What Are the Risks?
With an unoccupied property, risks are high for the possibility of a
fire breakout. Several key factors play into this risk including being
an easy target for arson, vandalism, trespassing, and burglary.
Empty buildings are often overlooked by maintenance staff and can go
days or weeks without being checked. Between 2003 and 2006 the
US Fire Administration
estimated that there was an average of 31,000 structure fires in
43% of these reported fires were arson cases. These types of buildings
appeal to arsonists as they are easy to enter and unmonitored.
Vandalism and theft are the next threats to vacant buildings. Vandals
can deface and damage property, including starting a fire.
Bad weather conditions can also damage vacant buildings. For example,
a vacant building that succumbs to a collapsed roof can cause issues
with power lines, potentially leading to a fire that goes unnoticed
until it is too late.