The British Security Industry Association’s Vacant Property Protection Section has welcomed the publication of British Standard BS 8584: 2015 Vacant Property Protection Services – Code of Practice. The BSIA was instrumental in the development of the standard, and several members of the Trade Association’s Vacant Property Protection Section contributed their expertise throughout the document’s development process.
The Code of Practice is designed for companies providing protection to vacant – also known as ‘void’ or ’empty’ – properties. The economic downturn of recent years, combined with changes in retail patterns and a move away from the High Street, has resulted in an increase in the number of buildings not in use. In turn, this has led to a rise in the number of companies providing services to protect such buildings.
The BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section wished to create a Code of Practice for companies to follow while also enabling customers to differentiate principled companies with good quality practices from those operators who are solely interested in making money.
To this end, the Vacant Property Protection Section lent its expertise to the drafting of BS 8584, alongside representatives of inspectorates, insurance providers and industry authorities. The resulting British Standard is largely based on the BSIA’s existing Vacant Property Protection Code of Practice (Form 154).
Sophisticated range of security technology
Gideon Reichental, chairman of the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section, explained: “The Code of Practice is a welcome addition to the existing standards applicable to the Vacant Property Protection Sector and will help companies providing such services to follow good quality practices. Importantly, the Code of Practice reflects the wide variety of products and services now available on the market and, indeed, the increasingly sophisticated range of technology that’s being used. Ultimately, the Code of Practice will help to ensure that end users are receiving the best possible service from reputable security companies.”
Many people may think that protecting vacant property is a simple matter of boarding up windows, but the sector is an increasingly sophisticated one with a variety of security solutions now widely available.
Many reputable vacant property protection companies now employ a variety of security-focused solutions to protect empty buildings, among them intruder alarm systems, security patrols, CCTV surveillance and fire and risk assessments.
Alternative approach to property protection
There has also been an increase in the number of companies using an alternative approach to protecting vacant property, whereby carefully vetted guardians provide protection by living on site. BS 8584 covers both approaches to protecting vacant property.
Paul Phillips, technical services manager at the BSIA, added: “The Code of Practice is published at a really important time. As more properties become vacant, so more customers will be looking for reputable companies to protect them. A company that complies with BS 8584 will be of good repute and follow Best Practice guidelines.”
*For more information on the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section, or to source a reputable security company, visit: www.bsia.co.uk