If you are responsible for making sure that your place of worship stays safe, then you spend a lot of time reviewing the plans for your building and reading safety reports of the surrounding area. As you work to ensure your parishioners’ security, make sure to take the following measures.
Install Security Systems
Security systems have become increasingly popular for businesses, government buildings and even homes because they notify you whenever someone gains unauthorized access to your campus. Most also include recording software so that you can review people’s activity after the fact. Services such as an active alert system include options that increase communication between people involved in an emergency and the first responders who are on their way. Consult your leadership team to find out which systems are most appropriate for your situation. Be sure to advertise your security system, since this frequently deters would-be robbers.
Do not allow anyone to bring firearms into your place of worship, except for first responders in the midst of an emergency. You want everyone to feel comfortable during your services, and most people become uneasy when they see someone carrying a weapon in a confined space.
Evaluate Emergency Exits
Particularly if your place of worship was built a long time ago, the emergency exits may no longer be up to code. Consult your fire marshal to find out how many exits you need to have and where they should be positioned. Label each exit with a sign that can be seen even if the lights go out. Never lock an emergency exit during services or allow people to block it.
Rethink Your Pandemic Measures
In light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s time to rethink how your parishioners sit during services. Allow families to sit together, but otherwise, maintain six feet of separation in all directions between groups. Require face masks at all times, and do not allow singing until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stipulate that your area is safe for this activity. These rules are particularly challenging for places of worship, which focus on community, but they are necessary to ensure you and your parishioners’ health.
Keeping people safe as they worship is a complicated task because so many people enter your enclosed space at once. It is your duty to take these steps to make sure that people feel as comfortable as possible when they worship.