How to keep a vacant property secure

Whether you own commercial property that either isn’t currently being used or is being renovated, it is very important to keep it secure from trespassers. Vacant buildings can often be the target of vandalism and could also be used by squatters. Unauthorised use of your site can be very distressing, so here are some of the best ways to ensure that your vacant property stays secure.

Install temporary fencing

Whether your property is going to be empty for a few weeks or a number of months it is advisable to put up temporary fencing. This is effectively your first line of defence against trespassing and vandalism. Ideal for everything for renovation works to short term vacancy, temporary fencing indicates that the property is still secure even if it is not being used on a daily basis. High quality fencing keeps out trespassers but also stops prying eyes from being to see when workers are at the site.

Board up the windows

One of the most important things to do with your vacant property is to board up the windows. Unfortunately windows are a relatively easy entry point as they can be easily broken without any specialist equipment. You can massively reduce the risk of trespassers and break-ins but securing the windows with heavy duty boards. Given that windows are often targeted, boarding them up also indicates to potential trespassers then the building has been secured properly which should discourage them from making any further attempts to get in.

Block entry points

Clearly you need to keep standard entry points as secure as possible if the property is going to be empty. It’s a great idea to install durable and tough defences such as Sitex security screens across the most vulnerable points to keep people out. These screens are perfect because they are almost impossible to remove or break down without specialist equipment. Remember that the majority of individuals who are looking to gain access to your property will be opportunistic rather than having made a real plan to get in. That means if you cut off the easiest ways for them to get in they will almost certainly move on.

Security cameras

Installing security cameras has the dual benefit of alerting you to any unauthorised access to the property as well as acting as a deterrent. Of course, security cameras can be one of the most expensive options when it comes to protecting a vacant property and it is only really worth having cameras installed if they are going to become an ongoing part of the security for the building when it comes back into use. If you only need additional security for a property that is empty for a short time, the expense of security cameras would be too much to make it worth it.


Alarm systems are generally cheaper than security cameras and they do not require monitoring, so they can be a smarter move if you know that you property won’t be occupied at specific times. Many modern alarm systems can be automatically set up to alert emergency services in the event of them being triggered.

Motion sensor lighting

The risk of being seen is often enough to put off potential squatters and other trespassers, so ensuring that your vacant building has enough lighting is a good idea. Motion sensing lighting around entryways are a great idea as they will often scare off intruders who believe they will have been seen.

Security patrols

Another option is to hire a private security firm to conduct regular patrols around the building. A visible security presence acts a fantastic deterrent and also alerts you as soon as possible to any criminal behaviour on your property. Again, this is an expensive option and may cost too much to be worth it unless you are protecting costly equipment.

Call in experts

Every site is different and security needs will always vary so it might be a great idea to bring in experts in protecting vacant property. They will be able to complete any of the required works to ensure that your building is secure for the duration of its vacancy.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry. For the information in this post, Mike consulted South East experts Protect Vacant Property.

Author: Editor

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