Vacant commercial properties can differ in terms of the nature of their structure, their previous operations and why they are vacant, but in general there are basic elements of concern which can form the basis for any vacant property inspection checklist. Broadly speaking these are health and safety concerns, security concerns, utilities monitoring and observations and reporting on the general condition of the building.

So here we have put together a checklist which covers the vulnerable aspects that are common to all vacant properties, and we have categorised these to help develop some structure to a routine periodical vacant property inspection.

The approach to the building

  • Is external signage still suitable and still visible?
  • Are there any signs of damage, deterioration or vandalism to the external façade of the building?
  • Are there any visual signs of forced or attempted entry?
  • Are all entry doors secure and the alarm system functional?


  • Are guttering and drainpipes operational, or any signs of blockage?
  • Are all windows secure?
  • Check the entire perimeter of the site for signs of entry, vandalism or health and safety issues
  • Are there any signs of damage or deterioration to the roof?
  • Are all fire exits shut?
  • Have all bins and refuse been collected and returned?
  • Are all perimeter gates locked where applicable?


  • Are there any signs of forced entry, trespass or unauthorised personnel on site?
  • Are all fire exits and routes to them clear?
  • Are there any fire or electrical hazards?
  • Are there any combustible materials on site?
  • Check all windows are secure
  • Is there an operational and monitored fire system?
  • Is there an operational and monitored intruder system?
  • Are all fixtures and fittings remaining secure and safe?
  • Are there any visible signs of structural deterioration or damage? – Check walls, ceilings, partitions, doors, basement
  • Are there any visual signs of water ingress or weather damage?
  • Are there any signs of infestation or birdlife?
  • Is power still off to non-essential services?
  • Is post still being delivered? Can the letterbox be sealed?
  • Is the CCTV system still working? Including back-up systems


  • Take meter readings for gas, electric and water
  • Any observations on utility usage or condition? (comment)

Closing checklist

  • Are any temporary controls still in place or still required? (comment)
  • Are there any new vulnerable weak spots that you have observed? (comment)
  • Is the alarm system back on?
  • Have you informed the necessary people that everything is OK?
  • Have you uploaded the inspection report to create a traceable audit trail?

This checklist should be sufficient to satisfy requirements for insurance policies as well as health and safety policies and procedures. The frequency of inspection will vary according to the risk evaluation you have carried out, or stipulations made by the various policies that exist. The service offered by First Response Group provides a comprehensive inspection carried out by experienced and qualified professionals, and enables full reporting uploaded in real-time to provide complete peace of mind and to satisfy all internal and external requirements.

Contact First Response Group today and we can design a checklist tailor-made for your building and organisation and ensure you have complete control over your vacant property.

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Team FRG
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