The number of empty homes in England in 2019 rose by 2.2% to 648,114, of which over 225,800 were empty for longer than six months. This figure doesn’t include the number of empty commercial properties such as shops, offices and retail units. Whether it’s residential or commercial, a vacant property comes with many risks that could pose a significant threat to your premises. If you own a property that is currently vacant, it’s essential that you secure and protect it.
We’re going to explain why it’s important to secure an empty property and how to go about it in an effective way.
Risks of a Vacant Property
There are many risks that are associated with vacant properties, including but not limited to:
- Illegal/suspicious activity
These risks are significantly heightened the longer a property remains unoccupied for, but there are other indirect risks that are associated with vacant properties, including the impact it has on the local economy and property/house prices in the area.
A high number of vacant properties and houses can make a location appear undesirable, either because they’re indicative of a failing economy or because empty properties can attract opportunist criminals like thieves which puts people off. This might not directly impact your property, but should you wish to occupy the property once more or sell it in the future, you stand the risk of losing money on your investment.
How to Spot an Empty Property
You would be forgiven for thinking that empty properties are not too noticeable because you might think that people don’t pay too much attention, but sadly that’s not true. Many opportunist criminals will watch a property for a period of time to try and spot signs of occupancy, and that means putting the lights on a timer isn’t enough to deter them.
If no one is seen entering or leaving a property, or if no vehicles are seen outside the property, this is a tell-tale sign that no one is inside and this cements the property as a viable target for suspicious activity and vandalism.
How to Secure a Vacant Property
There are a number of ways you can secure a vacant property depending on the premises type and how long it’s going to be vacant for. If you’re looking to secure a vacant residential property, you can install:
- A fence/gate
- A security alarm
- A CCTV camera
- A sensor light
All of these items are available at high street stores and are effective at deterring criminals. In fact, it’s said that 60% of thieves who see a burglar alarm will choose to abandon the house and select a different target. Paired with a further 60% of criminals saying they are put off by the presence of a CCTV system, investing in both is a highly effective way of protecting a vacant residential property.
Protecting a commercial property is slightly different from a residential property because they’re usually bigger and can contain expensive equipment and supplies. In this event, you can:
- Install CCTV at every entrance
- Put sensor lights around the perimeter of the property, or have floodlights switched on at night
- Install metal window/door guards
- Employ manned site security
Ideally, you will install CCTV, an alarm system and effective lighting as standard, but the addition of manned site security is something that can protect your premises beyond a camera and alarm. When it comes to criminals targeting commercial properties, they tend to be more experienced and will have knowledge on how to get past virtual surveillance.
Whilst alarms and cameras do deter criminals, experienced ones will know of ways to get around them, no matter how expensive the system is. In this instance, having security personnel roaming your property can add an additional layer of security that is highly likely to put criminals off. Not only this, manned guards will able to deal with any disturbances immediately and professionally by alerting the relevant authorities as well as yourself. This is extremely important for the prosecution process.
Manned security can be used across a range of properties, including retail units, shopping centres, building sites, public buildings and warehouse/manufacturing units to name a few, but it is also possible for manned guards to protect a residential property, too.
How We Can Help
If you are looking to bolster your vacant property security beyond virtual surveillance, we can help. Here at Taybar Security, we have been specialising in all aspects of manned security for over 20 years. We offer site security, static security, concierge security, keyholding and alarm response security, door supervisors and mobile patrols. If you’re based in the west midlands area of England, we can help you protect your empty premises effectively and professionally.
All of our security personnel are SIA (Security Industry Authority) licensed and approved and undergo extensive training with Taybar Security. Each guard is backed up with our 24-hour control room personnel, and we conduct weekly and fortnightly checks to ensure they are performing in accordance to our high levels of quality and integrity, as well as to make sure they are satisfying your requirements.
To find out more about our security services, please contact us online or call us on 08453 454542.