The Occupiers Liability Acts hold landlords or property owners accountable for injuries or damages sustained by visitors or trespassers. One of the most effective methods to safeguard vacant properties and land is through the installation of a robust fencing system.
Why is Safeguarding your Vacant Properties or Land Important?
The security of void properties and land is a significant concern for property owners and landlords. It is crucial to protect these assets from potential threats such as theft, vandalism, and unauthorised occupation.
One of the most effective methods to safeguard vacant properties and land is through the installation of a robust fencing system.
This article explores the benefits of different fencing systems, including mesh fence and palisade fence, as well as the use of fence-mounted Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS) like Device Smart and RapidSecure by Harper Chalice.
We will also discuss landlords' responsibilities under the Occupiers Liability Act, the benefits of mesh fencing over timber hoarding, and the importance of sustainability and cost considerations.
Table of Contents
Mesh Security Fencing
Mesh fencing is a popular choice for protecting void properties and land due to its versatility, durability, and cost-effectiveness. Constructed from steel wire, mesh fencing comes in various styles, such as chain-link, welded mesh, and expanded metal.
Some of the benefits of mesh fencing include:
High visibility: The open design of mesh fencing allows for clear visibility of the protected area, making it difficult for intruders to go unnoticed.
Durable and low maintenance: Steel wire mesh fencing is resistant to weather, corrosion, and wear, ensuring longevity and minimal maintenance requirements.
Customisable security levels: Mesh fencing can be adapted to different security needs, with options for anti-climb designs, added security toppings, and varying heights.
Cost-effective: Mesh fencing is a cost-effective solution compared to other fencing systems, offering a balance between affordability and security performance.
Palisade fencing is another popular choice for securing void properties and land. Made from steel, palisade fencing consists of vertical pales with a pointed or rounded top, which are connected to horizontal rails.
Key benefits of palisade fencing include:
Strong and durable: The steel construction of palisade fencing offers a strong and durable barrier against intruders.
Anti-climb design: The sharp edges and narrow gaps between the pales make it difficult for intruders to climb over or through the fence.
Customisable: Palisade fencing can be tailored to specific security requirements by adjusting the height, pale spacing, and security toppings.
Aesthetic appeal: Available in various colours and finishes, palisade fencing can be an attractive addition to a property's exterior.
To enhance the security of fencing systems, property owners can integrate fence-mounted Perimeter Intrusion Detection Systems (PIDS), such as Device Smart or RapidSecure by Harper Chalice.
These advanced technologies provide real-time intrusion detection and alerts, enabling rapid response to potential threats.
Benefits of fence-mounted PIDS include:
Enhanced detection: PIDS use advanced sensors to detect attempts to climb, cut, or tamper with the fence, providing a higher level of security than fencing alone.
Real-time alerts: When an intrusion attempt is detected, the system sends an alert to a designated recipient, allowing for immediate action.
Reduced false alarms: Advanced PIDS, such as Device Smart and RapidSecure, use sophisticated algorithms to minimize false alarms and provide accurate detection.
Scalability: PIDS can be easily integrated into existing security systems and expanded to cover larger properties or multiple sites.
Landlords' Responsibilities Under Occupiers Liability
Under the Occupiers Liability Act 1957 and 1984, landlords have a duty of care to ensure that their properties are safe for both lawful visitors and trespassers.
This includes taking reasonable steps to prevent injury or harm, such as installing adequate fencing to restrict unauthorized access.
Failure to meet these obligations can result in legal consequences, such as being held liable for any injuries or damages sustained by visitors or trespassers.
The Occupiers Liability Act 1957 focuses on the duty of care owed to lawful visitors, such as tenants, guests, or tradespeople.
Under this Act, the occupier (typically the landlord or property owner) must take reasonable steps to ensure the safety of these visitors, including:
Regularly inspecting and maintaining the property to identify and repair any hazards, such as broken stairs, damaged flooring, or faulty wiring.
Providing adequate lighting and signage to guide visitors safely around the property.
Ensuring that any equipment or facilities provided, such as lifts or appliances, are in good working order.
The Occupiers Liability Act 1984 extends this duty of care to include trespassers, although the obligations are somewhat less extensive.
Under this Act, the occupier must take reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm to trespassers, such as:
Installing adequate fencing, gates, or barriers to deter unauthorised access to the property.
Displaying warning signs to alert potential trespassers to any hidden dangers, such as deep water or unstable structures.
Taking reasonable precautions to secure hazardous areas or materials, such as locked doors or cabinets containing chemicals.
If a landlord or property owner fails to meet their obligations under the Occupiers Liability Acts, they can be held legally responsible for any injuries or damages suffered by visitors or trespassers.
This can result in claims for compensation, which may be substantial depending on the severity of the injury and any associated losses, such as lost income or medical expenses.
To minimise the risk of liability, landlords and property owners should regularly inspect and maintain their properties, ensure compliance with relevant health and safety regulations, and take appropriate measures to secure hazardous areas or materials.
At Propertysec we can handle all aspects of site security, including the identification and mitigation of hazards such as waste, rebar and water filled excavations, that left unattended could potential cause significant harm to intruders.