-approved monitoring station where security experts will review and dispatch trained SIA responders to deal with the situation.
- Manned patrol – if you prefer the reassurance of having a security guard on site, we can provide a manned patrol unit to carry out regular assessments of your vacant property.
Book your vacant property security assessment
If you have a vacant property to secure in 2022, then don’t wait until it’s too late to put protection in place. Contact Sicuro today on 0800 999 1888 and we’ll arrange for a site security assessment where you’ll hear our expert recommendations and receive a FREE no-obligation quote.