Due to a recent increase in burglary-related claims we are asking churches to be more diligent about security of their property. This applies generally of course, but especially over the Christmas period when many churches are closed during the week.
Improving your security entails making sure the property is as unattractive to burglars as possible. Burglars tend to look for easy targets where they can get in and out as fast as possible without detection. The same applies to other unwanted intruders such as vandals and arsonists. So, the more security measures you can put in place the better!
Here are a few tips.
- Secure all valuables – remove as many valuables (e.g. cash, laptops, iPads, musical instruments and so on) as possible from the premises. If any items are kept on the premises, make sure they are not visible to the outside – such as by drawing curtains or blinds or by locking them up inside the building.
- Lock up the building – make it as hard as possible for people to enter the building through secure locks on all external doors and windows. Also consider an intruder alarm system.
Outside / grounds:
- Secure equipment – lock away any outdoor equipment in a secure shed or other outbuilding, remove vehicles or park them in a garage, and lock up your wheelie bins (they have been known to attract arsonists!).
- Improve your external security – external lighting, surveillance cameras and removal of hiding spots (e.g. overgrown shrubbery) can all help reduce the risk of attacks.
- Keep up the maintenance – a property that looks unkempt and neglected is more likely to attract burglars and vandals. So make sure to keep it looking well-maintained – especially if you’ve been burgled before.
- Consider ‘natural surveillance’ – such as by asking neighbours to keep an eye on the property during the holiday and to report any suspicious activities.
Keep track of your contents
Another thing to consider is taking stock of all your contents and keeping a documented inventory. This enables you to keep track of missing items and can also help when reporting burglaries to the police and when making an insurance claim. CCI has a form on the website for this under Members/Forms (scroll down to find it).
Feel free to also check out our other posts on security for churches.
Tags: risk management, security