You might not realise it, but an empty site can require just as much security as an occupied one. There are a number of risks with an abandoned building, which can result in damage or criminal activity.
Even if you don’t think there’s anything of value left in the building, it can become attractive to squatters, travellers or other trespassers. Here we look at the potential risks of empty sites and how you can ensure they are adequately protected.
The main risks of empty buildings
Inclement weather can cause significant damage to a site, including to the roof and windows. As well as resulting in damage, this also leaves it more open to criminal activity.
Where a building is unsecured and there is external damage, it becomes more at risk of being broken into. Materials such as copper pipes and wires can be particularly attractive to thieves and removing them will cause more damage to the building.
Even if trespassers don’t want to steal anything, an empty property can be vulnerable to vandals. They can be extremely destructive, including painting graffiti on the walls, breaking things and leaving waste around the site.
One of the big risks with an abandoned building is access by trespassers. It’s important that you consider protecting the property from squatters, travellers and other groups. If they manage to infiltrate your site it can be very costly and time-consuming to evict trespassers.
How to protect an abandoned building
When you’re taking control of an abandoned or derelict site, it’s important to carry out an assessment of the various risks and access points. This will enable you to come up with an effective plan for protecting it.
Secure the entrances
Simply locking the doors won’t be enough to keep the site adequately secured in the long term. Doors and windows can easily be broken, allowing trespassers to gain entry. Consider investing in more robust measures, such as steel security doors, which require specialist equipment to break down.
Prevent access to the site
Where your site is open to vehicle access it’s important to block the entrances, preventing travellers or fly-tippers getting on. Evicting travellers from private land is the responsibility of the landowner, but there are ways you can reduce the risk. This includes fences, concrete barriers and secure gates.
Use manned security
There are a number of types of manned security that you can use to reduce the risk of travellers or squatters accessing an abandoned building. These include mobile security patrols and guard dogs, 24 hour manned guarding and alarm response services.
Keep up maintenance
You might think it’s more cost effective to simply leave a derelict site. However, a small amount of general maintenance can help prevent vandalism or trespassers. For instance, clear away any loose construction materials that could be used to break windows; secure large items or put them out of sight; trim hedges to make the site visible from the road.
Have an alarm system
Where a building has an alarm system visible, it can be a big deterrent for many trespassers. Make regular checks to ensure this is working and let the response company know that the building is not in use. Fire alarm and sprinkler systems should also be maintained properly.
Evicting trespassers from a derelict site
These measures are intended to reduce the risk of trespassers, such as squatters and travellers, accessing abandoned buildings and sites. However, if you require help to evict travellers or squatters from your land you can contact us to discuss your issue. Where travellers are on private land, we can often have them removed the same day.