02 November 2023
Key dates through the year to help you look after and protect your church and those who use it.
Water pipes and heating
- An escape of water can cause extensive and lasting damage. Check that your water pipes are lagged, the stopcock is clearly labelled, and your heating system has been serviced by a registered engineer.
- From theft to arson and vandalism, security is key. As every place of worship and its location is unique, a tailored assessment and response, reflecting the individual risks faced, should be undertaken.
- If using ladders or stepladders check that they are right for the job, free from defects and used properly, being appropriately positioned and secured.
- Trees form a natural part of the landscape and bring many benefits. However, they can present a number of hazards as they age and careful management is needed.
- Events are a great way to engage with the wider community and raise vital funds. Larger events or unusual fundraising activities can present additional risks. These may need to be properly managed to ensure everyone remains safe and your event a success.
Fire risk assessment
- Have you reviewed your fire risk assessment? All churches need to complete a suitable and sufficient fire risk assessment to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 or The Fire (Scotland) Act 2005 which should be periodically reviewed to remain valid.
Working at height
- Falls from height can result in serious injury. Identify circumstances where tasks or access at height may be required and check the precautions you have taken are adequate.
- Electricity has the potential to cause considerable damage to property and serious personal injury. Check your electrical systems have been inspected by a qualified electrician within the last five years and all portable appliances have been tested.
Slips and trips
- Our claims data shows that slips and trips are the most common cause of injury in churches. To reduce the risk, review your precautions to tackle slip and trip hazards both indoors and outside.
- Working alone can present a number of hazards, including an increased risk of assault and/or aggression. Review situations where people complete tasks on their own to check the adequacy of precautions in place to protect them.
- Climate change is resulting in more extreme weather events. Though it’s impossible to flood proof your church properties, there are some simple actions you can take to reduce the damage caused.
- Review your safety and escape procedures. Check all Christmas lights, power cables, extension leads and precautions for candles and extra equipment.