Church Risk Assessments – Reduce Liability
Conduct regular Church Risk Assessments. This proactive approach to risk management is an exercise in good stewardship. After all, it is His church, and we are given care over it, yes? If we neglect our responsibility, we are looking at possible
- Child abuse
- Failure to provide safety in an emergency situation
With insurance costs on the rise, reducing liability risks are crucial to the financial well-being of churches. Performing regular church risk assessments will assist you in managing these risks.
Most importantly, it protects your congregation from unnecessary harm.
Perform a Risk Assessment for Your Church.
“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” Proverbs 18:15
#1 – Designate a group of people to be the Church Risk Assessment Team.
In this case, the more eyes the better. It will help to have women and men, young and old, construction-oriented and not. Differing perspectives equal better results. We want to shift from planning for people to planning with people. Our firm is available to assist your place of worship with a comprehensive Risk Assessment Report. Contact us to schedule today.
#2 – Schedule a day for the Church Risk Assessment Team to meet at the church.
Begin to methodically comb the grounds, beginning with the perimeter of the property, inward.
#3 – Identify and characterize hazards and vulnerabilities.
Take notes. Our list is simply a guideline. Keep eyes and minds open for potential risks. Even a sprinkler set too high off the ground is a risk.
In addition to the property research and facility inspection, evaluate general security measures such as record storage, closing procedures, locks, alarms, cameras, lighting, and fire suppression. Are these areas secure?
Records should be stored in fireproof, locked, vaults or storage. Copies of all important records need to be stored off site in an agreed upon secure location, such as a safety deposit box.
Closing procedures need to be agreed upon, publicly known, and posted.
Locks should be name-brand, and include a keyed deadbolt on outer entry points. Duplicates of keys should be stored off site with the record copies.
Alarms should be checked periodically to ensure activity. Keep phone numbers for contacts up to date. (We know from experience that this tends to get left out.)
Are cameras covering points of entry? Vulnerable places such as parking lots and shrubbery areas? Make sure they are being best utilized. Our own discernment is the best guide.
Lighting is crucial at all walkways, parking lots, doorways, and other points of entry! Make a weekly inspection of light bulbs, and designate a person to change them regularly.
Does your facility have fire extinguishers in every room? No? Let’s shift from hazard response to risk management. Get those fire extinguishers posted. Remember to keep an eye on them as well. They can lose their effectiveness.
#4 – Once your Church Risk Assessments have been completed, sit down together and review them.
In order to secure your environment, move from reactive stances to proactive stances. Identify those hazards and vulnerabilities together. Evaluate the risks. Analyze and make decisions for resolution based on your information gathered and on available resources.
#5 – Schedule repairs, maintenance, and restructuring, and assign a person to oversee and report their completion back to the Team.
Prepare strategies for resolving outstanding issues, and give them a timeline. Remember to assign people who are clearly in charge of these areas, who will report back to the Team.
#6 – The Risk Assessment Team needs to communicate regularly with the Church Board of Directors for mutual support and shared information.
#7 – Develop a Church Emergency Plan.
Risk management requires us to move away from disaster response/reaction to empowerment, planning, resiliency-building, and self reliance. Check out our Church Emergency Plan information.
#8 – Take the next step by developing a Church Security Team.
We do offer training and other services. For information on our rates, email email@example.com