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.

Prevent Slips and Falls This Winter

// Sarah Arnold on Thursday December 22, 2016

Snow and ice are a problem pair when it comes to slips and falls, but prepping indoor and outdoor walking surfaces can help the members of your organization stay upright. These pointers and to-dos will help reduce the risk of nasty spills when winter weather strikes.

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.

Sarah Arnold

Sarah Arnold

Sarah Arnold is a Web Marketing Intern for GuideOne Insurance.

When she is not at work, Sarah enjoys horseback riding, painting, reading and spending time with her husband, ponies, cats and hound.

Safeguard Against Slips and Falls this Spring

// Katie Rynard on Thursday April 28, 2016

Winter may be long gone, but slipping hazards don’t melt away with snow and ice, unfortunately. Spring showers – and indoor spills – can bring claims from slips and falls. In fact, slips and falls are the number one cause of injury and liability losses at organizations.

Protect your organization’s employees, members and visitors from slips and falls by being especially mindful of wet surfaces. Reduce risk with these precautions: 

Stock up on mops, buckets, warning cones or signs, fans, and floor mats, and store them in easily accessible spots so they are ready to use. 

Train employees and volunteers to clean up puddles and spills immediately, place caution signs in visible areas to warn visitors of wet surfaces and replace floor mats when they are fully saturated.

Direct downspouts and sprinklers away from walkways. This is especially important in early spring, when low temperatures at night can cause re-freezing.

Clear foliage, rocks, gravel, mud and sand from parking lots and sidewalks. Debris can become a slipping hazard when wet (and can also be dangerous when not wet).

Repair holes and cracks on walkways. They’re not only tripping hazards, but they also collect slippery materials.

Increase traction and absorb extra moisture by placing sturdy mats and runners at entrances, in food-prep areas and under water fixtures like drinking fountains. They’re especially effective on hard floor surfaces like tile, which can be especially slippery when wet. Make sure all mats lay flat, are in good condition and have a slip-resistant backing. (When in doubt, secure them with anti-slip tape.)

Preventing and responding to wet surfaces is a smart way to prevent slips and falls, but it’s not the only way. Check out this infographic for other prevention tips and learn how spring maintenance of parking lots can make a big difference.

Sources: The GuideOne Center for Risk Management, LLC l SafeChurch 

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.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

Top 10 Church Claims

// Taylor Vivant on Tuesday February 23, 2016

Your church faces many risks that could potentially lead to an insurance claim. While purchasing insurance can help protect your church in the event of a claim, proper risk management and precautionary actions may lessen the likelihood of your church experiencing a loss. It may be a good idea to be aware of the most common church claims, so you can adequately prepare for these costly situations.

Review the infographic below for a list of the top 10 church claims and statistics that emphasize the importance of preventing them. You also will find links to additional resources that offer risk management and loss prevention tips for your church. Check out the links below the image for more information regarding these types of claims.

Sources:

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.

Taylor Vivant

Taylor Vivant

Taylor Vivant is a member of the Corporate Communications and Marketing team at GuideOne Insurance, where she assists in a variety of projects and tasks.

Away from work, she enjoys being active outdoors, adventuring with her friends and planning her next vacation.

Holiday Hazards

// Natalie McCormick on Thursday December 18, 2014

5 Holiday Church Safety Reminders

The holidays are an exciting and busy time.  For churches, this time of year means holiday décor, special services and increased attendance. But with each of those comes some safety concerns. Below is a list of 5 safety reminders to ensure your holiday celebrations go on without a hitch.

  1. Christmas Trees
    Natural trees are beautiful but they also present a fire hazard.  For this reason, opt for an artificial, fire-resistant tree when possible.  However, if you do have a real tree be sure to select a fresh tree with a sticky trunk and needles that are difficult to pull from the branches.  Water the tree every day, use flame-resistant ornaments and décor and keep away from furnaces, heaters, vents and exits. 
  2. Parking Lots
    Over time, parking lots can take a beating.  Potholes may begin showing up and curbs start to fall apart.  Remember to inspect your parking lot before your days of increased attendance and correct any potentially hazardous conditions.  Remove all debris and slippery material like mud and sand.  Also, be sure to mark curbs in a contrasting color. If you live in a cold climate, make arrangements to have snow removed from your parking lot in the event of a storm.

  3. Candles and Lights
    One of the best parts of holiday décor is the lights.  However, there are some dangers associated with them.  Consider using battery-powered candles in place of flame candles and if using flame candles place them in sturdy, non-combustible holders.  Never leave candles unattended and make sure all are put out before leaving the building.  If you’re using strands of lights be sure to inspect them for cracks and exposed wires. Only use lights that are UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) listed and do not leave them on overnight. 

  4. Sidewalks
    Falls are common and costly.  Like parking lots, sidewalks should be regularly inspected and poor conditions corrected.  Remove all gravel, rocks and any obstacles from the path of travel.  If you live in a cold climate, make sure to keep sidewalks free of snow and ice.  Apply de-icing products to walkways and watch for icy spots that arise from water runoff and re-freezing.

  5. Entrances and Exits
    These high traffic areas deserve special attention, especially during times of increased attendance.  Make sure the door threshold is flush with the floor and have an umbrella stand near the entrance to keep water from dripping onto the floor.  Be sure you have a floor mat or grate system to control any snow, ice or mud that gets tracked in.  Don’t forget to have all exits properly marked and remove any obstacles from the pathway to emergency exits.

Did your church decorate for the holidays?  We want to see!  Post the photos to our Facebook page. 

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.