If you are responsible for a property that you have inherited, or one that is under your wing as an executor, or you are refurbishing a house or are a landlord with a property vacant between tenancies, you will need to pay special attention to security measures whilst your property is vacant.

Vacant properties naturally find themselves at a higher risk security wise. Vandalism, arson and theft are unfortunately very real threats, as is unauthorised entry. The good news is that there are various security measures you can employ in order to boost the security of an empty house.

Physical Security

Security grilles placed over doors and windows will offer an additional layer of protection for empty properties, making it far more of a challenge for an intruder to gain access. Boundary security measures will assist in the same way; you just need to ensure they are lawful.

Electronic Security

An integrated system is highly recommended. This should include a monitored alarm that alerts the police in the event of an attempted break-in or other issue, together with a remote monitoring system that triggers CCTV when motion is detected and enables images to be viewed remotely via a smartphone or tablet.

Deterring Thieves

Take the time to make sure there is nothing within the property that could attract thieves such as antiques, jewellery or collectables: these items will be easy to relocate away from the premises. Copper piping or wiring and lead flashing will also attract thieves, so ensure steps are taken to protect any that is on the property. CCTV and motion detection systems as already mentioned will assist with this, but there are various other means of protecting such items, which we will discuss in a future post.

Other Steps to Take

Prevent fire and flooding related incidents by turning off the gas and water supplies and making sure there is nothing around that may be combustible.

Also make sure you arrange adequate insurance, and that the insurer is aware of the vacant status of the property. Failure to inform them could prevent a claim from being honoured.

Cut back any garden overgrowth. Not only does shrubbery provide a convenient grip for climbers aiming for access via upstairs windows, it also offers shaded cover for intruders. And then of course there’s the fact that an overgrown garden sends a clear message that a property is unlived in.

Make sure you are clear on who has keys to the property, and if you are unsure, change the locks. Remember that neighbours may have been given spare keys, and check for any spares left under flowerpots or other ‘secret’ hiding places around the property.

Where possible, pay regular visits to the property at varying times of the day, putting lights on and making it obvious that someone is ‘at home’. A timer on a lamp will give the impression that the property is occupied.

If you are concerned about the security of a vacant home under your care, talk to Barry Bros Security. Our experts have been assisting people in protecting all types of property for decades and have plenty of valuable knowledge to share. For the peace of mind you need, get in touch today or call in for a one-to-one chat with one of our advisers in our London showroom.