5 Tips for Upgrading Your Outdoor Security Church Mutual August 1 At Church Mutual, we know your ministry is about more than just worship. It’s about community, support and protecting the greater good. That’s why, as the nation’s leading insurer of religious organizations, our mission is to provide the services, expertise and strategic connections your congregation needs to accomplish just that. Tantamount to your ministry’s success is the safety and welfare of your members, guests and employees. Today, it is more important than ever to prevent your house of worship from becoming an easy target for criminally oriented people. “Our culture is changing, and religious leaders can no longer assume that ‘It won’t happen in my church.’ Like the rest of society, [religious leaders] need to ensure the safety and security of their facility, staff and worshipers.” — Robert Cirtin, Author, “Church Safety and Security: A Practical Guide” Below are five, simple, yet important, outdoor security tips for protecting the areas surrounding your place of worship: Keep bushes around your buildings trimmed so people cannot hide behind them. An open-door policy is nice in theory, but the reality is, you need to restrict access. Unlock the front door only during worship services, and keep all doors and windows at your other buildings closed and locked at all times. Limit distribution of keys to a few people and keep a record of who has them. Never hide a key outside your building, and rekey your locks if a key is lost or not returned. Keep at least one interior light on at all times to give the impression that the building is in use. Use outdoor lighting to add security, including ample lighting in parking lots and street entrances. Invite neighbors to get involved in protecting their community. Ask your local police department for help starting a Neighborhood Watch program. Learn more about protecting your organization at www.churchmutual.com/outdoorsecurity. For more information on how Church Mutual can help, visit www.churchmutual.com, or call (800) 554-2642 to request a quote today.