Exterior Lighting for Nighttime Safety and Security

November 18, 2011 - 2 minutes read

lightsGood exterior lighting on your church’s property has a two-fold purpose.  It is essential for both the safety of people moving around the premises, and to deter unwanted intruders and potential burglars.

Avoiding accidents

Without proper exterior lighting, the risk of a personal accident occurring after a night-time service or meeting increases markedly.  A poorly-lit uneven walkway or car-parking area could be the cause of someone tripping or falling, which could prove to be serious especially for someone who might be elderly or frail to start with.  Good lighting is also essential around steps, stairways and door entrances for reasons of safety.

Clear signage is essential on larger properties to direct traffic flow and to provide information to visitors.  These should be placed in such a way as to encourage people to use designated walkways rather than take short-cuts though the car-park or garden areas.

Security measures

Inadequate lighting is also associated with poor security.  This could pose a particular problem if there is inadequate security around church property that is kept in outbuildings for example, such as tools or gardening equipment, or if an unseen intruder is able to gain inappropriate access to the main building.

Other considerations for night-time security include keeping shrubbery to a minimum to avoid creating hiding places for intruders or potential burglars.  Good perimeter fencing is also advisable for security purposes, and if the property has surveillance cameras and / or alarm systems, signs advertising these security measures should be placed strategically in order to act as an additional deterrent.

Other security measures include training volunteers such as car-park attendants and ushers to monitor activity and report suspect behaviour.  Regularly reviewing / checking outside lighting, and having clear opening and closing procedures in place are measures which should help to improve security at night.  Another option is to form a security team or committee to regularly review security and conduct church risk assessments, and to make recommendations to leadership regarding security and safety actions.

Read more posts on security for churches here.

Written by Tess Oliver

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