Holiday Service Safety Considerations

// Lindsay Taylor on Friday December 15, 2017

Christmas services are among the highest-attended services of the year, presenting an exciting opportunity to celebrate and worship with a larger audience. With the increased number of services and attendees, you’ll want to make safety a top priority. Here are some pointers to help you plan for your large gathering.

Review your safety plan. Take a moment to revisit the safety plan you have established for your church. Review all procedures with your staff and volunteers to make sure that they know how to respond in the event of an emergency.

Determine logistics. With so many people in attendance, it's especially important to make sure that you have a game plan for the day – and that this plan is clearly communicated to staff and volunteers. Here are some details to consider:

  • Will you allow people to roam the facility or will you close off certain parts (e.g., church offices, classrooms, the gym or cafeteria)?
  • What time will the services start?
  • When will you start letting people in?
  • Which doors will you allow people to enter through?
  • Do you have enough seating and supplies (bulletins, candles, etc.) available?

Tip – It’s a good idea to have extra greeters and ushers available to assist people, since more nonmembers and out-of-town guests will be in attendance and may need more guidance and assistance.

Know your maximum occupancy. Going over this number can make for a squished, uncomfortable service – and create a safety risk in the event of an emergency.

Tip – Consider setting up overflow seating in a gym or fellowship hall with live video feeds of the services on TVs or projectors. This will allow more people to attend your service without it creating a safety risk.

Avoid slips and falls. There’s something special about a white Christmas, but you’ll want to be extra careful to limit slippery surfaces. Clear walking surfaces of snow and ice, and increase traction indoors by placing sturdy mats and runners at entrances.

Decorate with care.  Make sure that trees, manger scenes and other decorations do not block means of egress.

Step up security. Increased attendance also increases the potential threat of crime and violence, so make sure appropriate security measures are in place. Check out our post 4 Ways to Step Up Security at Holiday Events for ideas on how to do that.

Safely bask in the glow. The tips in this post will help ensure your candlelight service remains peaceful, not perilous.

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor

Lindsay Taylor is a Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance, focusing on marketing communications and the co-op program.

In her free time, she enjoys dancing, running and spending time with friends and family.

Candlelight Service Safety

// Natalie McCormick on Tuesday December 22, 2015

The holidays are a magical time of year.  It’s a time full of traditions, old and new, like caroling, hanging stockings or lining your neighborhood with luminaries.  If your church is like many across the United States, you will celebrate the season with a candlelight service.  As the room fills with twinkles of light, you’re reminded of the reason for the season.  The last thing you need is an injury, or worse, a fire, ruining the moment.  As you prepare for your service this week, remember these safety tips.

  • Candles should be placed in a sturdy, non-flammable candle holder.
  • Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time while lit.
  • When lighting candles, have the person with the unlit candle dip theirs into the flame of the lit candle.
  • Consider using battery-operated candles in place of once with wicks, especially for children.
  • If a battery-operated candle cannot be provided to a child, consider asking that the child share with his/her parent.
  • If wax is accidentally dripped onto skin, remove it quickly and run the burn under cold water.  If the burn is severe, consult your doctor immediately.
  • If any wax is dropped on the carpet or fabric; consider these steps for removal.
  • Equip your house of worship with a fire detection and sprinkler system and make sure it is properly maintained and in working order.

Your candlelight service is meant to be a peaceful and joyous time.  Consider these tips so that your traditions may continue for many years to come. 

 

Sources: NFPA

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick

Natalie McCormick is the Marketing Coordinator for GuideOne Insurance where she manages the direct mail program and assists with content marketing. 

When she's not at work she enjoys playing volleyball as well as perusing the local farmer's market.  If you can't find her outside you may find her inside reading a good book or baking a new recipe.