The “12 Days of Christmas” is a favorite holiday song sung by young and old to ramp up the excitement of Christmas day. Similar to the “12 Days of Christmas,” here are 12 Days of Holiday Safety that Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) has put together to help you and your ministry stay safe this holiday season, and all year.
Read through each day of holiday safety and then, download and share the 12 Days of Holiday Safety Calendar with your local church leaders and members. Here’s to a safer holiday season together!
On the 1st day of Holiday Safety: Winter WeatherThe winter season brings colder weather and often snow in many regions. This can pose a big risk for your ministry, especially when snow builds up. Take time today to plan for regular shoveling and salting of your ministry’s parking lots and entryways. If you contract this service with a local company, give them a call to review or update your contract details.
On the 2nd day of Holiday Safety: Seasonal MaintenanceIt’s important to make sure your facilities both indoors and outdoors are prepared to withstand weather changes. Today check that your boiler room, pipes, plumbing and facility foundation are prepared.
On the 3rd day of Holiday Safety: Child and Youth ActivitiesWhether it is hot or cold, it is likely that kids at your ministry will be begging to play outdoors. Dedicate this day to look over your ministry’s calendar of events and see which activities will involve children. Talk with your ministry Safety Officer to assign trained volunteers for supervision during your events.
On the 4th day of Holiday Safety: Community ServiceThere are many items that should be taken into consideration when planning your community service outing. Take this day to make a list of everything that needs to be done (including training volunteers, contacting the organization you’ll be helping, making sure you are covered under your insurance policy, etc.) before you head out with your volunteer group. Need help making a list? Consult ARM’s Tips for Community Service Volunteers & Organizations.
On the 5th day of Holiday Safety: Winter TravelIf your ministry plans to travel near or far during the winter season, such as to a local soup kitchen, nursing home, or caroling event, take time today to make sure you are properly prepared for the trip. Use the ARM pre-trip vehicle inspection form to perform a full check-up of your vehicles, especially tires, to ensure you’re good to go. Don’t forget to review ARM’s winter driving tips.
On the 6th day of Holiday Safety: Volunteer DriversUse this day to create a list of all your volunteer drivers and review if they have completed the required volunteer screening and background check. Double check each volunteer’s driving record before they get behind the wheel. Learn more about volunteer driver screening requirements in ARM's Three Questions to Ask Before Hitting the Road.
On the 7th day of Holiday Safety: Holiday DécorWhen hanging your holiday décor today or setting up for your Christmas play, be extra cautious when using ladders and around construction areas and equipment. Make sure to clean up any spills right away and keep walkways and exits clear to avoid slips, trips and falls.
On the 8th day of Holiday Safety: Fire HazardsWhile holiday décor is beautiful to see, it is often quite flammable. Today, check to make sure your lights are safe for use, whether indoors or outdoors. Regularly water any live trees and plants to avoid starting a fire, and avoid using lit candles or open-flame devices, especially indoors. Learn more ways to avoid fire hazards in ARM's Five Little-Known Fire Starters.
On the 9th day of Holiday Safety: Emergency DrillsHolidays can rouse bitter feelings that prompt individuals to lash out negatively. Does your ministry have an emergency plan in place to respond to acts of violence, such as an active shooter situation? If not, this is the perfect time to talk to your local church or school Safety Officer about creating a plan. If your ministry already has a plan, when was the last time it was reviewed and refreshed? Take some time today to look over your emergency plan with your church leaders.
On the 10th day of Holiday Safety: Lock UpTake this day to create a “facility lock-up system” if your ministry does not already have one. Outline the process any church member should take when closing up the church if they are the last to leave. This should include checking rooms, closing windows and doors and ensuring every access point is locked securely. Need more information on what should be checked when locking up? Read ARM’s process for Securing Your Church Building.
On the 11th day of Holiday Safety: Kitchen SafetyIf your ministry hosts big holiday meals, plan to minimize kitchen and meal preparation risks when cooking for large groups. Review hygiene protocol, potential allergies from attendees and proper ways to store and dispose of food. For guidance, review ARM’s tips for Kitchen Safety and Potluck Safety.
On the 12th day of Holiday Safety: Crowd ManagementLastly, review your church or school plan to manage the crowds that gather for holiday programming. Create sufficient seating and make sure you always adhere to fire code and capacity limits for your facility. Set up overflow rooms and plan for additional parking areas if need be.
By taking risk management steps one day at a time, you can ensure that you are steadily moving towards the end goal of having a safer ministry. Share these tips with a friend to help them manage risk in their ministry in 12 days!