Evaluate Your Ministry's Fire Safety Plan

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s wise for ministries to evaluate their fire safety plan. Whether your ministry is hosting a holiday party, prepping treats for charity, or running a community kitchen, make sure you’re well-prepared with these tips.

Prevention and equipment maintenance are always good investments. Not only does maintenance increase appliance usefulness, it can prevent losses caused by property damage and injury. Brotherhood Mutual has laid out eight questions (LINK) every ministry should ask themselves about hazards hiding in their kitchen facility.

Another beneficial way to prepare for a fire is to create a disaster plan. Disaster plans include information about how to continue the “business” of ministry. For instance, it organizes where you’ll meet if your church is closed, how you’ll access church records, and how to respond to emergency situations.

Here are five steps to help you get started on a disaster plan today.

  • Step 1: Form a Team – A knowledgeable team can create a robust response plan. Look for key professionals such as law enforcement, medical, and fire and other first responders in your organization.
  • Step 2: Assess Risks – Once the team is in place, it’s time to perform a risk assessment—determining which hazards could affect the ministry. Look into potential threats, the probability of each threat affecting the ministry, and the potential magnitude of each threat.
  • Step 3: Create a Response Plan – Using the information found in the risk assessment, the team can begin developing a disaster response plan to minimize disruption, losses, and injuries caused by a disaster. Ideally, a disaster plan will include plans such as evacuation and first aid.
  • Step 4: Train Employees and Volunteers – A response plan is most effective when employees and volunteers are trained to follow it. It’s a good idea to provide copies of the plan to employees and volunteers and post evacuation routes.
  • Step 5: Evaluate and Refresh – A response plan should be a dynamic document. Evaluate the plan on an annual basis, fine-tuning it as needed, and obtain approvals from the ministry’s attorney before finalizing any changes. Once changes are approved, re-train employees and volunteers to follow the updated plan.

If your church or school has a kitchen, you have the ingredients for a fire. Regardless of kitchen type—commercial, residential, or combination—built-up grease, poor kitchen design, or inadequate education can all lead to a disaster. Talk with your American Church Group agent today to ensure you’re covered for potential disasters.


Disclaimer: Coverage decisions are made at the time of an actual claim, subject to all policy terms and conditions.

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