Mosque, Islamic Centres & Madrassah Security & Safety Tips:
1. Prepare and Plan: Your management and executive team should meet and assess the levels of risk for your buildings, congregation, neighbours and local community. Engage you local police, fire or prevent engagement officers. Seek their professional advice on security protocols and local protocols for emergencies. They may have a local risk assessment that they can share with you to help judge the level of risk in your area.
2. Report Threats: Immediately document and report all threats, suspicious activities, packages or persons to the police. Do not make any attempts to confront threatening persons or touch suspicious packages. If you receive any threatening mail or emails keep them and hand them over to the police. Inform your congregation especially via Jummah khutba’s (Friday Sermons) that if they are confronted by Islamaphopic abuse (Physical or verbal), mail or emails that they should also report this.
3. Install Alarms and Cameras: Install fire (smoke and heat) and security alarm systems that are connected to local police and fire departments where possible. Make sure all access points are observed by security cameras that have remote off-site backup.
4. Keep Outside Areas Clean and Visible: Remove potential fire hazards, such as rubbish and debris and trim shrubs and vines to reduce areas of concealment. Install perimeter floodlights to cover the outside grounds and parking spaces.
5. Health and Safety: Review all emergency exists, entry points, fire hydrants, all staff need to be aware of emergency protocols especially Madrassah teachers, Imams, all paid staff and volunteers, first aiders, fire wardens. Your protocols need to be rehearsed before Jummah pray and all members of the team need to be aware of their responsibility before major events in your centre.
6. Plan for the Long-Term: Establish a security committee to work with Police with the goal of developing long-term security plans, threat assessments, crisis plans, trainings, and drills. Annually hold safety trainings and evacuation drills for all staff, volunteers, and worshippers. Your health and safety protocols need to be accessible in the premises for all staff and volunteers.
7. Working in partnership: Think local – your local Police and fire Safety teams will be ready to assist if you engage.
8. Mosque Open day:
Remove any suspicions, open your Mosques to the wider community especially your local non Muslim neighbours. Be transparent and engaging as this will prevent external forces who wish to cause disharmony and have ill intent against your Mosque to exploit local tensions. (Free Mosque Open day guide)