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4 Tips to Help Secure Your Church Facilities During Extended Vacancy

Updated: Jul 25, 2022

Have you checked on your property since safer-at-home orders were put in place? While your ministry leadership and community engage in social distancing, there are some steps you can take to help ensure the security of your church’s property and facilities. 

Secure Valuables

Out of sight - out of mind. Making valuable equipment and property less visible or moving them to a secure location can make your church less of a target for burglars. If possible, move things like computers, laptops, keyboards, musical instruments, and Audio-Visual equipment out of the line-of-site from any exterior windows and doors. Also, place security warnings like video camera announcements and security system notifications on exterior windows and doors to help further deter potential threats. If possible, move your most valuable equipment to secure locations that could be closely monitored.

Locking Doors and Windows

Don’t make it easy for anyone to gain access to your building. Lock all first and second floor exterior windows and doors of the facility. Also, secure all internal doors to ensure limited access should an intruder get inside. Close all blinds and shades to help secure the contents of the building and to make your church a less attractive target.

Turning Off Water

Don’t spring a leak while you’re away. Turn off the water access to the building during this time of social distancing. This will help ensure no leaks start or further impact the structure of your building. Maintain proper temperatures within the building to prevent frozen pipes. Any actions taken to keep your facility and community safe is an act of faithful stewardship of the lives and resources God has placed under your care.

Drive-bys and Check Ups

Every day your facility is vacant is a day your property and facility could be compromised. Contact your local police department or EMS company. Notify the authorities of the vacancy and ask if your church could be added to their route for daily check-ins. Offering your church parking lot for EMS and Police vehicles to park while on duty can provide an extra layer of activity and security to your church. Their presence - or the threat of their presence - could serve as a deterrent to individuals seeking to do harm. If possible, create a schedule for trusted church leadership to conduct an exterior walk-through, making note of any apparent attempted entry. Report any suspicious activity to the local authorities. 

When you are covered by UMIP, we will be there when you need us. Churches have unique needs. As a part of the denomination, we understand the unique needs of United Methodist churches and their operations, which is reflected in our coverage options. Your ministry deserves outstanding insurance and UMIP works for you each day to help protect your church’s people, property, and finances.

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This content has been prepared by United Methodist Insurance Company (UMI) for informational purposes only. No article or document may accurately contemplate all possible scenarios or church resources. As such, this information is meant to foster discussion by the individual church and its members to develop a plan tailored to its own circumstances. UMI is providing this information with no warranties or guarantees of any kind and it should not be viewed as legal, financial, or other professional advice. All liability is expressly disclaimed. Any claim examples described herein are general in nature, may or may not be based on actual claims, and are for informational purposes only. Any coverage available for a claim is determined from the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of any applicable policy, including any exclusions or deductibles. In the event of a conflict with the content herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.

The commercial insurance coverages for United Methodist Insurance are sold and serviced directly or indirectly by Sovereign Insurance Agency (CA Lic. No. 0B01380) ("Sovereign") and underwritten by various available insurance markets. Sovereign pays United Methodist Insurance a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.

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