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May 2016 Newsletter


    Baptismal Safety

There are numerous, wonderful traditions taking place in our religious communities each day.   These traditions are important for a congregation and its leadership to celebrate as they are the cherished symbols and honored rituals of the faith.   This month, we encourage you to review the safety of all events and the related aspects of such traditions.   In particular, baptism traditions and the use of a baptismal tank.

Below are three areas of concern: Water Safety, Liability Exposures and Electrical Issues.

Water –

  1. Immersion tanks can hold many gallons of water.  Frequently inspect for cracks and leaks. 
  2. Require 100% supervision of the tank while filling and draining. 
  3. Abide by the recommended water level regulations. 
  4. Use the manufacturer suggestions for keeping the water hygienic and free of bacteria. 
  5. Drain and clean immediately when services have ended.

Liability –

  1. Install a no-skid, no-slip surface inside the tank and around the perimeter of the entire area.
  2. Inspect and install appropriate handrails to steps, tanks and walkways.
  3. Provide safety barriers, covers and alarms to protect against unintended use.
  4. Have an emergency plan in place for a water-related incident. 
  5. Provide training, proper staffing and physical support for those using the baptismal tank.

Electrical –

  1. Frequently inspect and maintain the baptismal tank water heater.
  2. Remove all electronic devices from the area.  No microphones, audio visual equipment or electronic musical instruments should be allowed anywhere near the tank.  For example: accidently grabbing a live mounted microphone can lead to electrocution.
  3. Electrical outlets should not be installed near the tank.  Local building codes may apply.
  4. Do not use extension cords in the vicinity of the tank.
  5. Remind users to remove all items from pockets (i.e. phones) not designed for water and which may pose an electrical hazard or result in damage to personal property.





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