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Vacant Building Security Tips

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Vacant buildings often become a target for vandals, burglars, and criminal acts. Protecting your ministry's facilities while worshipping and working virtually can be done with proper resources and planning. Create a first, second, and third line of defense.

Meet and Greet Your Neighbors

The people that live closest to your facility can be a great asset in your loss prevention plan. If you have a healthy relationship with your community, they can help you watch the facilities and notify your staff or police if they suspect suspicious activity. Building these relationships also helps you to understand your community and how you can better serve them.

Keep the Yard Up

Maintaining the grounds during extended vacancy can also help prevent theft. Landscaping that isn’t well kept is a more likely target due to the appearance of abandonment. Even if you reduce the number of times per month you care for your yard, these actions are crucial to deterring criminal activity on your property.

Invest in an Alarm System

A security system is an essential tool in protecting a vacant property. Motion sensors, video cameras, water sensors, and security signage can help both catch potential burglars in the act and help to notify you if you have any equipment failures. Choosing a security system that includes 24/7 monitors will give you the peace of mind that your facility is always being watched.

Maintain Your Insurance Coverage

While reducing or canceling your insurance can be tempting, it is very important to maintain proper insurance coverage. The purpose of insurance is to help your ministry respond when the unexpected happens. While there may be a reduction in trips or falls in the building while empty, a burst pipe or electrical fire could significantly damage your building. Keeping your insurance coverage will help your ministry to respond better in an emergency.

Develop a Plan

Make plans for every event that could happen while your building is vacant. From a water leak to property defiling, your ministry should have plans to respond in an emergency, including proper notification protocols and key individuals to contact. Be sure to have your policy information and insurance contact information handy to reduce response time.

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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