Places of worship are known for their open-door policy, welcoming all. They are also known for their rituals that often involve candles, and celebrations and socials that include food preparation. National Church Safety Month is a time for heightening awareness on preventing fires and injuries and reviewing ways to be secure in the worship setting.
- Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking or have someone else monitor what’s cooking if you have to step away.
- Keep anything that can catch fire–oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains–away from the stovetop.
- If you have a small grease fire and decide to fight the fire, smother the flames by sliding a lid on the pan and turning off the burner. For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
- If you have any doubts about fighting a small fire, just get out and have everyone else in the building evacuate. Call 9-1-1 from outdoors.
- Candles should be placed in a sturdy candle holder.
- Handheld candles should not be passed from one person to another at any time.
- Lit candles should not be placed in windows where a blind or curtain could catch fire.
- If a candle must burn continuously, enclose it in a glass container and place it in a sink, or on a metal tray, or in a deep basin filled with water.
- Places of worship should be equipped with a fire detection and sprinkler system.
Safety in Public Assembly
Before you enter the building
- Take a good look at it. Does it appear to be in a condition that makes you feel comfortable.
- Have a communication plan, identifying a relative or friend to contact in case of emergency or if you become separated.
- Pick a meeting place outside to meet family or friends in an emergency.
When you enter the building
- Locate the exits.
- Check for clear exit paths. Make sure aisles are wide enough and not blocked by chairs or other furnishings
- React immediately if the fire alarm system sounds or you notice some other unusual disturbance, immediately exit the building in orderly fashion.