If you are the owner of an empty commercial building, whether it’s an office block, a factory or any other business premises, then the fire safety in that building is your responsibility. In fact, business owners have exactly the same legal obligations for an empty building as an occupied one, until new owners or tenants take it over.
As an owner of a vacant commercial property, the loss of rent and responsibility towards a technically useless building can be frustrating. But you do need to take into account the safety and security of surrounding buildings as well as protecting your own from any form of damage, including fire. On a positive note, if your empty property is in good condition and you have taken care to ensure the highest level of fire safety, then you are far more likely to let or sell your building than one that is scruffy and not safe.
You will be far more likely to attract new owners or tenants if you are able to show that you are fully compliant with the safety order that applies to a business premises, even if it is empty. It’s also sensible to ensure you are complaint with all aspects of health and safety too.
It will take a huge headache away from a new owner or tenant if they can see that care and consideration has been taken in terms of the maintenance of an empty property. It will also make it easier for them when they take over the property in terms of their own legal and statutory obligations.
High standards of fire safety in an empty building also helps to protect your property until it is occupied. Crimes such as arson, theft and physical damage like vandalism are more common in empty buildings. As such, owners have a duty of care to anyone entering the building and it could be your responsibility if anyone is injured on the premises.
Your fire safety responsibilities within an empty property include maintaining systems, servicing and repairing of equipment where it is faulty. Investment in these systems enables you to protect your building and future income.
Fire safety systems should include:
Fire protection is essential to the safety of an empty building to prevent damage and to make it more attractive to potential tenants or owners. At Hartson Fire, we are able to carry out your Fire Risk Assessment and recommend which equipment, including extinguishers, that you will need. We can also carry out regular servicing so that your equipment is always in good working order and is compliant with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
To find out more, call us today on the number below or check us out online at www.hartsonfire.co.uk