Fire prevention checklist for houses of worship

The extent of a house of worship’s fire exposure will be determined by the scope of operations, accessibility to the public, physical location and the construction of the facility. Combustible furnishings, candle usage and arson are the primary fire risks. The following areas should be reviewed to provide a comprehensive exposure assessment.


Yes No Action to be taken
Are the building’s draperies and decorations fire retardant?      
Is the building equipped with a lightning protection system?      
Do the electrical and HVAC systems appear to be in good working condition? When was the last time they were inspected by a qualified person?      
Are accumulations of combustible materials, such as vestments, paper supplies and decorations stored in an area separated by firewalls or fire barriers?      
Is the building protected by an automatic sprinkler system? If yes, is the system under a maintenance and service contract?      
Is the fire alarm system covered by a maintenance and service contract?      
Are artifacts, works of art, and other collectibles that are in storage placed in a protected enclosure?      
Are draperies, tapestries and other decorations fire retardant? If not, are they located away from ignition sources such as votive candle racks?      


Yes No Action to be taken
Are fuel-powered equipment, such as lawnmowers, stored in a separate building?      
Are decorations located away from ignition sources, such as votive candle racks?      
When candles are used in ceremonies, is the distribution of the candles controlled? Are they kept at least 4 feet (1.22 m) from combustible materials?      
Does a designated person remain for 30 minutes after candles have been extinguished to ensure that re-ignition has not occurred?      
Are kitchen facilities provided with fire protection and suppression systems?      
Are fire extinguishers in kitchens listed/approved for such use and located within 10 feet (3 m) of any cooking equipment?      

Incendiarism and arson

Yes No Action to be taken
Are all exterior doors, windows and other openings securely locked when the building is not in use?      
Is the property adequately illuminated at night?      
Are lighting fixtures protected against breakage and are burned-out bulbs replaced on a regular basis?      
Is the perimeter of the property to be fenced?      
Are bushes, trees and shrubs kept trimmed and located to prevent them from serving as places of concealment?      
Is the building protected by a burglar alarm system? If yes, is the system covered by a maintenance and service contract?      






The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. The Hanover Insurance Company and its affiliates and subsidiaries ("The Hanover") specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with The Hanover. By providing this information to you, The Hanover does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you. The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

LC MAR 2019-51
171-0930 (01/14)