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Keeping empty business premises safe during coronavirus closures

Due to concerns over the safety of staff and customers, many businesses have either opted to close or have been forced to close during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. While this helps to reduce the transmission of the virus and discourage social gatherings, it leaves many business premises up and down the country in a vulnerable position.

Business premises

These premises are now left unattended, and many will be housing stock, expensive equipment or other valuables for an unspecified amount of time. It is therefore imperative that business owners take extra precautions in order to deter opportunistic thieves and vandals.

BHIB Risk Manager, Brian Brookes shared his advice, saying:


“We are aware that thieves target empty properties, normally testing the alarm first by breaking a window or kicking the door, and if there is no alarm activation or attendance by the key-holder then entry is gained. We are certainly seeing an increase in the theft of copper piping during this period when thieves know which premises are empty and which are still operative”.

“Please ensure that all conditions required by insurers, in respect of empty properties, are adhered to otherwise your insurance coverage could be effected. Such conditions may relate to ensuring alarms are activated, premises are inspected weekly and water is drained from the system. Please check your policy wording or ask if in any doubt”.

Below are some quick tips to make sure your premises are as secure as possible during this ‘lockdown’ period:

  • If you have a perimeter boundary, make sure all gates are locked to restrict access to the property
  • Make sure all usual security measures are in place and working, such as CCTV, intruder alarm, outside security lighting etc.
  • Also ensure you have visible warning signs for your deterrents e.g. “CCTV in operation”, “These premises are protected by a 24 hour alarm system”
  • Check all windows and doors throughout the property and make sure they are fully closed and locked – with the keys removed from the locks and out of reach
  • Where possible, mark all valuable property with a UV pen, engraving, stamp or tag – add your business name and postcode to all items
  • Remove any valuable stock items or equipment out of view and store them in a secure area, if possible
  • Remove all cash from the building


Fire safety tips for buildings during lockdown

As well as taking precautions to deter thieves and vandals, business owners should also be looking to carry out fire safety checks, including:

  • Checking that all fire alarms are working
  • Turning off and unplugging all electrical appliances, where possible
  • Closing all internal doors as well as external. This can help keep a fire contained and prevent further damage/loss
  • Make sure waste is disposed of properly



For more information on keeping your business premises safe, contact BHIB Insurance Brokers now on 0330 024 06 06 or use our contact form.

Whatever sector you work in, you can always be certain of expert, personal support from our highly qualified team.