Nothing would spoil a holiday more than coming back to find that you and your property has become the victim of a crime. Those hard-earned hours of relaxation and sun can be quickly undone if you have to start filing a claim on your buildings insurance (which may not be covered due to FLEA cover).
Here are a few ways to protect your building before you go on your summer holidays, so you can enjoy your time away with no worries.
- Don’t make it obvious that the building is empty
Nothing says ‘I’m an empty building, break in and help yourself’ like a pile of letters and junk mail visibly building up on the doormat, leaflets dangling out of the letterbox or bottles of milk lining up outside the building. Consider giving a trusted friend or neighbour a spare key so that they can pick up the mail every couple of days.
You can also have Global Guardians manage your vacant building for you, which we will protect, inspect regularly and ensure isn’t broken into with the use of our guardian solution.
- Turn off the electrics from the socket
Make sure that every single appliance except for your fridge/freezer is turned off at the wall and not left on stand-by. Not only does this reduce the risk of fires, it’ll also save you money on your utility bills.
While you’re at it, make sure you also check your central heating. The weather is not going to be cold and frosty for a few months yet, so you could turn off your automatic time-sets and avoid heating an empty building.
You can also check that you have not left any fires or free-standing heaters on. Additionally. double-check the oven to make sure you’re not worrying the whole of your break about whether you have switched off the gas ring or not.
If you have guardians live in the building, they will ensure that the electrics and gas are being used safely in the building, under a fair usage policy, and we usually take on those costs for you!
- Create the impression that your building is still being used
Have you ever seen the film Home Alone when Kevin McAllister duped hapless burglars Harry and Marv into thinking that the house was occupied and actually hosting a party?
Well.. we don’t expect you to go that far, however you can buy timing switches for your lights which can be set to turn on and off at specific times of the day, giving the impression you’re building is being used.
Additionally, by having guardians in place within your building, it brings the property back to life and prevents the risk of anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and squatting.
- Doors, locks and keys!
It does sound like an easy job, but do make sure you do a check all the doors and windows are closed and locked properly. Also make sure any garages, sheds, warehouses are locked too if the property has them.
If a door or window is unsecured and were broken into, you may find your insurance provider are unwilling to pay out for a claim because you failed to take “reasonable care” of the property. Additionally, ensure your insurance provider know that the building is empty or vacant. If the building is commercial, you are also at risk of being squatted which is a civil offence and may have high legal costs to remove them, due to their exclusive possession of your building.
By utilising the Global Guardians solution, the risk of this is removed as our guardians protect your building for you, whilst it’s vacant. We will hold a key set alongside our guardians, yourself and our maintenance team to ensure that there is always access being allowed into the building, which prevents the risk of squatting completely from your building.
- Don’t broadcast your absence or vacancy anywhere or to anyone
Many of us like to brag about where we’re jetting off to on Facebook or Twitter, or even post pictures from the beach on Instagram, and we suggest don’t let anyone know your home or building is empty.
Stuart Wooglar, Security Director of Global Guardians states: “Having an empty building is a risk to anti-social behaviour, theft, arson and squatting and we want to ensure that your building is safe from that. By utilising the Global Guardians solution, we are able to completely prevent these things from happening this summer, by placing our live in guardians in your buildings under a 4 week license agreement.
“The peace of mind that your empty building is being looked after is what we want to achieve for you, with our 24/7 helpline, one point of contact and free management service.”
If you have any questions regarding the Guardian solution and your vacant properties and buildings today, please call 0208 370 0288 now and our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.