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Buildings left unoccupied for any length of time, especially over holiday periods, can be a target for vandalism and theft. However, here are some straightforward steps you could consider taking to minimise these risks.
As simple and obvious as it seems make sure you lock the doors and windows, not only on your main building but on any stores, garages and outbuildings too. Don’t forget the fire exit doors. In our experience poorly protected fire exit doors offer an easy access to buildings which often result in major losses. Remember to set the intruder alarms.
Turn off the gas and electrics if you can. (Ensure first though that your burglar or fire alarm doesn’t need power.) If the buildings are left unoccupied for more than a week, consider turning the water off at the mains or the meter, especially if cold weather is imminent.
Whether you own the building or simply rent it for meetings, all your equipment should be kept in locked cupboards or storage accommodation, when not in use. Try not to leave any equipment on view which could be temptation for opportunist thieves.
If there is a neighbourhood watch scheme locally or local community police, ask whether they can include your buildings on their rounds, and take any additional advice they can offer.
During the holidays, try if possible to make sporadic inspections and visits to check on security.
Have a look at the police's crime prevention advice for more practical hints and tips: www.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/