Empty PropertiesThese can be either crown, private or local authority owned properties lying empty for periods of time awaiting occupation. These vacant properties provide a target for illegal activities and trespassing. Although empty and often many of these properties are in a neglected state and have a damaging effect in the areas in which they are located. These properties although empty should be cleared of all dangerous and hazardous items. E.g. LPG cylinders and chemicals. A risk assessment should be carried out by the owner/property manager as the premises will still be visited by others such as sales teams or contractors etc. Fire Service personnel will submit an arson vulnerability assessment following a fire at the site or during a routine survey of an area where they identify issues that will effect fire fighting safety and this information will be forwarded to Fire Safety and Fire Control.Open and Derelict PropertiesOpen and Derelict properties are being targeted for metal and building material theft as well as anti social behavior and other associated illegal activities.Arson vulnerability assessments carried out to ascertain dangers to fire crews attending the site. The local authority planning and building control departments are contacted to confirm ownership and to arrange securing of the property and removal of any dangerous or hazardous items.Information regarding the property is taken such as keyholder, Contact number, security in place, dangers to fire crews such as open pits, LPG cylinders (contacting owner to arrange removal from site). Chemicals etc and forwarded to Fire Control to inform fire crews. What are we doing about it?If there are any public health issues we liaise with environmental health to ensure the appropriate action is taken.We confirm ownership through Local Authority records, tracing the owner, We provide information to assist and communicate with other organisations such as:
SWFRS are supporting Local Authority and Police operations to reduce the number of FDR1 and FDR3 fires attended at targeted locations.
Frequently Asked Questions:Do we visit all empty properties?No, following the submission of an arson vulnerability assessment (SWFRS intranet) all High risk rated premises will have a site visit. Low to medium risk sites are processed and if any relevant information is included that deem a site visit this will be carried out on an individual basis.We believe that it is not in the public interest to release this information because to do so may lead to vandalism, theft, arson or squatting.
Tel: 01443 232000 and ask for a member of the Fire Crime Unit.