Church Office Handbook Part 4

Communication Corner
Office Handbook Part 4: Church Safety and Security

In the chaos of an emergency situation, having a set of step-by-step procedures helps keep everyone safe and things organized.  When it comes to the safety and security of the church facilities, here are a few things you should consider adding to your Church Office Handbook.  Your church may have many of these things already in place, but it is a good idea to have a copy written down in a central location.

Emergency Action Plan:

What do you do in the event of a fire, tornado, flood, or other natural disaster? How do you plan to keep everyone safe?  An emergency action plan is a way to facilitate and organize individual movements during emergencies.  Things to include:

  • Means of reporting fires and other emergencies
  • Evacuation procedures and emergency escape route assignments
  • Procedures to account for everyone after an emergency evacuation has been completed

Other things to consider:

  • A description of the system used to notify those in the building to evacuate or take shelter.
  • The off-site gathering location to be used in the event of a fire or explosion.
  • A secure location to store originals or duplicate copies of accounting records, legal documents, employee files, and other essential records.
  • Church leadership’s individual roles and responsibilities
  • Location and use of common emergency equipment and emergency shutdown procedures

For more information and a template on how to create an Emergency Evacuation plan go to: www.osha.gov

Church Keys

Include a list of church keys, location of the master set, and who has a copy of which keys.  Have church leadership turn in their keys when their term has ended.  Set up a schedule of rekeying the all the locks every few years.  This is so that in case of a break in you know who has keys to the building and that only those who have official church business can get in when no one else is around.

Church Accounts and Passwords

This needs to be a list of church online accounts, usernames, and passwords.  While you don’t want just anyone knowing this information, more than one person needs to have it.  This prevents malicious and unwanted use of the accounts and provides a safety net in case something should happen to the administrator of the account.

Church Tech Inventory

Like the list of keys, it is also important to list all your electronic equipment, when they were bought and/or sold, and any serial and model numbers.  In case there is a theft, then you have all the pertinent information to file with the police.  This list should be updated minimally on a yearly bases.

Read more about Church Office Handbooks here:

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