5 Steps to Protecting a Vacant Property | Guardhouse Security
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5 Steps to Protecting a Vacant Property

04/01/2014

Protecting a Vacant Property from Vandalismphoto credit: zoomar via photopin ccA home is considered vacant when you have moved out and taken your belongings with you. Whether it’s a second home, rental property, or a vacation pad, unprotected vacant properties are susceptible to theft, vandalism, trespassing, and weather. In many ways, there are more dangers associated with a vacant building. It is essential to understand what these dangers are and implement steps to prevent them.

Theft

Thieves recognize that stealing from vacant properties is less risky as there’s a slimmer chance of being caught. You might be thinking that the lot is completely empty of any valuable items. What could there be to steal? Burglars may still strike to steal copper piping, AC units, kitchen appliances, or other valuable building components.

Vandalism

People break into vacant buildings for many reasons and may cause significant damage. Vandals can cause damage as minor as broken light bulbs to broken windows, graffiti, and total trashing.

Trespassing

People looking for free shelter may seek out vacant properties. They may stay there for an extended period of time and even cause damage to the building. Beside the homeless, people often break into vacant properties to engage in criminal and illegal activities.

Weather

Both cold and hot temperatures can damage the building’s interior even after a limited amount of exposure. The exterior of a house is easily damaged by rain, snow, wind, and hail.

Protecting Vacant Property

Potential issues you may run into when protecting your vacant property in Indianapolis include lack of electricity needed for home alarms, internal theft by contractors, and losing coverage on the homeowner’s policy.

So, give your insurance agent a call and verify the coverage on your property and when it expires. Then, follow these five main steps to secure your vacant property:

1. Look Occupied
Make the same arrangements you would if you were leaving your home for spring break. Put the mail on hold, and, in this case, have it sent to another address, or have routine pick-ups/check-ups. Keep the blinds closed so that people can’t look in. Invest in interior and exterior light timers. Keep the grass cut and the landscaping tidy. Post “beware of dog” signs, a security yard sign, and window stickers. In addition, you might consider winterizing your pipes and periodically running the water to prevent future draining issues.

2. Be Secure
It might be challenging to make a property look occupied if it will be vacant for longer than a couple of months or if it doesn’t have electricity. You would want to secure it as much as possible by covering bottom floor windows with plywood or shatter-resistant security film, securing all doors with reinforced locks, and, if budget allows, create a physical barrier by installing fencing and thorny bushes at access points. If you have a change in the contractors working on the property, a stolen lock box, or maybe a realtor that lost a key, consider changing the locks on the house.

3. Notify The Neighbors
Since you will be away from the property, you may want to notify your neighbors. Giving them permission to use your driveway adds to the illusion that the house is occupied. They will be grateful for the extra space and will be on the lookout for thieves and vandals. They might even install security cameras and motion detectors of their own.

4. Install a Temporary Alarm System
For vacant rental units in Indianapolis, a wide range of solutions is available to deter property damage. A temporary alarm system would be the first and easiest tool in protecting your property. With easy setup and 24-hour monitoring, you wouldn’t have to purchase any hardware or worry about long-term contracts. Contact us to find out more.

5. Go Remote
Adding a more permanent alarm system with remote access allows you to monitor the property right from the comfort of your computer and/or smartphone. Combining motion detectors with online video surveillance provides you with a full view of the vacant house.

Security Sign Protects a Vacant PropertyWith these security tips, your empty house is less likely to be at risk, and your mind will more likely be at peace. For more home protection tips, like us on Facebook.