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Safety and Security Manual

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Safety and Security Manual

Emergency

Emergency Preparedness & Procedures

It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith Church to prepare for emergency situations to the best of our ability in order to protect all individuals who attend or participate in services and events at our locations.

  • Emergency Procedures - Policy, Purpose, Administration - 7.1

    Policy: It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith Church to ensure that staff and volunteers know how to respond appropriately in emergencies.

    Purpose: It is our purpose to provide instruction and training materials that will prepare our staff and volunteers in the most effective response to crisis situations.

    Administration: The pastor and local safety team are responsible to instruct and train workers in how best to respond to the following specific crisis situations (presented in alphabetical order):

    • Accident
    • Building Evacuation
    • Civil Disturbance
    • Disruptive Person
    • Earthquake
    • Fire
    • Hurricane/Tornado
    • Lockdown
    • Medical Emergency
    • Missing Child
    • Power Outage
    • Violent Intruder

     

  • Accident - 7.2

    When an accident occurs, staff members are instructed to immediately call 911 or other appropriate emergency responder if the injury requires urgent medical attention. They should be prepared to give information concerning location, number of people involved, and the nature of the injury.

    If a service is in progress, they are instructed to notify the head usher or Church Emergency Responder (CER). That person will:

    • Conduct a preliminary assessment of the injury. Ascertain whether it is advisable to call 911 if that has not already been done.
    • Provide basic first aid or other intervention measures as necessary until emergency responders arrive on scene.
    • Look for an emergency medical identification card on the injured person, or check with the spouse or immediate family member for such information.
    • If the injured person is a minor, instruct someone to contact the parent/guardian.
    • Delegate someone to be in the parking lot to direct emergency vehicles and personnel coming to the scene.
    • Avoid accepting liability or making a commitment to pay expenses. While it is appropriate to express concern for the injured party, no comments should be made regarding fault, negligence, or responsibility.

    After the injured person has been appropriately cared for, the church representative who handles the situation should take the following steps:

    • Inform the pastor and/or building maintenance supervisor where the accident took place and the circumstances which caused it. If the mishap was caused by a building defect, rope off the area to prevent further accidents. No repairs should be made until the insurance adjustor has completed any necessary investigation.
    • Fill out an Accident/Incident Report form.
    • If an insurance claim results, notify the headquarters office, relaying all available information including copies of any legal papers, demands, or notices received regarding the incident. All injuries involving insurance should be reported to the headquarters office within twenty-four hours, if possible.

     

  • Building Evacuation - 7.3

    A building evacuation is mandatory whenever a fire alarm sounds, and building occupants should exit immediately. Other situations may also arise which necessitate evacuation of the premises. In such cases, it will be important for all staff and volunteers to take the following steps:

    • Stay calm, and encourage those under your supervision to do so.
    • Follow the instructions of authorized safety personnel if any are present.
    • Evacuate the building using the designated evacuation routes, keeping existing groups together.
    • Close the door if you are the last person to leave an enclosed area. Do not lock doors; others may need to use the exit.
    • Assist disabled persons in your immediate vicinity if possible.
    • Do not use elevators to descend from upper floors; use stairwells. If smoke or heat is encountered in a stairwell, proceed to another stairwell and continue evacuation to ground level and outdoors.
    • If smoke is encountered, bend over and take short breaths through your nose as you move toward the exit.
    • Feel doors before opening.  If the door is hot, do not open it but use another exit. If the door is cool, open it slowly, keeping behind the door in case it must be closed quickly to protect from inrushing smoke or fire.
    • Exit the building and go to the designated safety zones in the church perimeter or parking lot, away from the building.
    • Do not congregate in or near building exits, driveways, or roadways.  Keep these areas clear for emergency response crews.
    • Do not go to your vehicle or attempt to move it from the parking lot.
    • Do not return to the building for any reason until an “all clear” is issued by authorized safety personnel.

    Sunday School Department Leaders, CERs, Ushers, and Activity Leaders

    • Monitor the doorways as teachers/activity leaders move their groups to the safe zones designated on the evacuation map.
    • Remind the teachers/activity leaders to take a head count of the young people who are exiting with them, and to count again when they reach the safe zone.
    • Teachers/activity leaders exiting from upper floors should make sure no one uses the elevators; stairwells should be used for descent. If smoke or heat is encountered in a stairwell, they should go to another stairwell and continue evacuation to ground level.
    • If smoke is encountered, children should be instructed to bend over and take short breaths through their noses.
    • Remind teachers/activity leaders to feel doors before opening.  If the door is hot, they should use another exit. If the door is cool, they should open it slowly, keeping behind the door in case it must be closed quickly to protect from inrushing smoke or fire.
    • When the last class or group of individuals is gone, the department or activity leader should check to make sure the area is empty, closing doors to the area when he/she leaves.
    • If conditions permit, leaders should check nearby restroom facilities to make sure no child, elderly person, or disabled individual is there and needs help to evacuate safely.
    • After exiting the building, leaders should join others in the pre-designated safety zones of the parking lot.
    • Department or activity leaders should check with staff to make sure all children are accounted for. If a child is missing, notify the CER or other authorized safety personnel.
    • Make sure that individuals who have vacated the building do not gather near building exits, driveways, or roadways, as this could hinder the emergency response crews.
    • Wait for further instructions. Do not allow anyone to return to the building until the “all clear” signal is given by authorized safety officials.

     

     

  • Civil Disturbance - 7.4

    At times, churches can be targets for demonstrations or disruptive actions. Social activist organizations or even hate groups occasionally attempt to spread their message by staging events that provoke confrontation and attract media attention. These actions may be orderly and peaceful. However, if a demonstrator or group of individuals comes onto church property for the purpose of intimidating, harassing, or threatening occupants or disrupting proceedings, individuals inside the building should:

    • Notify the usher or CER if a church service is in progress. That person will inform the pastor or minister in charge to determine the next step. If no minister, CER, or usher is present and the situation is threatening in any way, call 911 or the police. Law enforcement agencies are trained in strategies to defuse volatile situations, including protests, demonstrations, and riots.
    • Do not interact personally with the demonstrators.
    • Encourage children, youth, and others in the vicinity to remain calm and avoid confrontation.
    • Continue normal operations if feasible under the circumstances.
    • Ushers or security personnel should secure the church by locking exterior doors. If time permits, they should lock desks, file drawers, and storage areas as well.
    • If the demonstrators are aggressive or threatening in any way, stay away from doors and windows.
    • If the demonstrators attempt to enter the building, do not try to physically halt their entry.
    • If the situation is tense in any way, do not leave the building until law enforcement personnel are on the scene and able to ensure a safe exit.

     

  • Disruptive Person - 7.5

    If a person enters the church while a service is in progress and purposefully causes a disturbance, acts irrationally, or threatens physical harm, the following procedure should be followed:

    • If the person is obviously intoxicated, on drugs, or agitated, an usher or the on-duty CER should engage the person in conversation to assess his/her condition, and deter entry to the sanctuary, if possible.
    • If the disruptive person is already in the sanctuary when the disturbance begins, the closest usher or CER should immediately approach and attempt to calm the individual and persuade him to leave the sanctuary. If other ushers or CERs are present, they should move toward the scene to give assistance if needed.
    • If the disturbance continues, the disruptive person should be escorted from the sanctuary. More than one person should be involved in the removal so allegations of unreasonable force or brutality can be rebutted. If only one usher or CER is available, he should request help from an able-bodied worker in proximity to the situation.
    • If the disruptive person refuses to leave or agitation persists after removal from the sanctuary, it may be necessary to call 911 for help.
    • The pastor may instruct those in the sanctuary to kneel or bow their heads in prayer until the disruptive situation is dealt with.
    • Congregation members seated near the individual may be asked to move to another part of the sanctuary.

    After the situation has been defused, the usher or CER who handled the situation should make a record of the event using the Accident/Incident Report Form, and giving a brief description of what transpired. This record should include the names of any individuals who took part in subduing the disruptive individual.  Keep this record in the church files in case there is later legal action.

    If threats are made or there is any indicator that the disruptive person intends to return at a later time to retaliate, the church may impose a restraining order prohibiting the individual from coming onto church property or contacting staff or members of the church.

     

  • Earthquake - 7.6

    If the church is in a designated earthquake zone, particular care should be taken to ensure that all church workers know what to do in event of a quake.

    Inside the Church

    Those who are inside the church when an earthquake occurs should take the following steps:

    • Take shelter under cover, such as a pew, desk, or table. Individuals in the sanctuary who cannot get under a pew should kneel between them.
    • If it is not possible to take shelter under furniture, kneel next to an interior permanent wall away from windows, overhead light fixtures, and tall pieces of furniture.
    • Bend your head close to your knees. Protect your head and neck with your arms and hands.
    • Stay in place. Do not run outside or use stairways or elevators.
    • Stay under cover for at least two to three minutes after the shaking stops, as there may be aftershocks.
    • Once the quake has subsided, treat or assist injured people in the vicinity as your level of expertise permits. Do not move anyone with an injury unless they are in immediate danger.
    • Do not be surprised if the fire alarm or sprinkler system activates.
    • If damage is extensive, avoid going into or through areas where structural damage may have rendered the building unsafe.

    Outside the Church

    • Move into the open, away from buildings, fences, trees, playground equipment, utility wires, and street lights if possible.
    • Kneel or sit on the ground and cover your head and neck with your arms and hands.
    • Stay in the open until the shaking stops.

    Traveling in a Church Vehicle

    • Pull over to the side of the road, away from overhead power lines, trees, and overpasses. Set the parking brake.
    • Instruct passengers to stay in the car until the shaking stops.
    • If a power line falls on your vehicle, stay inside until a trained person removes the wire.

     

  • Fire - 7.7

    Workers who detect a fire should take the following steps:

    • If a service is in progress, notify the head usher or CER, who will initiate evacuation of the building if needed. If no usher or CER is in immediate proximity, the individual discovering the fire should activate the nearest fire alarm. He should then:
    • Call 911 giving the church name, telephone number, and location, along with the general area in the building where the fire is located.
    • If the fire is extinguishable, obtain a fire extinguisher and attempt to put it out. If in doubt, evacuate.
    • If the fire is beyond the point of a safe attempt to extinguish it, isolate the fire by closing doors to the area before evacuating.

    Workers who are in the building when a fire alarm sounds should take the following steps:

    • If you are responsible for others, follow the evacuation procedures described in the Procedure Guidelines for your position/role in the church.
    • If you have no designated responsibility for others, evacuate the building immediately using the posted evacuation route for the area you are in.
    • Assist disabled persons in your immediate vicinity if possible.
    • Do not use elevators to descend from upper floors. If smoke or heat is encountered in a stairwell, proceed to another stairwell and continue evacuation to ground level and outdoors.
    • If smoke is encountered, bend over and take short breaths through your nose as you move toward the exit.
    • Feel doors before opening. If the door is hot, do not open it but use another exit. If the door is cool, open it slowly, staying behind the door in case you have to close it quickly to protect from inrushing smoke or fire.
    • Exit the building and go immediately to the designated safety zones in the church perimeter or parking lot, away from the building.
    • Do not congregate in or near building exits, driveways, or roadways.  Keep these areas clear for emergency response crews.
    • Do not go to your vehicle or attempt to move it from the parking lot.
    • Do not return to the building for any reason until an “all clear” is issued by authorized safety personnel.

     

  • Hurricane/Tornado - 7.8

    The official hurricane season in the United States runs from June through November, but historically, the most active storms occur from August through October.

    Current storm advisories can be tracked at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/. Ministers and church workers in hurricane/tornado zones should be familiar with the National Weather Service terminology regarding storm conditions. Following are the classification and definitions of storm conditions, and the appropriate steps to take in each instance.

    Hurricane/Tornado Watch — This type of alert indicates that hurricane conditions are possible within 36 to 48 hours. Preliminary preparations to protect life and property should begin. If a hurricane/tornado watch is announced, church staff members should take the following steps if doing so is necessary and feasible, and can be accomplished safely:

    • If the church is in a potential flood zone, place sand bags at the top of stairwells leading to the basement floors and in front of entry doors if necessary. (If at all possible, use tube bags.)
    • Make sure drain covers are clear of debris and/or the sump pump is operating correctly.
    • Bring in all parking signs, trash cans, playground equipment, etc.
    • Close all windows and blinds and shut all interior doors.
    • Ensure all church information systems have been backed up and copies are safe. Unplug all computers and put them on tables or countertops, off the floor.
    • Cover piano and organ in the sanctuary with tarps.
    • Pastors or their safety appointees may wish to contact church members and ask for the following information (especially important regarding those who are elderly or disabled):
    • Are you leaving or staying for the hurricane? Do you have transportation?
    • Where and how can you be reached during and after the storm?
    • When do you plan to return?
    • Will someone be checking your home after the hurricane or do you need a church member to check on it for you?

    Hurricane/Tornado Warning — This is an alert issued by the National Weather Service after a hurricane or tornado has been detected by radar or sighted by weather watchers or the public. The National Weather Service provides the approximate time of detection, the location of the storm, and the direction of movement. When a hurricane/tornado warning is issued, prompt emergency action should be taken.

    Individuals who are in the church when a hurricane/tornado warning is announced should take the following steps:

    • Move away from windows. If you have time, close window blinds or shades to minimize damage from flying glass and debris.
    • Warn others, encouraging them to get into a safe area immediately.
    • Seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building—in a basement if possible. If there is no basement in the church, move away from the building perimeter and interior rooms away from windows and large expanses of unsupported ceilings. The safest areas are interior hallways, small rooms opposite to the approach of the storm, bathrooms, or closets.
    • Assist disabled persons in your vicinity to get to a safe area.
    • Do not use elevators.
    • Do not go outside to your vehicle.
    • Stay in place until an official “all clear” is given.

     

  • Lockdown - 7.9

    If a violent person is causing or threatening deadly harm in the building, individuals not in the immediate vicinity should flee the building if this can be done safely. If flight is dangerous or impossible, take the following steps:

    • Immediately move into a securable area such as an office or Sunday school department.
    • Occupy separate locations as much as possible to make it more difficult for a violent intruder to cause multiple injuries.
    • Lock the room or department doors and stay away from windows.
    • Call 911 or other appropriate emergency numbers if you can do so without disclosing your hiding place.
    • Put as many barriers between yourself and the intruder as possible.
    • If time permits, close blinds or curtains and turn off all lights and audio equipment.
    • Remain quiet.
    • Prepare to defend yourself, including arming yourself and others with heavy objects.
    • Do not sound the fire alarm or initiate a building evacuation, as this could place others in the vicinity of the intruder as they attempt to exit.
    • Do not leave the secured area until notified that it is safe to do so by the police or church safety personnel.

     

  • Medical Emergency - 7.10

    When a medical emergency occurs:

    • If the person requires urgent medical attention, immediately call 911 or other appropriate emergency responder.  Be prepared to give information concerning location, number of people involved, and the nature of the medical emergency.
    • If a service is in progress, notify the head usher or Church Emergency Responder (CER). That person will:
    • Conduct a preliminary assessment of the individual.
    • Ascertain whether it is advisable to call 911 if that has not already been done.
    • Provide CPR or other intervention measures as necessary until emergency responders arrive on scene.
    • Look for an emergency medical identification card on the ill person, or check with the spouse or immediate family member for such information.
    • If the ill person is a minor, instruct someone to contact the parent/guardian.
    • Delegate someone to be in the parking lot to direct the emergency vehicles and personnel coming to the scene.
    • Provide medical assistance and support until professional help arrives. Then allow responding units to take control of the situation.

    If no usher or CER are present, a minister or the activity leader should assume control of the situation and follow the above procedure, while refraining from offering any assistance only trained medical professionals should give.

    When the immediate crisis has been dealt with appropriately, the person who took charge at the scene should fill out an Accident/Incident Report form.

     

  • Missing Child - 7.11

    If a child is missing from the church premises while a service is in progress, notify an usher or CER. If the child is missing from a Sunday school area, notify the Sunday school department leader, who will inform the head usher or CER. That individual will:

    • Contact ushers and other staff members as needed to assist with a search of the church premises.
    • Notify the parent/guardian of the child of the situation and the action being taken.
    • Determine if and when 911 help should be summoned. If the situation is a suspected kidnapping, contact law enforcement officials immediately.
    • When the child is found, notify searchers that the situation has been resolved.

    If a child is missing from a church-sponsored, offsite activity, the following procedure should be followed:

    • Notify the activity leader immediately.
    • The activity leader will alert staff members, providing a description of the missing child.
    • Commence search.
    • Notify the parent/guardian of the child of the situation and action being taken.
    • The activity leader will determine if 911 help should be summoned. If the situation is a suspected kidnapping, contact law enforcement officials immediately.
    • When the child is found, notify searchers and the parent/guardian that the situation has been resolved

     

  • Power Outage - 7.12

    Weather, accidents, and storms can disrupt electrical service to the church. If a power outage occurs during a service, congregation members should be instructed to stay where they are and wait for instructions.

    If a power outage occurs when an activity is taking place or you are working in the church building, take the following steps:

    • Do not call 911 except in the case of an emergency.
    • Assess the extent of the outage. If the electricity is out in only one area of the building, it may be a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. In that case, report the outage to maintenance personnel.
    • If the local neighborhood is dark, notify your utility company of the loss of power, and ascertain the expected duration of the outage.
    • If outage continues, help co-workers or individuals under your supervision to move to a location with natural light or emergency lighting, or to exit the building.
    • Check restrooms and other adjacent areas for individuals who may be trapped in a dark room (frightened children, individuals with special needs, etc.)
    • Unplug personal computers, non-essential electrical equipment, and appliances.  Turn off non-critical equipment and lights.
    • Secure the building before vacating the premises.

     

     

  • Violent Intruder - 7.13

    If a violent person enters the church while a service is in progress, the following procedure should be followed.

    Ushers/Security Personnel

    • Immediately call 911.
    • Do not initiate a building evacuation, as this could put some individuals in the path of the intruder.

    Individuals in Proximity

    Individuals who are caught in proximity to the violent intruder should do one of the following (options are listed in descending order of effectiveness):

    • Run. Escaping from a violent attacker is generally the best option if you can do so. If you decide to run, do not run in a straight line. Keep objects between you and the violent person as much as possible. When out of the immediate area, summon help and warn others.
    • Hide. Get down on the floor and take cover under pews, chairs, or other objects. Violent attackers tend to notice upright people more readily.
    • Play dead. If you are unable to run or hide, you may choose to play dead, especially if other victims are around you.
    • Fight back. Confronting the attacker is dangerous. However, this could be an option if you are physically fit or have an opportunity to disarm the intruder when he is looking another way.
    • Individuals who are caught by the intruder and are not going to fight back should follow his directions and not look him in the eyes.
    • When law enforcement arrives, obey all commands. This may involve individuals in the vicinity being handcuffed or made to put their hands in the air. This is done for safety reasons, and once circumstances are evaluated by law enforcement, they will give further directions.

    Individuals Not in Proximity

    Individuals not in the immediate vicinity should be told to flee the building if this can be done safely. If flight is dangerous or impossible, people should be instructed to take the following steps:

    • Move into securable areas such as offices or Sunday school departments.
    • Occupy separate locations as much as possible to make it more difficult for a violent intruder to cause multiple injuries.
    • Lock the room doors and stay away from windows.
    • Put as many barriers between themselves and the intruder as possible.
    • If time permits, close blinds or curtains and turn off all lights and audio equipment.
    • Remain quiet.
    • Prepare to defend themselves, including arming themselves with heavy objects.
    • Stay in the secured area until notified that it is safe to leave by the police or church safety personnel.

     

  • Emergency Preparedness - Policy, Purpose, Administration - 6.1

    Policy: It is the policy of the Apostolic Faith Church to prepare for emergency situations to the best of our ability in order to protect all individuals who attend or participate in services and events at our locations.

    Purpose: It is our purpose to maintain our facilities in a manner that eliminates hazards and reduces risk, and to instruct our workers regarding the best possible response in emergency situations.

    Administration: The pastor and his safety appointees are responsible to oversee preparation of the church facility and training of staff and volunteers to respond to the following crisis situations (presented in alphabetical order):

    • Accident
    • Building Evacuation
    • Civil Disturbance
    • Disruptive Person
    • Earthquake
    • Fire
    • Hurricane/Tornado
    • Lockdown
    • Medical Emergency
    • Missing Child
    • Power Outage
    • Violent Intruder

     

     

  • Instructions for Pastor and Safety Team - 6.2

    Our church buildings are facilities which are used on a continual basis by large numbers of people, so emergency situations may well occur from time to time.

    Each church should have a safety team made up of individuals who will help to implement safety procedures in the local church and ensure that the facilities are maintained in a manner that reduces risks. Pastors may serve on the safety team, although that is not a requirement. If possible, the team should consist of at least three members. Pastors should consider involving the following:

    • Assistant ministers, ushers, maintenance personnel, and/or security people.
    • A person(s) with business skills to do copying, filing, distribution of materials, record keeping, etc.
    • Individual(s) with medical or emergency response training.

    If the pastor does not plan to participate as part of the team, he should appoint a team leader.

    In addition, each pastor should identify able-bodied, responsible, and level-headed individuals from the congregation who would be able to take charge of an emergency situation. (These individuals may be part of the safety team or people who have medical or emergency response training, but others may qualify as well.) These people should be appointed and trained to serve as Church Emergency Responders (CERs).

    Pastors should be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this Safety and Security Manual, and do their best to ensure that its guidelines are observed. They, along with the safety team members and CERs, should be thoroughly familiar with the responsibilities outlined in the portion of this document titled Emergency Procedures (they are also given in the document Procedure Guidelines for Church Emergency Responders). Pastors, ministers, safety team members, ushers, and CERs should also take the following steps:

     

  • Facility and Staff Preparedness - 6.3

    Accidents can happen in God’s house just as they do in schools or other public buildings. Each of our Apostolic Faith churches has a unique set of risk factors. Facilities that have been used for a number of years may have older wiring and plumbing, stairways, and equipment which cause an ever-increasing possibility for accident and injury.

    To eliminate hazards and be best prepared to deal with accidents, pastors or the local safety team should take the following steps:

    • Keep a current list of phone numbers for crisis responders near entries and at other strategic locations throughout the church. The list should include the church address, and provide phone numbers for:
    • 911 (police, fire, and medical assistance).
    •  Security and building maintenance contact person(s).
    • Church emergency responders (CERs), and/or individuals in the congregation who have emergency response or medical training.
    • Minister(s) to contact in event of emergency.
    • Post maps of the building and emergency evacuation routes near exits throughout the building. If the church is located in an earthquake zone or an area with potential for extreme weather conditions, maps should be marked with “safe zones” where congregation members will go in case of such an event.
    • Mark all exits clearly, and keep them free of obstructions so they can be utilized easily in event of an emergency.
    • Keep a document identifying the location of all key shut-offs (gas main, electricity, and water) in the pastor’s office and/or other easily accessible locations.
    • Schedule an annual walk-through inspection by the local fire department to ensure that no hazardous conditions exist on the premises.
    • Facilitate regular inspections of fire alarm pull stations, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and the fire suppression (sprinkler) system.
    • Have the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems inspected regularly to eliminate potentially hazardous conditions.
    • Ensure that all repair and maintenance tasks are performed in a timely manner.

    Staff Preparedness

    The best safety preparation revolves around safety awareness. The more people who become aware and involved in safety measures in the local church, the more effective that church’s safety program will be.

    Establishing a safety team and appointing and training CERs are important first steps in preparing the local staff and volunteers for responding effectively to emergency situations. In addition, pastors or their safety team should:

    • Ensure that all new workers are provided with Procedure Guidelines for the areas in which they will serve, and are adequately trained in the church’s emergency procedures.
    • Arrange for the presentation or distribution of any safety training materials provided by the Portland headquarters.
    • Schedule a CER to be available during each worship service or church activity, if possible.
    • Encourage staff and volunteers to become certified in CPR and basic first aid practices.
    • Ensure that ministers, safety team members, CERs, and other key personnel know how to disseminate emergency information, and to announce and implement a building evacuation.
    • Define a method for monitoring conditions after an earthquake, power outage, or extreme weather event, and for checking on congregation members.
    • If the local church is in a hazardous weather zone, inform the congregation regarding verbiage used by the National Weather Service in identifying storm conditions, and the steps to take in event of a warning.
    • Instruct the congregation in evacuation procedures, and/or hold periodic evacuation drills.

    Accident Prevention

    • Maintain buildings and equipment in a manner that promotes physical safety. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Keep outdoor walkways in good repair and free of uneven surfaces.
    • Ensure that interior flooring, steps, carpet, and handrails are kept in good condition.
    • Provide adequate lighting in parking areas, entries, halls, stairways, and storage areas.
    • Mark construction or repair work sites with boundary markers, cones, and signs to alert people of potential hazards.
    • Store cleaning chemicals and flammable materials in a locked area.
    • Designate an area where first aid and medical supplies, wheelchair, and other emergency response equipment is readily available.
    • Maintain fully stocked first aid kits at key locations throughout the building.
    • Retain in the church office all records related to building safety inspections, discrepancies, and work orders for corrective action.

    Building Evacuation Preparedness

    • Maintain a list of self-identified disabled persons who require assistance during an emergency evacuation. Designate assistants for wheelchair users to help them during an emergency.

    Earthquake Preparedness

    • Mark emergency exit maps with the safest areas in the church (away from windows, brick walls, etc.)
    • Position tall furniture away from exits. Do not use tall furniture as room dividers.
    • Strap or bolt all bookcases, cabinets, and files over forty-two inches tall to the walls.
    • Check the stability of hanging objects such as ceiling fans and light fixtures. Secure all mirrors, pictures, and decorative wall hangings properly.
    • Retain all records and documents related to earthquake drills, trainings, and inspections in the church office.

    Fire Prevention

    • Maintain fire alarm pull stations, smoke alarms, and a fire suppression (sprinkler) system, and inspect them annually to make sure they are in working order.
    • Retain all records and documents related to fire safety inspections and corrective actions in the church record-keeping system.
    • Provide fire extinguishers at well-marked and accessible locations throughout the building.
    • Keep corridors, aisles, and exits free of obstructions.
    • Limit the use of extension cords and multiple outlets.
    • Do not use mechanical rooms or utility rooms for storage.
    • Post signs near elevators indicating that elevators are not to be used in the event of a fire.

    Hurricane/Tornado Preparedness

    If the local church is in a hurricane or tornado zone, the following steps should be taken:

    • Mark church maps with hurricane-safe shelter areas. Typically, these areas would be the basement, small interior rooms, closets, or hallways on the lowest level away from windows.
    • Equip hurricane/tornado shelter areas with emergency supplies such as a battery-powered radio, blankets, bottled water, flashlights, and batteries.
    • Have basic supplies, such as cleaning buckets, shovels, and bleach on hand for initial cleanup.
    • Maintain contact information for church members who need to be checked on after a storm, and designate specific workers to make those checks.
    • Make sure flood insurance is adequate if the building is near a river or stream.
    • Retain all records and documents related to hurricane/tornado drills, trainings, and inspections related to preparedness in the church records.
    • If a hurricane is announced in the area, and time permits, secure external and internal doors, close windows, and secure outdoor items or bring them indoors.

    Medical Emergency Preparedness

    • Designate an area where first aid and medical supplies, wheelchair, and other emergency response equipment are kept readily available.
    • Maintain fully stocked first aid kits at key locations throughout the building.
    • Establish a recovery area equipped with a place to lie down, first aid supplies, blankets, and pillows.

    Power Outage Preparedness

    • Identify vital power-dependent functions, operations, and equipment.
    • If feasible, have a back-up generator which provides emergency power for all exit lighting, fire and intrusion alarm systems, the audio system, and freeze protection for the building’s heating system.
    • Label all breakers and shut-offs.
    • Keep a current list of contact information for utility/power providers.
    • Keep offsite duplicates of critical computer data.

    Violent Intruder Preparedness

    • If possible, have a public address system in place which allows for a building emergency to be broadcast throughout the whole facility.
    • Prepare ways to secure or isolate different areas of the building to prevent movement of intruders.
    • After services begin, lock “low use” doors to prevent intruders from entering the building.
    • Know who has keys to the church building.

     

About Us

The Apostolic Faith Church is a worldwide Christian organization, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, our doctrinal beliefs are the basic Bible truths, including the definite experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

Stay in Touch

info@apostolicfaith.org

6615 SE 52nd Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97206

apostolicfaith.org

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