For many of us this year, our working patterns have changed completely. Some of us are working from home, either exclusively, or for a considerable part of the working week. As a result, many of our business premises are standing empty, possibly for several days, if not weeks, at a time. Damage to buildings can occur at any time but the risks are far greater if they are empty premises.
As well as being more vulnerable to break ins, empty properties can also attract another nuisance – fly tipping. Did you know, if waste is dumped illegally on your property, you will be liable for its removal? If you are responsible for the maintenance of the building, these potential issues can be a real headache, so you should take a few simple steps to reduce the risk.
Check your insurance cover
If you haven’t already done so, check all the details of your insurance policy. Some insurers will have specific conditions that need to be met where empty properties are concerned. You need to be very careful that you are not in breach of these rules, as it might affect your insurance cover in the event of you needing to make a claim. These conditions might include a need to visit the premises regularly or they might require the water to be drained down.
Make regular visits
- Make sure all gates or points of entry are secure.
- If you have CCTV, an alarm system, exterior security lights or a fire alarm, make sure they are all in working order.
- If any of these systems require an annual service or safety check, ensure that these are carried out on time (in accordance with COVID-19 safety precautions).
- Go into the property and check all windows and doors are securely fastened. In the event of fire, having internal doors closed can dramatically slow down the progress of flames through a building and reduce damage.
- Don’t leave any cash in the building. If you have valuable equipment that can be removed and stored safely elsewhere, then it is wise to do so. If it has to stay in situ, then mark it all securely with your company name so it can be traced back to you.
- If you can, turn off all your electrical appliances.
- Ensure all the waste bins have been emptied and the rubbish has been taken away.
Here at The Forshaw Group, we’ve introduced a raft of measures to ensure the safety of all our staff and customers, wherever we are working. We are property restoration specialists, working closely with insurance companies and loss adjusters to renovate commercial and residential property damaged by fire or flood. If you have an emergency please do get in touch.