Church Security / House of Worship Security Risk, Threat and Vulnerability:

Risk is not an easy concept to understand. To better understand the definition of risk consider the below illustration:


  • Risk is the probability of a loss event occurring that could lead to damage, injury, or something hazardous to related concerns of your House of Worship.

  • Threat is any loss event. An event that creates loss or harm.

  • Vulnerability is anything (Asset) unprotected, defenseless, or exposed to a loss event.

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The three words in a simple example:

  • Vehicles (assets) are parked in the parking lot, are unattended and without surveillance and/or proper illumination, in a high crime area (vulnerability).

  • The parking lot, in a high crime area, is not illuminated. The place of worship has night services all the time. As a result they face of a car break-in (threat). 

  • A break-in, theft and/or vandalism (threat) can happen to the vehicle (asset), and the possibility of its occurrence is high because the vehicle is unprotected in a high crime area (vulnerability). There is a high level of (risk) for people to park their car under these circumstances.

If you can identify it, you can measure it. If you can measure it, you can improve it. 

  • The House of Worship Vulnerability Assessment program, provides a structured assessment process that guides you through identifying the risks at hand by understanding the assets under your responsibility along with the threats and vulnerabilities associated with the House of Worship. 

  • After you answer the specified questions of the assessment, you'll get a posture snapshot to help you measure your vulnerability posture and better conceptualize the relationship of Risk, Threat and Vulnerability.

  • Following the guidelines, you can then plan countermeasures and corrective action, to manage and improve or reduce the risk (mitigate) loss events. 

Different Types of Church Security / House of Worship Security - Risk Mitigation:

  • You can avoid the Church Security risk, completely, by not getting involved in the activities that are related to the threat creating the risk.

    • For example, a House of Worship may choose to postpone an outreach event due to the threat of reported shooting in the area. Avoiding risk generally impacts the purpose of your mission. Is the mission more important than the risk? If so then these other types of mitigation may apply: 

  • You can transfer the church security risk to someone else (like a contractor) or an insurance company.

    • For example, a church or House of Worship can hire off duty police officers or a security company to provide security during an outreach in a high crime area. You pay someone else and they assume responsibility for the risk.

  • You can reduce the church security risk. If you can’t avoid the church security risk completely, you can reduce the probability of its occurrence. This is usually done by implementation of integrated countermeasures (physical, technical and administrative security).

    • For example, a church security plan or House of Worship security plan could include volunteers with a law enforcement / security background - personnel with professional experience to form a surveillance or "advance" church security team that conducts surveillance in the outreach area prior to the event. This security team then channels the outreach personnel to avoid perceived threatening conditions and circumstances. 

  • You can retain the church security risk. By keeping it.

    • By retaining the risk, the church security plan would include a process for assuming responsibility for that particular risk, internally and basically being "Self-Insured" in the event there is a claim as a result of an actual loss event. This is generally applicable to low impact low probability events.

Church security plans and House Of Worship Security Plans can include a combination of any or all of the above mitigation types. The House of Worship Vulnerability Assessment Program helps identify assets, threats, vulnerabilities and the risks. 

Questions? Contact us @support@surveyessentials.com