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Issues to consider regarding your church property and its contents. It is useful for the church to understand how to help reduce the risk of loss or damage to both your church property and its contents.

Issues that can affect your church property

To help protect your church, we summarise below some of the things you can do and provide details of where to get more information.

  • Bad weather

     

    Storm damage


    You can’t change the weather, but good building maintenance will help to minimise the damage storms can cause.


    Here are some things you can do:


    • Sign up for severe weather warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk
    • Maintain trees properly based on regular tree surveys by a suitably competent contractor
    • Secure doors and any loose objects to prevent problems in high winds.


    Find out more


    Flood


    It’s impossible to flood-proof your church properties completely but there are some simple actions you can take to reduce the damage a flood may cause:


    • Put together a flood plan to make your church more resilient and reduce the impact of water entering the building 


    • Find out if you’re at risk of flooding, the Environment Agency (EA – England and Wales) and Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) offer an online postcode search to see if your local area is at risk


    • Form barriers against flood water getting into your church or other properties such as using flood barriers/defences or sandbags.


    Find out more


    Lightning


    With up to one million volts of electricity in a single bolt, lightning has the power to destroy masonry, start fires and burn out electrical systems.


    Tall buildings, such as churches, can attract lightning and a well-maintained lightning conductor is a strong defence. This should be checked regularly by a lightning engineer.


    Find out more

  • Theft of metal

     

    While metal theft has declined since it peaked a few years ago, it remains a serious issue. To reduce the chance of metal theft happening at your church:


    • Contact your local Crime Reduction Officer to visit you and give advice
    • Ask neighbours to report any suspicious activity to the police.


    To help protect churches, we make it a condition of your theft of metal cover to apply SmartWater. Remember you need to:


    • Apply the forensic marker
    • Register your kit
    • Display your warning signage prominently.


    Find out more

  • Fire safety

     

    Fires


    Fire can happen for a number of reasons including faulty electrical wiring, heating systems and risks caused when repairs and restorations take place. Here are some precautions you can take to reduce the chance of a fire:


    • Always use candles safely
    • Check fire extinguishers are suitable and regularly serviced and ensure people are trained in its use
    • Make sure there are evacuation procedures in place.


    Every church must have a fire risk assessment. Find out more


    Electrical wiring


    Numerous church fires can be attributed to faulty electric wiring or apparatus. A programme of regular inspection, testing and maintenance of the following electrical systems should be in place in order to prevent danger:


    • Wiring
    • Switchgear
    • Any fixed machinery
    • Portable electrical appliances.


    Electrical wiring needs to be inspected, tested and updated to ensure it is safe every five years.


    Only electrical contractors with full scope registration or membership to work on commercial installations with:


    • The National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting (NICEIC)
    • The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) or
    • The National Association of Professional Inspectors and Testers (NAPIT) should be employed.


    Portable appliance testing


    Any electrical equipment connected to the mains by a lead and a plug is a portable appliance. You should conduct regular examinations of portable appliances for signs such as:


    • Frayed wires
    • Scorch marks
    • Broken plugs.


    We suggest you engage a competent person to carry out inspection and testing annually, keeping records as you go.

    Find out more

  • Security

     

    Theft


    The following can to help minimise the risks of theft from your church:


    • Make sure you lock the church building when it is not in use
    • Remove valuables from sight when the church is open
    • Fit strong locks, intruder alarms and good external lighting
    • Security mark valuable items.


    Malicious damage


    Malicious damage is basically vandalism. Attacks are usually opportunist in nature and churches are particularly vulnerable whilst unoccupied. The following security measures should be introduced to reduce the opportunity for attack:


    • Maintain any existing perimeter walls and railings
    • Consider introducing security lighting
    • Ensure doors to church buildings are secured
    • Restrict vehicular access using gates or security bollards
    • Secure outbuildings which may contain valuable tools/equipment.


    If intruders manage to gain entry to the building, an effective intruder alarm system will raise an alert and help mitigate damage and theft losses from inside the church.


    Find out more

  • Slips, trips and falls

     

    Many accidents can be prevented by implementing the following:


    • Fixing down the edges of carpets, rugs and doormats or using an edge strip
    • Sweeping up leaves and removing snow and ice on footpaths
    • Displaying warning signs where appropriate.


    We have produced a handy checklist highlighting some of the most common hazards and suggesting measures to put in place which could reduce or eliminate the risk altogether.


    Find out more

  • Considering contract works or repairs?

    Where the church has agreed a contract making them responsible for insuring any loss or damage to the works or unfixed materials then we automatically include cover up to £100,000.


    If any of the following apply please call us:


    - Works are for over £100,000
    - Church is closing during the works
    - Scaffolding will be needed
    - Hot works are involved e.g. welding


    If you do need to call us make sure you have ready:


    - Date of the work
    - Cost estimate
    - Type of work
    - Details of any contract


    We may need to ask you to complete a Building Works Questionnaire.


    Please contact us for guidance if you are having scaffolding erected as metal theft will not normally be covered unless you can meet certain conditions.

Your responsibility for church property  

How to contact us

For help, call our dedicated customer services team (please have your policy number available) on:

0345 606 1331

(Monday to Friday 8am-6pm excluding bank holidays)

Or you can email - enquiries@micmail.com

Methodist Insurance PLC (MIC) Reg. No. 6369. Registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester, GL1 1JZ. Methodist Insurance PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, Firm Reference Number 136423.