Wildfires are ravishing the State of California. According to the California State government officials, roughly 9,200 buildings and facilities have burned in 2020. But wildfires aren’t the only potential fire hazard for ministries across the connection. As we pray for those affected by these tragic events, you can help your ministry defend against a fire emergency.
Inspect your fire safety system
One of the most important resources in your defense against a fire emergency is the fire protection system for your facility. Sprinkler systems, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and other fire protection tools should be inspected and tested for proper functionality. Your local fire department may help you understand and schedule fire system testing. Be sure to properly document and store all inspection documentation in a secure location.
Check your facility’s electrical wiring The fire at the Cathedral of Notre Dame is believed to have started because of an electrical fire, causing millions of dollars in damage. Help protect your ministry's facilities by having wiring and electrical systems inspected. This is particularly important for older buildings and buildings with “knob-and-tube” or other outdated wiring setups. Even for newer buildings, scheduling regular inspections can help you prevent fire due to faulty wiring. Also, visually inspect any power cables, extension cords, and surge protectors for visible corrosion and replace them when necessary.
Be proactive about your fire prevention Limit the opportunities for mistakes and accidents by keeping flammable products like gasoline and cleaning agents in clean and secure locations. Any type of fire accelerant should have a proper label and be kept away from any open flames. If your facility has a kitchen, keep your vent hoods and appliances clear of debris that could catch fire. Inspect all wall sockets in your kitchen area and wiring for erosion and repair or replace any faulty sockets.
Develop a fire emergency plan Hope for the best and prepare for the worst is the philosophy here. Your ministry leadership team should develop, test, and implement a fire emergency evacuation plan. This plan will help your ministry respond appropriately in an emergency. Supplement this plan with preplanned fire drills and ensure exits are properly labeled and clear. Review this plan yearly and consult local fire officials for updates and plan improvements. This is also a great opportunity to test your emergency notification system for your staff, volunteers, and members.
You can help prevent church facilities fires and help your ministry respond in an emergency. Our exclusive agency, Suracy Faith, can help you understand how property and casualty coverage can help you recover from a fire. Contact them today for more information and to request a free quote today.