Farms feeding sheep in field

Commercial Premises Unoccupied Check List

Posted on: 24th April 2020

If your business premises is likely to be unoccupied or has reduced staffing during the Covid-19 outbreak, H&H Insurance Brokers provide some tips for keeping the buildings safe and secure whilst empty.

The following provides general best practice advice with respect to control measures and risk mitigation during the present Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This applies where not in conflict with current government advice: 


Security and general Building Safety during periods of reduced staffing or restricted access:

  • Ensure all locking devices are correctly in place and applied
  • Ensure all security alarm systems are live and that the responsible person and a back-up person are identified with clear action points in the event of an alarm
  • Ensure any unsafe conditions are rectified. Unoccupied buildings should be maintained as safe environments for those with legitimate access
  • Ensure that the fabric of buildings is maintained in good order. If left unoccupied, then ensure that regular visits to buildings to check security and safety are maintained as frequently as is practicable
  • Remove all non-essential contents where practical, especially valuables such as high value items
  • Maintain external combustible materials/storage 10 metres clear of buildings where practical and keep a two metre clearance between external combustible materials/storage and the site perimeter fence
  • Avoid any accumulations of waste materials
  • Maintain building heating to a minimum of 50C to prevent pipe freezing to sprinkler, process and potable water systems
  • If the premises are going unoccupied for an unusually long period of time, isolate water supplies that are not required for fire protection systems or other critical equipment
  • Disconnect all battery charging apparatus in unattended areas
  • Close all fire doors and shutters
  • Keep the external security lighting on
  • Maintain normal security rounds and site safety checks where possible


  • Ensure all fire protection systems including fire suppression and fire detection systems are active and maintained
  • If reduced staffing or restriction on access inhibits normal fire system testing then ensure that systems are active and in good order
  • Ensure that systems such as sprinklers and fire pumps are active and in good order. These should be subject to routine visual checks and as a minimum monthly alarm tests. These should include the running of the fire pumps for the minimum time prescribed by the relevant codes or manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Ensure that response to fire alarms is suitably maintained
  • Ensure all sprinkler valve sets are locked/secured in the open position and that systems are live
  • Should it be unavoidable to delay annual sprinkler pump flow tests and checks, then these should be rescheduled at the first opportunity
  • Continue with corrective maintenance for all fire systems
  • Report all fire protection systems that are impaired following the standard RSA impairment process


  • For premises that retain sufficient personnel, ensure that there are adequate numbers of trained staff on emergency response teams and if not then suspend all high-risk activity such as confined space entry and hot works
  • Suspend all high-risk activity such as confined space entry and hot works if there is reduced public fire and emergency service response

As ever, our team at H&H Insurance Brokers are available and happy to chat through your insurance requirements with you … please drop us an email us and we’ll call you back.

What our customers think

Did her very best to help
Very helpful

04 September 2020

Luke Conn - Goodman @ H & H was nothing but helpful right from the word go, he was polite and tried to understand our business . H & H were recommended by a friend and they were a pleasing experience compared to other companies i had tried. I have already recommended H & H and yes i will hopefully use them again.

03 September 2020

Excellent resonance service over many years

03 September 2020

Good service
After an initial slow start in getting a conversation about a ballpark quote ( probably due to covid). Good communication enabled them to win with a competitive quote.

John - 03 September 2020

Great Service
It is always a pleasure to see Edith from H&H who has looked after us for a long time. She always makes sure we have the appropriate cover in place.

John - 03 September 2020

Excellent service and knowledge

Sue - 03 September 2020

Professional and knowledgable
Knowledgeable, helpful and friendly

Paul - 03 September 2020

Good service
Service was good

Gordon - 04 August 2020

five star very good very helpfull

04 August 2020

Very helpful and efficient

Mandy - 04 August 2020

Comprehensive, helpful and good at guiding you though the best cover for you. Offered far more than previous insurer

Victoria - 04 August 2020

Excellent service. Many thanks.

John - 04 August 2020

Friendly and helpful service, replied to queries promptly and gave the best quote. Will definitely consider using next year.

04 August 2020

First class service and attention to detail with good customer care

04 August 2020

Natalie Carr looks after us on the farm and is amazing. Very helpful

Julie - 03 July 2020

My broker, Jacinta, was great. She took a quite complicated set of requirements and gave me a detailed quote. She spent time going through the terms with me and was very patient when I forgot to send some of the information!

Amy - 03 July 2020

[email protected] performance
their system all seemed to work well even during the lockdown with return calls always being made and all queries being sorted promptly.

Sirs - 03 July 2020

Always receive an excellent service from Jacinta.

Janet - 03 July 2020

Everyone was very helpful and cheerful!

03 July 2020

Good service provided by Armitage.

Ann - 03 July 2020