Squatting/repurposing a vacant building long term (1 Viewer)

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Large vacant buildings offer an escape from the elements whether it be rain, wind, or cold. Finding the right building and being able to maintain occupancy for long periods of time can prove to be a difficult task. I assume most people on this site already know this but I figured Id lay out my experiences for anyone interested in the subject.

One of the most important things to be aware of when repurposing a building whether it be for a night, a week, or months, is the entrance. The entrance should be unsuspecting and free from any visible damage at all times. Many times youll find that in larger cities, security patrols the area periodically. Id suggest before even looking for an entrance, hang around the general area for awhile. Look for any patrol activity and write down the times they patrol in order to know when its best to give the building a closer look.

Fences. Many times buildings that have been sitting boarded up for years and are fenced off. The worst thing to do if youre looking for long term occupancy is cut the fence or unravel it during your first trip in the area. Jump it. Take a look around. Once you get a feel for the area, begin creating alternate paths "around" the fence.

If the building is boarded up, well that means there are windows behind those boards. Usually 4ft by 8 ft boards. A pry bar can come in handy to pop a few screws out. Theres no need to take the entire board off. ( you dont want to blow the spot up, leaving obvious signs of entry will get you not only booted but can put you in a fucked up legal position) That being said, 4x8 piece of plywood is flexible. If you do it right the plywood will serve as a flap that closes after you enter.

Before entering look for green or red lights in the corners on the inside of building. If you see any, well, those are most likely motions sensors. Dont go in. If you dont see any, well, looks like you most likely found a building that noone gives a fuck about anyway. Welcome home.

I strongly suggest not to fuck with the electricity components in or around the building unless you know what youre doing.
Example: There was no elec in one building I was in but there were floodlights from an external source on the roof to prevent people like me from wanting to go near. I went to the attic with a bunch of wire I ripped out of the walls. Got on the roof and found a box connecting the floodlights. Plugged em in and ran the wire to a lamp and power socket down below. Wrong voltage. The lightbulbs would explode after 30 min to an hour and we all fried our phones and laptops eventually. Lucky we didnt wake up to a fiery shitstorm. Dont fuck with electricity unless you know how it works heh

If you invite a bunch of people over during the course of your stay, bye bye building. Ive kept primo/untouched buildings the size of supermarkets for as long as 3 months. Telling the wrong people about it is what got us booted every time. All in all my personal experiences with squatting buildings has been great whether it be short term or long. Knowing what to look for and trying not to become careless has served me well.

In a sick society that hoards everything, even shade and shelter, doing what it takes to survive can become difficult. But its not impossible

 
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If you want to fuck with the electricity, try finding a book on home wiring. It's really not that complicated. I'd suggest an older copy considering most squattable buildings would be older, and also more likely to have older wiring with problems. That said, before you do ANYTHING find the main breaker box and cut power to the entire building before you go around ripping out wires or anything, houses carry enough current to seriously injure or kill you if you touch the wrong wire. If that house had floodlights it probably wouldn't have been too difficult to get power to the rest of the circuits. They could have just all been shut off except for the one the lights were on. Check the breaker box always.
 
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The inside of the building had been stripped of everything profitable leading to the circuit breakers. The external power was coming from 2 blocks away at a highly secured computer manufacturing facility so we were left with the small connecting boxes found on the roof. But youre right. I could have easily found out how to send the power to the existing, stripped breakers.
 
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Yeah, stripped makes it a bit harder. You'd have to lower the voltage coming out of the floodlight line and that would be pretty dangerous considering you couldn't shut off the power.
 

Dmac

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a cheap volt tester either analog or digital (analog is cheaper and uses no batt, digital a little more exp and needs a 9 volt) can help you to easily find and determine strength of electricity. can be a big help in getting things going. in a pinch a light bulb with wires taped to the contact points will give you a simple way to test for electricity. very easy to tell between 110 and 220 volt. by how bright the light is. generally speaking 110 can not kill you but 220 could. but if you are wet or standing/sitting in water; you'r fucked.
 

scrutable

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Feb 16, 2015
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The inside of the building had been stripped of everything profitable leading to the circuit breakers. The external power was coming from 2 blocks away at a highly secured computer manufacturing facility so we were left with the small connecting boxes found on the roof. But youre right. I could have easily found out how to send the power to the existing, stripped breakers.
This is a bit late, however, seems worth pointing out.
If you want a lower Voltage from a power source for small devices, mobile phones, smart phones, lamps, AA/AAA battery charge etc. Attach a car cigarette lighter socket to your power source, use a USB plug to take power from it.
This cuts the voltage down to 5V.
Car lighter sockets are found in any abandoned car, ridiculously cheap in scrap yards or the internet. Same with the USB plugs, they're everywhere and cheap and a lot of things charge via USB.
 

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