Protect Vacant Buildings from Halloween Vandalism

After more than a year of pandemic protocols and social distancing, experts like Dr. Fauci say families should enjoy trick or treating. That’s great news for all the children who missed Halloween last year.

But Halloween can be the scariest night of the year for the owners of vacant real estate. Halloween vandalism at vacant buildings is said to increase by 29% on Halloween, along with theft. Vandals tend to target unoccupied buildings. Problems can range from spray paint and broken windows to squatters camped out in your building.

Vandalism at Unoccupied Vacant Buildings

To protect a smaller unoccupied property like a single-family house, start with a new lock on the door. Considering installing a security system or a camera system. You can also create the impression that the home is being lived in, even if in fact it’s not. Make sure the lawn is mowed or in the case of a multi-unit building, make sure the landscaping has been recently tended to.

The morning of Halloween, turn a couple of lights on inside and pull the curtains open or the blinds up in at least one second-floor room. Put Halloween decorations out.

Vandalism at Construction Sites

Construction sites are even more vulnerable to crimes like vandalism and theft. In most cases, it’s impossible to deceive potential vandals by making a property still under construction appear to be occupied. Instead, a construction site must have tough security measures to prevent vandalism ‑- especially as Halloween approaches.

  • Install security cameras. The mere sight of a camera is often enough to deter crime and vandals.
  • Keep bright lights on at night. Construction sites should create enough lighting to prevent any dark corners or hiding spots. Vandals often act quickly, so the brighter and more exposed the area is, the better, so that no matter how fast the prankster moves he’d feel too conspicuous to risk being caught.
  • Make sure the site is securely locked up. Consider protecting window glass with plywood.
  • Put equipment and valuable construction materials in a secure storage area, preferably in a place that’s not easily identifiable from outside the site.
  • Have a security plan in place that assigns responsibilities to project workers to protect the site. For larger sites, consider hiring professional security guards.

Risk of vandalism on Halloween night is just one of the headaches you want to avoid if you own a construction site or vacant building. Distinguished offers vacant building insurance as well as builder’s risk insurance for construction projects that can help put your mind at ease.