Fire safety in churches

19 February 2020

All of our fire safety guidance for churches in one place.

Fires in churches can have a devastating effect. As well as damage to property, there is also a risk to life to be considered. When fire damage does occur this can affect local communities, disrupting local user groups and the outreach activities of the church.
 
Churches can better understand the risk of fire by undertaking a church risk assessment that they are legally required to do. By carrying out this assessment and implementing appropriate precautions the likelihood of a fire in your church can be significantly reduced.
 
Most church fires are caused by defective electrical installations or portable appliances, arson or hot works undertaken by contractors. 
 
By appropriately managing these risks you can significantly reduce the chances of a fire starting in your building.

Watch our fire safety video

Fires in churches can have a devastating effect. As well as damage to property, there is also a risk to life to be considered. When fire damage does occur this can affect local communities, disrupting local user groups and the outreach activities of the church. Typical hazards include:
 
  • Defective electrical wiring and apparatus
  • Faulty or poorly maintained heating systems
  • Candles 
  • Arson
  • Hot works during a repair
  • Lightning strikes
You can watch our church fire safety above to learn more about the types of hazard to look out for. 

Managing fire risks

You will need to manage the fire risk at your church appropriately. 
 
  • Implementing and maintaining appropriate fire precautions
  • Implementing appropriate fire safety arrangements
  • Providing adequate firefighting and fire detection equipment
  • Providing emergency routes and exits
  • Implementing procedures to deal with emergencies and serious and imminent danger
  • Appointing someone competent to assist you
  • Providing adequate training and information
  • Cooperating with others where appropriate.
 
If you decide or need to appoint a competent fire risk assessor to help you with your fire risk assessment, the assessor should be on the official list of a UKAS Accredited Company or Person Certification Scheme (e.g. BAFE “SP205” company scheme) or a Professional Body Person Registration Scheme (e.g. Institute of Fire Prevention Officers (IFPO), Institute of Fire Safety Managers (IFSM) or Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE).  
 
To help you, we have prepared a fire risk assessment template, which you can use or develop further to meet your own specific needs. In simple terms, a fire risk assessment is an evaluation of fire safety at your church. This will help you identify the hazards in your church, decide if your precautions are adequate, document your finding and review your assessment periodically. This template is aimed to suit the needs of most Anglican Churches. 

Fire safety articles