Urban Exploration is a lot of fun and is a great way to see the ruins of what civilization used to be like in past times. However, there are a few basic things that I feel everybody coming into this section should know. I'm not going to write these under the false pretense that I'm a master urban explorer and my shit stinks less than everyone else, these are the bare minimums people should know. Kinda like a society code, or rules to being a RESPECTABLE Urban Explorer.
1. Don't namedrop places that aren't well known.
This one gets broken far more often than it should. There are places in the world that people know very well: Danvers State Hospital, Eastern State Penitentiary, etc. THESE PLACES ARE/WERE ALSO FILLED WITH BROKEN THINGS AND GRAFFITI. If you know a place that's in pristine or otherwise good condition, please don't go and leave it open to vandals, law enforcement, etc. to go and investigate. More often than not, a good location will get ruined VERY quickly by namedropping.
2. If you're new, don't ask for handouts.
I learned this the hard way. People love to help other explorers out, don't get me wrong. If people like draining, then they'll share ways in/out of drains, or even in locations. HOWEVER, people see someone who has never explored before, never researched anything come in and ask for locations and ways to get in and it evokes a feeling of frustration. I've had friends whom I know have never explored before or have even been interested before ask me for ways to get into buildings and I just say "I don't know". If you show hard interest, and are willing to private message people and actually talk with them about the location, then GREAT! You can do that at any time.
3. Be smart when you gear up for an exploration.
A lot of this stuff should be common sense. Good ideas for stuff to bring: maglite/flashlight if you can't get a maglite | walkie talkie | some form of identification | spare memory cards/batteries, etc. Bring a friend when you explore; it's someone that can call 911/999 when you fall down a few floors.
Amendment 1: Take only pictures, leave only footprints.
Another HUGE one. Don't go to sites and play the part of the vandal. Don't break things, don't take things, because those particular items may be something that another explorer is looking for. Not to mention it hurts the name of urban exploration when the cops find your stupid ass breaking things at a location.
Amendment 2: Don't bring drugs to a location, don't consume drugs at a location.
Durr. You're already doing something that could potentially get you arrested/fined. Don't make it worse on yourself when you get charged with possession.
Feel free to post other stuff you feel could be added to this list.