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Winter Safety Preparations for Churches: A Comprehensive Checklist

As winter approaches, it's essential your ministry has prepared its premises for the colder weather. The United Methodist Insurance Program understands the significance of safeguarding your church’s people, property, and finances. Here's a comprehensive checklist to help you ensure safety and readiness during the winter season.

1. Heating System Maintenance and Inspection

Maintaining a warm and safe environment for your congregation is critical, making a smooth-running heating system paramount during the winter. Schedule a thorough inspection by a local HVAC professional! Ensure the system is serviced, filters are clean, and any necessary repairs are addressed. Did you know that regular maintenance reduces the risk of fire and gas leaks?

2. Insulation Review and Pipe Protection

When was the last time you checked the insulation in all of your church’s buildings? Frozen pipes can cause substantial damage, but this can be avoided! Insulate exposed pipes and consider applying pipe insulation to further protect against freezing temperatures. Adequate insulation not only maintains indoor temperatures but also protects your church's infrastructure!

3. Roof and Snow Management

Regularly examine your roof for snow accumulation if you live in an area that receives snow, as it can stress your church’s structure and potentially cause damage. If needed, engage local experts to remove excess snow to reduce the risk of damage to shingles, gutters, and downspouts. Don’t forget to clear snow to minimize the risk of melting ice endangering your congregation.

4. Windows and Door Insulation

Inspecting windows and doors for drafts will pay off in the long run! Consider using window insulation kits to prevent heat loss and reduce energy costs. Proper weatherizing helps maintain comfortable temperatures and minimizes unnecessary energy expenses.

5. Walkway Safety and Snow Removal Plans

Be sure to regularly clear walkways, entrances, and parking areas of snow and ice. Having supplies like ice melt and snow shovels readily available will alleviate potential stress and ensure safe passage for congregants. Establish snow removal plans, whether through staff, volunteers, hired services, or organized efforts to maintain safe access to worship areas.

6. Coverage Review and Insurance Protection

Before the year ends, consider reviewing your insurance coverage. A comprehensive insurance policy tailored for winter-related risks is essential to protect your church from potential damages and liabilities.


Preparation is key to ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for congregants during the winter. Implementing this checklist will help your church mitigate potential risks and maintain a secure and welcoming space for worship and community activities.


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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