Why should neighbors be concerned if a building is vacant?

Vacant buildings that are open and accessible pose a danger to the community and particularly the immediate neighborhood.

  • Children are drawn to vacant buildings to explore and play.
  • Other not-so-innocent trespassers are also drawn to vacant buildings. Arsonists, child molesters, drug abusers, and gangsters sometimes use vacant buildings for their crimes.
  • Vacant and abandoned buildings pose a threat to firefighters. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that more firefighters are injured at fires in vacant or abandoned properties that in any other type of property. The NFPA estimates more than 6,000 firefighters per year are injured fighting fires in abandoned and vacant buildings nationwide.
  • When there is a fire in a vacant building, there is typically a delay in notification to the fire department. The delay allows the fire to grow and spread, posing an increased risk. Where there are clusters of vacant buildings, the fire can spread to several buildings before it is reported.

If you observe people trespassing at a vacant building, call the non-emergency police dispatch number, 503-629-0111.

Show All Answers

1. Are all vacant buildings of concern?
2. Why should neighbors be concerned if a building is vacant?
3. How do I report a foreclosed property?