Fire Safety for Empty Buildings


Published: October 28, 2020

Man standing in loading dock.

If you are the current owner of an empty building, for example - office blocks, factories or any other commercial premises, then you have a responsibility to procure and establish fire safety measures in that building.

Even though that the building is empty, the same legal obligations apply for an empty building as an occupied one, and that responsibility is with the present owner until another takes over.

As an owner of an empty commercial property, losing out on rent and having responsibility toward an unused building is not easy, but good safety and security measures ensure you are protecting surrounding structures and personal assets.

What are the fire safety risks in empty buildings?

Every year in the United Kingdom, thousands of unoccupied properties fall victim to fire damage.

There are a few reasons why empty buildings have different fire risks:

  • Lack of activity
  • Lack of checks
  • Potential for antisocial behaviour
  • Potential for arson

The biggest concern from antisocial behaviour is arson. Arsonists often believe setting an empty building alight is better than burning down an occupied property. Although it is difficult to predict an arson attack, you can put measures in place to reduce the risk and if an arson attack does occur, and you have taken the appropriate fire safety measures, your insurance should support you.

Additionally, pests can be an issue in vacant buildings. With no one around in an empty building, pests may move in and can go unnoticed. They can chew through wires and cause electrical fires.

Empty warehouse.

How can fire safety risks be controlled?

To make sure an empty building is as safe for the duration of the unoccupancy, the specific risks above should be considered on top of all the most common fire risks of traditional/occupied buildings.

As well as protecting your property, taking necessary fire safety measures will keep your insurance premiums down.

It is a good idea to ensure that the fire alarm is remotely monitored, so that if you do have a fire, the monitoring call centre will quickly be in touch with you or the Fire Brigade.To control fire risks in your property, you should ensure that inventory is moved out of the site at the shutdown stage. The building should also be secured to refuse unwanted entry. If the building is likely to remain empty for more than a few weeks, all waste, excess furniture and other items not forming part of the fittings should be removed. Floor coverings should be removed where possible as all of the mentioned items are likely to be combustible.Fire safety risks can be controlled by using preventative fire safety measures and making sure all fire safety requirements are taken prior to the building being vacant.

How can ISE Fire help?

For your empty business premises in Wellingborough, Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire, our experienced fire safety team can take care of all your fire safety needs.

ISE Fire can provide a clear, prioritised action plan to assist implementation. We work closely with you and will tailor our solutions to the needs and constraints of your organisation.

Enquire about a fire risk assessment today.

Whether you require a new system installed, a system upgrade, or simply a routine service and maintenance, ISE Fire can help you. Dependent on your building type, we can provide any fire alarm system that you require. Our experienced and qualified engineers are here to ensure that you comply with all relevant safety standards.

Call us on 01933 677125/01908 698880 or fill in the quick online form to discuss your empty business building fire risk requirements today.

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