Below are five preventive steps you can take to be prepared and help your organization avoid a potentially dangerous and costly situation down the road:
1. Add safety curbs and barriers
Adding curbs or retaining walls to the areas surrounding your property can be a good way to help direct the flow of traffic, as well as keep pedestrians and cars away from restricted areas. It can also be an unexpected way to beautify your grounds. Terraces, raised plant beds, trees, planters, fences, gatehouses and bollards are all more aesthetically pleasing alternatives for curbs or walls that can be used to accomplish the same goals.
2. Upgrade your outdoor lighting
Adequate lighting can help create a feeling of safety for staff, congregants and visitors alike. This means installing the right size lamps and fixtures in the places that need them most. If you still have incandescent lights around your property, replacing them with LED bulbs will typically give you brighter, longer lasting effects. A great, downloadable—and free—resource for how to properly install an outdoor lighting system is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Exterior Lighting for Energy Savings, Security and Safety.
3. Install security cameras
Placing reliable, up-to-date security cameras in the right places could make all the difference in the world. Be sure to install digital cameras near doorways and other high-traffic areas. Connect them wirelessly to a recording system in your main office or directly to your security company. And lastly, make sure all of them are near a good light source so the images on your videos are clear.
4. The brighter—and louder—the alarm the better
While some may favor the silent variety, sometimes, the sound of an alarm is exactly what you need to signal an emergency. Sound can also alert neighbors and passersby to potential dangers in the area. Additionally, today, many alarm systems come with pulsating strobe lights that can be seen for miles. This can help both you and the authorities better pinpoint the exact location that needs attention.
5. Put in deadbolts
Simply put, deadbolts provide the best possible security of any door locks. Even better? Deadbolt models that require letter combinations, passcodes or even fingerprints.
Today, property protection experts agree that churches and other religious institutions are becoming more of a major target for break-ins, vandalism and other crimes. At Church Mutual, we know that by protecting your buildings and grounds, we’re also helping to protect the greater good—and for that, you can never be too prepared. For additional safety resources, including checklists, videos, brochures and more, visit www.churchmutual.com/98/Safety-Resources.
At Church Mutual, we know your ministry is about more than just worship. It’s about community, support, and serving the greater good. That’s why as the nation’s leading insurer of religious institutions, our mission is to provide you the services, expertise and strategic connections your congregation needs to accomplish just that.
Learn more about how Church Mutual can help at www.churchmutual.com or call (800) 554-2642 to request a quote today.