Empty buildingIf 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.

Fire Safety Compliance

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.

Fire Safety Systems

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:

  • Carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment to identify all risks in the building in order to reduce or eliminate them.
  • Installing fire alarm systems is essential to provide an early warning that there is a fire in your building as the last thing you want is see your building burnt to the ground as you didn’t have an alarm!
  • The Fire Risk Assessment will identify how many fire extinguishers you will need, which type is appropriate and where they should be situated.
  • If you have carried out a Fire Risk Assessment, it will say how many fire extinguishers you need, what type is appropriate, and where they should be positioned. Your insurance policy will also include specifications on fire extinguishers and your policy could be void if you don’t follow the guidelines. And if you do have extinguishers in your empty building, make sure you maintain them according to British Standards.
  • Emergency Lighting is important as when a fire breaks out, the electrical supply to the building is often compromised making escape from the building difficult as well as making the work of the emergency services more difficult.

Hartson Fire

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