Conducting Facility and Grounds Safety Self-Inspections
May 22, 2013 – Regularly inspecting your facilities and grounds is one of the most important safeguards that your organization can take to keep the premises safe. The ultimate goal of inspecting the premises is to minimize the risk of property loss and personal injury due to unsafe conditions. There are three types of inspections that should be incorporated into your overall safety program: weekly, monthly and annually.
Weekly walk-through inspections before services can identify and correct immediate defects, such as weather-related hazards (e.g., snow or ice on sidewalks and wet entryways without mats), walkway obstructions, and other liability or property hazards.
Monthly inspections should be conducted by an organized body or team within the church (such as the safety and security team, property committee, grounds committee, or trustees) following an established checklist.
The following areas should be inspected:
- Parking lots;
- Building exterior and roof;
- Entrances and exits;
- Interior walkways;
- Interior rooms;
- Mechanical, electrical, and storage rooms;
- Kitchen; and
- Nursery and child-care areas.
Annual inspections should be conducted by an organized body or team within the church following an established checklist. In addition to the areas inspected monthly, special attention should be paid to electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and fire protection systems, as well as water penetration and building structure integrity. Periodic consultation with professional contractors and/or local fire officials is recommended in conjunction with the annual inspection process.
For all inspections, a process should be in place to correct defects noted or, if a defect cannot be corrected immediately, to place or mark the area out of service until repairs can be made.