Church Safety and Security Month is in October. The doors to places of worship are always open for everyone, welcoming them and making them feel safe. But how safe is the religious institution itself? Accidents can happen during the observance of vigils, rituals, and other observances, and so can attacks for which security must be proper.
History of National Church Safety and Security Month
The number of churches that do not have proper security and safety measures in place is alarming. It is especially true for churches and other places of religious importance in small cities and communities. Churches have safety hazards such as candles which can be catastrophic, so it is important to keep them in check. Recent acts of violence in history have also made safeguarding churches against robbers, hooligans, and shooters crucial. If your local church is vulnerable, now is the time to act.
Every year, training guides are provided and seminars are hosted to equip the church with the right tools and knowledge against potential dangers. Response plans for emergencies and quick escape routes are tailored according to the setting and congregation.
The first step to assessing the safety requirements of your chuck is to do a security check to identify safety hazards and potential threats; placement of candles, an inspection of the kitchen, exits, openings that can be accessed by trespassers, to name a few. Evaluating the local community is also helpful. A plan of action is developed accordingly then.
Securing your church against threats requires a collaborative team effort. Working with a team will better address security concerns, determine goals, and implement emergency response strategies.
National Church Safety and Security Month timeline
The National Center for Life and Liberty is formed, working on religious liberty and safeguarding churches against emergencies and potential dangers.
248 violent events on religious property take place this year.
Violent deaths are more frequent at religious institutions than at schools.
In a mass shooting, Devin Patrick Kelley kills 25 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
National Church Safety and Security Month FAQs
When is National Church Safety and Security Month?
October is National Church Safety and Security Month.
Do churches have armed security?
Due to the large number of violent crimes occurring at churches in recent history, many churches have established security forces made up of volunteers.
What does a church secretary do?
A church secretary oversees the operation of the church office and assists the pastors and staff with a variety of administrative duties.
How to Observe National Church Safety and Security Month
Assess your church
Visit your church and inspect the place. See how as an average churchgoer if there are elements that concern you.
Screen employees and volunteers
You can volunteer to do this yourself or pair up with someone. Do a quick background check on church employees and volunteers who can assist with securing the parameters of the church.
After identifying the right people, delegate roles and responsibilities; who will alert authorities during an emergency, who can talk to the media, among other things. Make sure that they are being done timely and properly.
5 Ways To Secure Your Church Against Security And Safety Threats
Develop a church security plan
Create a security plan and policy in case of a fire or other accidents.
Install video surveillance
C.C.T.V. systems are a great way to monitor those entering and leaving the premises.
Coordinate with the local law enforcement
Inform law enforcement and other emergency services of concerns and action plans.
Train church leaders
Leaders are prone to get subjected to violence; equip them with self-defense.
Check the service equipment on festivities
Make sure utensils and trolleys are safe and that appliances are in working order.
Why National Church Safety and Security Month is Important
The church is a holy place
The church is a holy and safe space for all. It is important that security is made a prerogative.
Prevention of accidents
One small accident can lead to a large one and cause serious harm to humans. It is important to prevent such accidents from happening at all.
Eradicating hate crime
Attacking a religious space is a serious breach, and deeply affects the religious community as a whole. This should never become a norm in any society, and precautions should be taken for preventing acts of violence.
National Church Safety and Security Month dates