No matter how much you may want to have an ‘open door’ policy for your church organisation, the fact is that it is still very important to be mindful of safety and security. Unfortunately, crimes such as burglary and arson are a reality. However the good news is that it is possible to take steps to help reduce the risk of these occurring on your church property.
To reduce arson-risk it’s important to remove items that could be used as sources of ignition. Flammable items such as old furniture, boxes, rags and clothing should be removed and / or discarded. Any items that could be used as a fuel source should also be safely stored inside or removed. In addition, a lockable bin should be used for rubbish, and it should be located at a fair distance away from the building.
Arson attacks are often tied in with other crimes such as burglary and vandalism. This means that as well as removing combustible items, it may be important to ramp up security generally. Options to consider include the following:
- An intruder alarm system that is regularly monitored by a security company.
- A sound management system for keys to the building. See the article “Church Key-and-Lock Management” here for more details.
- Window grilles or mesh wire and / or window locking systems.
- Perimeter fences that are in good condition with lockable gates.
- External lights in car-parking and walking areas and all around the building.
- Removal of intruder ‘hiding-spots’ – such as shrubbery and other overgrown plants.
- Utilising the services of security personnel to monitor the building during the week and / or when it is not in use.
If you have been experiencing arson, burglary or other criminal activity on your church property, it might be worthwhile to consult with a local security professional for further advice on ways to reduce your risk. To do so may mean not only avoiding loss but also the inconvenience that comes with these events, along with the insurance claims and costs that might also be involved.Tags: arson, fire, risk management