There are many reasons why properties, be they residential or commercial are left empty for different lengths of time. Sometimes, properties and premises can be left vacant for a number of months or even years and so it is important to make sure that the property or properties in question are properly secured. This is often the case when properties are left vacant for a short period of time, for example if a recent buyer is finalising their home improvement finance arrangements (more information) with a broker or lender to further improve the property and its value.
Property owners and managers may feel that their property is not a target or at risk. However, the reality is that all vacant properties stand a chance of being harmed and damaged, which will inevitably result in potentially hefty repair bills down the line for the owner. Some of the most common problems facing empty properties include:
- Vandalism and Graffiti
- Burglary and Theft of Fixtures and Fittings
- Fly Tipping and Rubbish Dumping
Rather than having to cope with the fallout and clean up to follow these potential pitfalls of having a property left empty, it is useful for property owners and managers to consider their options of protection which should include both electronic security methods as well as physical and barrier methods of property protection.
Physical and Barrier Security Options
Often the first line of defence, physical and barrier methods of protection include different types of fencing and perimeter security as well as strong, sturdy and protective door and window coverings and boarding solutions. Important to consider however, is that restricting and preventing vehicular access will usually require slightly different methods of protection.
Hoarding, Fencing and Barriers – These are all methods that are used to good effect in the protection of the perimeter within which the property or premises in question will be located. By making access to the perimeter difficult, most intruders and opportunists will be put off. Moreover, these types of security arrangements often go hand in hand with others such as Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) and access control systems.
Popularly utilised physical options include:
- Concrete Barriers – These are heavy concrete barriers which are placed around the perimeter and are designed to prevent vehicles and stop cars entering a defined area.
- Heras Fencing – This is often used in cases where there is a bit more of a temporary nature to the protection requirements. For example, building sites that are only in place for a few weeks or so may employ the protection of Heras fencing which can then, at the end of the required time be removed.
- Palisade Fencing – This type of fencing is more permanent than Heras fencing and comprises a collection of solid, flat-looking metal posts with sharp edges at the top. Palisade fencing is a very effective method of preventing intrusion into a secure area such as a car park or storage facility as climbing over the fence itself poses a risk of potentially serious injury for an intruder.
Popular Electronic Security Options
Electronic security has progressed massively in the last decade with the advent of numerous innovative and highly effective means of deterrence and protection from intruders, vandals and other routes of damage. In past years, the only viable options (particularly for those on a tighter budget) were very basic alarms or poor quality and cumbersome closed-circuit television arrangements. However, nowadays things are very different.
CCTV – CCTV can be provided via both overt and covert solutions, both which have their merits and can be effectively supplied and installed by Secure Site. Covert CCTV is a popular security option for residential premises and blocks where an overt camera may affect the aesthetics of the property in question or where a landlord does not want to worry residents. Covert options are also useful for commercial premises and customer facing business premises who may need to hide cameras from potential thieves or similar.
Overt CCTV cameras are widely used throughout all types of premises and very presence of a camera is often enough of a deterrent for perpetrators to look elsewhere to commit their crimes. Also, often by the time a potential perpetrator has spotted the presence of the CCTV camera, their face and initial movements have been captured on camera. Camera security is very useful as it helps police and prosecutors secure convictions should a vandal, burglar or otherwise be caught and put in front of a court.
Intruder Alarm Systems – Intruder alarms are arguably the most widely utilised method of electronic security across both residential and commercial premises. The basic premise of these alarms is that they are set, or ‘armed’ as the property is left vacant (for example as an office closes for the weekend.) Then, motion sensors are set to detect any movement whilst primed. Should anything be detected the alarm is sounded. Moreover, if the alarm system is monitored, the dedicated keyholder, security company and even the police can be notified and will attend.
This means that although an intruder may have gained access by this point, they are more likely to be caught as a physical response is triggered.