Protecting Your House of Worship

Religious organizations provide a safe, secure atmosphere where members can gather and express their beliefs. Unfortunately, these organizations aren’t immune to vandalism and burglary. Among religious organizations, vandalism is the third leading cause of property loss. Vandalism and burglary together account for 18 percent of claims and 7 percent of total incurred claims costs.[1]

The following checklist can help you protect your organization and decrease the risk of vandalism and burglary:

  • Create a protection committee or ministry to monitor the safety and security of the congregation and its property.
  • Ensure that all walking areas of the property are well-lit at night.
  • Have building security systems installed and monitored by a security service.
  • Reduce temptations. When leaving a building for the night, close the blinds or shades in rooms that house computers, speakers, and other valuable equipment.
  • Form a community or neighborhood watch system. Make an agreement with nearby residents and/or merchants to keep an eye on each other’s property and watch for suspicious activities.
  • Establish relationships with local law enforcement to ensure that they are familiar with the operations of your house of worship and can respond if something appears out of the ordinary.
  • Make frequent transfers of cash and other securities to an on-site safe and an off-site location (e.g., a bank). Always secure the safe when it is not in use.

 Based on a review of internal Liberty Mutual Insurance claims data.

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The illustrations, instructions, and principles in this material are general in scope and, to the best of our knowledge, current at the time of publication. No attempt has been made to interpret any referenced codes, standards, or regulations nor to identify all potential risks or requirements.