Arson Reduction Advice For Unoccupied Businesses

At Spark Risk, we spend a great deal of our time carrying out Fire Risk Assessments on businesses around the North West and the rest of the country. Normally, these businesses are currently trading, but sometimes we come across some which are unoccupied, or have recently become so. And being unoccupied leaves them as a target for a major problem… Arson. The recent fire and subsequent demolition of the Mr Smith’s nightclub in our home town of Warrington is a prime example; this premises, which was a well-known local landmark, had been unoccupied for a number of years, and had become a place where the homeless sometimes slept, or kids went in for mischief. As a result, the club was eventually burnt down, through accident, misadventure, who knows, the investigation goes on- but arson is almost certainly the cause.
Arson can have devastating consequences for a business, and very often the business doesn’t bounce back to re-open for trading. There are several measures you can take to reduce the risk of arson, especially if you are the owner of a premises that is currently unoccupied…
• Include an arson assessment as part of any Fire Risk Assessment. Spark Risk always takes this into consideration as part of any FRA we carry out.
• Security of the property; whether it be good standard locks, external lighting, or CCTV, this will all help deter any potential criminal.
• Keep both the interior and exterior of your building free from combustibles and rubbish as much as possible. Report any abandoned refuse to your local Council.
• Report any anti-social behaviour that frequently occurs around your property to local Neighbourhood Watch or Police teams, or even through Crime stoppers.
• Visit the property for periodic checks. Ensure that all interior doors are closed, exterior doors are locked, combustibles are kept to a minimum, and your alarm is switched ON.
• Take responsibility and try to pre-empt any way where a fire could be started.
For additional information, CONTACT the Spark Risk team who are experts in all fields of fire protection, and can talk through any questions and advise you, carry out a Fire Risk Assessment for you, and give you the knowledge to help further protect yourself and your property.