Empty Buildings Attract Problems

Take steps to prevent vandalism and theft issues during coronavirus restrictions

As Christian ministries shift to temporarily hosting virtual services, empty buildings can become targets for vandalism and theft. Below are some practical steps you can take now to help protect your ministry property.

Theft and Vandalism Prevention Tips

You can reduce the threat of burglary, arson, and vandalism by implementing the following tips:

  • Secure windows, basement entries, external stairways, and storage sheds.
  • Make sure your security cameras are functioning, if your ministry is equipped with them.
  • Ask local police to patrol your property as often as possible during the night hours.
  • If permitted, check on your buildings during the day and night. Notify law enforcement of anything suspicious.
  • Trim any overgrown landscaping near windows and doors to minimize hiding spots.

Take steps to keep the lights on:

  • Maintain adequate exterior lighting near doors, in parking lots, and behind buildings. Replace any burned-out bulbs.
  • Keep interior lights on at night. Use a timer or light-sensitive switch to create the illusion that the building is occupied. Rotate the lights you leave on to minimize a set pattern.

If you discover that a crime has been committed at your ministry, follow these steps:

  • Call the police if you notice suspicious persons or activities around your church or if you discover a crime has been committed. (Do not deal with the criminal(s) yourself.)
  • Make a list of all missing or damaged property if you discover vandalism or theft has occurred. 
  • Don’t disturb the crime scene.
  • Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible.

Posted March 24, 2020