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Staying safe and secure

Once you've found the perfect place to play, you'll need to keep it secure. That means protecting your property from the elements, as well as vandals and burglars. 

You'll need to keep on top of the maintenance and perform regular checks. 

You should also be prepared for any emergencies, such as flooding. 

The advice here will help you to stay safe... 

What to do when disaster strikes

In an emergency, you may need to close for an indefinite period of time.

This checklist has been designed to help you consider what actions to take if a worst case scenario strikes.

You don't need to do everything here - but this is a great starting point, to get you thinking and planning...

Conduct a risk assessment
Consider how you can reduce or prevent any issues from arising when you're closed.

Potential risks include vandalism, theft, weather damage, equipment failure due to a lack of maintenance or use, and data breaches. 

Consider putting a disaster recovery plan into motion.
Contact your insurers
Check what you’re insured for (premises and equipment).

Check the scope, terms and conditions of the insurance.

Tell your insurance company about your closure and check their conditions (for example, your premises may need to be locked and alarmed).

If your policies include business interruption insurance, you may be able to claim for loss of income while you're shut.
Check the alarms & CCTV
Check your fire / smoke / intruder alarms are working before leaving the building.

Check your CCTV.

Make sure your alarm provider has an emergency contact number.
Assign more than one keyholder
Make sure you have more than one keyholder for the building.

Their details should be clearly displayed in a prominent place.
Secure the building
Check all doors, windows and other access points are in good condition and locked.

Check your security light.

Consider if your property is at risk of being harmed or damaged.

Look into getting an intruder alarm, CCTV, hoardings, fencing, barriers, shutters and boarding. 

Chain and lock all entrance gates.

Check there's no sign of damage around your perimeter fencing. 
Find somewhere safe for your equipment
Find a safe place for your kit and equipment.

If you lend anything out to your members or customers, then keep records.

Find a suitable place for any maintenance tools, outdoor equipment and vehicles. 
Deal with any chemicals
If you have flammable or hazardous chemicals on site, then move them to a safe place.

Follow all guidance provided by the manufacturer, government, and your own health and safety policies.

Do not move any substances if it's not safe to do so, or if you don't have qualified staff.

If you can't move your chemicals, then put up signage to alert anyone entering the building, such as the emergency services (as set out in HSG51).
Assess your services
Consider turning off or isolating services to the building, such as gas, electricity and water.

Contact your service providers and try and negotiate deferred payments.
Power off your equipment
Empty and turn off any fridges, freezers and bar chillers.

Turn off other electrical equipment like TVs, cookers, kitchen appliances and sockets.
Tighten up your computing systems
If your server or computer is on site, then back up all of your data. You may want to move your equipment off site too. 

Move data files to a secure cloud. 

If anyone needs access to their email accounts, set them up with remote access.

If anyone needs to access files or emails online, then check that their anti-virus software is up to date.
Consider what to do with hard copy files
Will you need access to any hard copy files while you're closed?

If so, move them somewhere that's safe and secure.
Talk to your bank
Switch to online banking, if you're not already using it.

Examine any options for payment holidays or deferrals and cancel any direct debits that you can.
Think about data protection
Ensure that any confidential or personal data is secured safely.

Make sure you comply with the relevant GDPR requirements. 

Make sure your tax and financial records are stored safely but can still be accessed by you.

If you have cheque books / card readers / paying in books, then move them somewhere secure. 
Redirect mail and phone calls
If you have a central email address, then set up remote access for a trusted person.

Get any mail and phone calls redirected to a trusted person.
Keep your inventory up to date
If you have an inventory for stock and equipment, then keep it up to date. 

Include information on where your kit, equipment and data is stored and who has responsibility for it. 
Put up notices and disclaimers
You could put up a notice to inform people about your temporary closure. Add contact details for enquiries or emergencies.

Ask people not to use your facilities. Make it clear that any use of the grounds is at their own risk.
Tell everyone that you're closing
Let your committee, members, customers and volunteers know about the closure and what this means for them.

Contact sponsors and any funding partners. 

If other organisations use your facilities, get in touch with them too. 

If staff or volunteers can work remotely, set out what you expect from them. Cover any changes to their roles, responsibilities, hours, payment, data protection and assessing risks.

Be clear about how you will keep in touch.

Contact your suppliers to let them know.

If you are expecting deliveries, then cancel or rearrange them.

If you have a subscription package for your TV, see if you can pause it.
Keep in touch with everyone
Maintain contact via email, text, WhatsApp, newsletters, updates or social media.  
Check your operating licences
Check to see if closing will impact on any operating licences that you may have.
Contact the neighbours and emergency services 
Notify your neighbours and any security providers. 

Tell the emergency services community liaison officer.

Contact Neighbourhood Watch. 
Work out how you can maintain essential areas and playing surfaces
Consider how you can maintain your facilities and playing areas.

If it's safe, then ask someone to maintain or check your facilities as required. 
See what financial support might be available
Find out if you're eligible for any financial support from the government or local authority. 

Look at grants, loans, rate relief, deferral of tax and salary protection schemes.

Speak to your members and customers to ask if they are happy to continue paying their subscriptions. 

Ask for donations if you are concerned about losing income.

Start a fundraising campaign.
Make plans for re-opening
Plan ahead so you're ready to open as quickly as possible.  

Provide updates to your committee, staff, volunteers, members, customers, suppliers, sponsors and funders. 

Consider updating your health and safety policies, operating procedures, cleaning and maintenance schedules, disaster recovery processes. 

Prepare or update your business continuity plans.