6 Essential Church Safety Guidelines
Every church contains a community of people, and each person has their own passions, desires, emotions, and problems. Every church leader dreams of overseeing a ministry where everything runs smoothly, and everyone gets along. But is your church equipped to protect its people when disaster strikes?
Not every disaster can be predicted or followed as hurricanes and storms can. With insufficient safety protocols, fires, floods, and fights could plague your ministry, putting your people in danger. Make your ministry a safe place that protects your congregants, workers, and volunteers with these essential guidelines.
Offer Church Safety Training
Imagine the scene: there is an elderly member of your church who slips and falls on a rainy day—is someone trained to help? Or, a child runs past a sharp edge on the wall and badly scrapes their arm—who will clean and disinfect the wound?
Make safety training essential for every church volunteer, so there are helping hands at the ready no matter what comes your way. Ensure you have several fully-trained first aid professionals who can take the lead in case of a more serious event, but offering basic training to everyone should be a standard.
Practice a Church Fire Drill
The best way to ensure you are prepared for anything? Practice, practice, practice. Make a fire drill a standard part of your annual safety refresh to identify any weaknesses in your fire response team. If possible, why not ask a fire marshal to pay your church a visit and identify any risks?
If you don’t have a fire protocol in place or aren’t sure if your current one is up to scratch, check out Churches Fire. This website contains everything you need to know on how to carry out the drills, create an emergency plan, and monitor and debrief following the drill.
Church Check-In Systems
Did you know you can utilize a church check-in system to protect your people? If you require every person to register as they enter, you will know exactly who is on-site and notice who is missing in case of a crisis situation. Check-in procedures help you keep tabs on your attendees, from kids to volunteers to congregants.
Child safety is of the utmost importance at any church. Does your ministry have a check-in system that ensures none of your students go missing or unaccounted for?
Make the most of the state-of-the-art church software options and streamline your check-in processes to give your kids and parents peace of mind. Learn more about church software here.
Have Church Security Available
Create a church security plan to keep your ministry prepared so you expect the unexpected. What is your current protocol to follow if an angry congregant starts a fight or gets aggressive? Have a trained security professional on-site to assist with any potential conflicts.
Churches have an open-door policy, meaning there is nothing stopping a criminal from walking in to wreak havoc. Deciding on an action plan ahead of time will enhance your church's safety for everyone. Don’t leave it down to chance; because problems will escalate quickly when emotions are involved, and tensions are high.
Church Crisis Response Plan
A church emergency plan is a written document that answers the who, what, where, when, and how of an unexpected disaster. The more detailed the plan is, the less time you will waste in a moment of chaos. Disasters take many forms, so think thoroughly through the possibilities. Main features include:
- Information regarding a common meeting spot in an emergency can be found in this plan.
- The contingency plan must work in case of a loss of computer and communication equipment, office space, and staff for a few days following a disaster.
- A representative team from every area of the church will be needed to take on restructuring as part of the preparatory plan.
Church Crisis 3-Step Method
- Think of your crisis response team as a three-step process. After disaster strikes, you need a first response team to assist in any injuries and clear any immediate dangers. This team will bring water and food to those who need it, provide shelter for those who are lost, and offer first aid to those suffering.
- Next, there is the clean-up period. Have a team dedicated to clearing the debris, cleaning the area, and identifying any potential knock-on effects. This group of volunteers will collect donations and cook meals to distribute among the victims of the disaster. This step is all about maintaining a sense of security.
- Finally, an aftercare team is required to help the community recover from what has happened. For example, some people may require counseling following a disaster, or perhaps a family’s home has been destroyed, and they need alternative accommodation. The recovery team can put in place more long-term plans to repair buildings and improve responses for next time.
Security for churches is essential, as it is a safe haven that allows people to connect with God. Interweave useful techniques into the everyday running of your church through safety games for kids and by offering tailored safety training for churches for all your volunteers and workers. Church safety isn’t just a nice-to-have—it is a must.