Unoccupied Properties - Guidance to Protect Your Premises

10 April 2020

As many businesses have had to leave their premises to follow government advice it is worthwhile having a basic checklist of what risks to consider when not in regular attendance at your workplace.

The following list is a useful reminder of risks that might arise and how an inspection should be considered:


General Risks

•         You should endeavour where practical and safe to inspect your Insured premises internally and externally and keep a log.
•         Risk assessments should be carried out on the changing risk/lack of supervision in place.
•         All fire protection, detection, and security systems to remain active and monitored remotely where possible.
•         All physical security and locking devices are working and in place.
•         All protection and detection systems are operational.


External Risks

•          Adequacy of security controls should be assessed based on likely periods of unoccupancy and type of business, particularly in high-crime areas.
•         Secure and seal all letterboxes and openings and redirect post if necessary.                        
•         Consideration should be given to the accumulation of vehicles, proximity to buildings, and their security when premises are unattended.
•         Perimeter security, fences and lighting are in good condition and operational.
•         All external areas must be clear of waste and combustible materials.
•         Consider waste build-up and the controls needed if waste collection services are affected.


Internal Risks

•         All hazardous processes to cease (and not run unmanned) and be shut down safely.
•         Other processes should not be run if there is no adequate supervision; safety should not be comprised.
•         Heating left on but other critical services powered down if not required unless to support protection or detection systems.
•         Drain all water and fuel supply tanks, apparatus and pipes.
•         There are no leaking fluids or spills.
•         Any unsafe conditions are identified and remedied.

If you have any particular questions or concerns relating to the unoccupancy of your premises and how insurance cover would respond, please contact your usual Bruce Stevenson representative. Or, send us a message here

Please visit our Coronavirus Information page for more guidance and updates.

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