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Vacant property protection standard

The publication of British Standard BS 8584: 2015 Vacant Property Protection Services – Code of Practice has been welcomed by the BSIA trade body.

The British Security Industry Association says that it was instrumental in the development of the standard and several members of its Vacant Property Protection (VPP) Section contributed.

The Code of Practice is for companies providing protection to vacant (also known as void or empty) properties. As the association says, the recent economic downturn, plus changes in retail patterns and a move away from high streets, has meant more buildings not in use. In turn, this has led to a rise in the number of companies providing services to protect these buildings.

The BSIA says that its VPP section wished to create a code of practice for companies to follow to enable customers to differentiate principled companies with quality practices from those solely interested in making money. To this end, the section worked on the drafting of BS 8584, alongside representatives of inspectorates, insurance providers and industry authorities. The standard was also largely based on the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Code of Practice, Form 154.

Gideon Reichental, Chairman of the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section, says: “The Code of Practice is a welcome addition to the existing standards applicable to the Vacant Property Protection sector and will help companies providing such services to follow good quality practices. Importantly, the Code of Practice reflects the wide variety of products and services available on the market and the increasingly sophisticated range of technology that is being used. Ultimately, the Code of Practice will help to ensure that end-users are receiving the best possible service from a reputable security company.”

You may think that protecting vacant property is a matter of boarding up windows, but the association says that the sector is an increasingly sophisticated business with a variety of security solutions widely available: intruder alarm systems, manned security patrols, CCTV surveillance, fire and risk assessments, among others. Or, vetted guardians live in the property. BS 8584 covers both approaches.

Paul Phillips, Technical Services Manager at the BSIA, adds: “The Code of Practice has come at a really important time, as more properties become vacant, more customers will be looking for reputable companies to protect their properties. A company that complies with BS 8584 will be of good repute and will follow best practice guidelines.”

For more on the BSIA’s Vacant Property Protection Section visit www.bsia.co.uk.

The standard is for sale on the British Standards website, £76 for BSI members, £152 non-members.


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