Loss Prevention Checklist for Temporarily Unoccupied Buildings

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Loss Prevention Checklist for Temporarily Unoccupied Buildings

This post is intended to provide you with Loss Prevention checklists to protect your temporarily unoccupied building(s) which have been ordered to close during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have also provided a Checklist to maintain any Rented Residential units which you may be responsible for.


Vacant - means the occupant(s) has/have moved out with no intent to return, regardless of the presence of furnishings.

Ayr Farmers Mutual considers “Vacancy” as a “material change in risk.” The business owner would need special permission from Ayr Farmers Mutual, to leave their premises vacant.

Unoccupied – simply refers to the absence of people. If a business closed due to COVID-19, the risk would be deemed “Unoccupied” as stock & equipment remain in the building and the owner and customers intend to return.

During the State of Emergency, Ayr Farmers Mutual will not consider Unoccupied buildings as a “material change in risk,” provided that business owners continue to inspect the premises and perform necessary maintenance.

Someone must visit the property at least once every seven days (provided this is allowed by your local government orders) and proactively maintain a prudent level of care, control, and maintenance of the property — this includes adequately maintaining security systems, fire protection, and utilities. 

Please contact your agent or broker if you have questions or concerns regarding your immediate situation.



Below is a list of Loss Prevention considerations for buildings that are currently Vacant or Unoccupied. Always seek professional advice if your business has specialty equipment or specific needs.

  • Consider redirecting mail. Ensure deliveries and packages are not left on site.
  • Ensure someone is attending the premises at least once every seven days to check for any damage, the full operation of heating & cooling systems, burnt-out lights (inside & outside), etc. Consider performing these visits at different times of the week and keep a log of your visits (electronically or off-site).
  • Monitor weather events - If your local area has been exposed to significant rainfall, high winds, or high water, you may need to increase the frequency of your visits.
  • If possible, test sump pumps manually to ensure they are in proper working order.
  • If staff must attend the premises, consider a sign in & out process.
  • Keep a list of serial and equipment ID numbers if staff must take business property home.
  • Set heat to 16 C (61F) during the heating season to prevent pipes from freezing
  • Set cooling to 25 C (77F) during the cooling season to protect against humidity and mould development or growth.
  • Ensure all fire/smoke and carbon monoxide detection devices are in good working order.
  • Make sure security systems & cameras are in good working order and are unobstructed.
  • Continue to check that all windows and doors are secure.
  • Remove all garbage that may have been dropped off at your premises.
  • Unless your building is protected by sprinklers, consider turning off the water main and draining the water system.
  • Power down all non-essential equipment at the breaker panel.
  • Secure or remove valuable items that are easily targeted by vandals
  • Maintain regularly scheduled checks for sprinklers systems, heating/cooling systems, and sump pumps.
  • Maintain exterior care of the property including lighting, signage, lawns, and shrubs, to give the appearance of occupancy.
  • Provide your alarm monitoring company with updated emergency contact information in the event of an emergency.
  • Provide your local emergency services dispatch center with updated emergency contact information for your location.


It is important for property owners to maintain their properties and ensure safe conditions for all tenants during this State of Emergency. Below are some Loss Prevention recommendations for your consideration:

  • Maintain open communication with your tenants and respond promptly with their inquiries.
  • Complete regular exterior visual inspections of the property and residence.
  • Ensure proper working order of all required smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, sump pumps, and heating systems. Keep a record for your files (this may be done through verbal communication with the tenants).
  • Monitor weather events. If your area has experienced high winds, significant rainfall or flooding, complete visual exterior inspection of the property and contact the tenants via phone/email/text to ensure that no interior damage has occurred.
  • Maintain exterior maintenance of stairways, decks, parking areas, roofing, and debris removal to prevent injuries or potential liability exposures.


Feel free to send us your questions about Loss Prevention at any time to info@ayrmutual.com. We are always happy to help.


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This post is intended to provide you with Loss Prevention checklists to protect your temporarily unoccupied building(s) which have been ordered to close during the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have also provided a Checklist to ... Read more