AIM Update 8 – Unoccupied Premises Guidance

Following the announcement by the Government on 4th January 2021 regarding a second National Lockdown as well as similar actions taken by the devolved nations, we thought it would be helpful to refresh the guidance we gave in our March update regarding unoccupied premises. With the colder weather we have been experiencing, some are more prudent now than ever.

In the period January to December 2020 AIM saw an increase in the number of theft claims by 36% compared to the same period in 2019.

For premises that are temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 outbreak we recommend the following steps should be taken to protect against loss of damage.

  1. Utilities and Protection Systems

If your site is closed and there is no need to re-enter during the period in which the government advises people to remain in Lockdown you should turn off electricity, gas and water supplies at the mains (and where reasonable to do so drain down water systems) other than those services required to maintain:

  • critical business infrastructure to allow the operation of your business and support temporary home working arrangements
  • burglar and fire alarms
  • sprinkler systems
  • Other risk protection systems or devices i.e. CCTV.

Where practicable, you must maintain these systems in working order

  • locks and all other protective and security devices including gates and other perimeter security should be in use
  • where water systems have not been drained down and/or where there is a sprinkler installation you must maintain the central heating system to prevent freezing
  1. General good housekeeping
  • You should try to remove all internal waste and position external bins as at least 5 metres from the buildings (or otherwise as far as possible where this is not possible) and secure the bins in position where this is possible
  • Where possible and provided the travel to and from the premises is in line with the latest Government advice please try to undertake an internal and external inspection of your buildings at least every 7 days and rectify any defects in the fabric or security devices that may compromise the integrity or security of the building as soon as possible. It is advisable to keep a record of when the visits were carried out and what action you undertook to repair defects.
  • Please remove post from the letterbox during each visit
  • If you have an alarm that alerts you to either a break in or fire, it worth considering having a contingency plan in case the primary person(s) responsible for responding to alarm activations need to self-isolate or are ill.
  • Please let us know soon as you become aware of any illegal entry to the premises whether or not any damage has occurred
  • If we have made specific requirement of you with regards to security, and as a result of the ongoing situation you are unable to comply with these measures please contact your usual AIM contact and we will be happy to work with you to find a solution