Coronavirus: Temporary Unoccupied Property

16 April 2020

E G Murray recognise the disruption being caused by the Coronavirus outbreak and the challenges when operating in this restricted environment. With buildings and operations being forced to close in response, it is important you take steps to minimise the risk to your property whilst temporarily unoccupied.

Unoccupied property

Equipment and Building Utilities

  • Ensure all equipment is safely turned off and, in a condition, where it can be left for an extended period without damage or degradation
  • Remove from or drain processing equipment of flammable, combustible or hazardous liquids and materials. These should be appropriately disposed of or stored safely for re-use
  • Isolate electrical circuits where you can (without affecting security, CCTV or fire systems)
  • Turn off the mains water supply. Make sure this does not isolate any sprinkler or other fire systems you have
  • Don't worry too much about draining heating or other stored water systems but if possible isolate storage / header tanks from any distribution pipework
  • If it is safe to do so, isolate the incoming gas supply
  • Make a list of all services or other valves you have isolated (and where they are) to ensure you reinstate them all

Fire Systems/Doors

  • Ensure that any fire and/or sprinkler systems are fully operational
  • Carry out a check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed
  • Check that the fire alarm panel is fault free and all fire detection systems are fully operational


  • Remove all external waste or keep at a safe distance from the building, ideally at least 10 metres from the building
  • Empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10 metres, these should have lockable lids

Physical Security

  • Carry out a check to ensure physical security measures are in place e.g. fences are in good repair, windows are locked and boarded if appropriate, shutters are in place where appropriate, gates and doors are locked, and letter boxes secured closed
  • Shop fronts with no internal or external roller shutters to have shop front displays cleared of stock
  • Make sure your intruder alarm is set and that the remote signalling is in place
  • Ensure sufficient numbers of keyholders are available to respond to an alarm activation within 20 minutes, and any other building management system alarm that may be triggered


Antony Murray

Chartered Insurance Broker, ACII

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