Let there be light…where’s the switch? – January 2020

Now is a time of year when going into a church building can present something of a hazard, especially if you are opening it up for the first time. Where is the lock and when you get in the building, where are the light switches?

Many churches find that outside lights, whether operated by switches, timers or movement sensors, are vulnerable to vandalism of one form or another meaning that other solutions are called for. Whilst most mobile phones do have torches, they are somewhat unwieldly. Using mobiles results in a juggling and contortionist act of trying to enter the building without dropping the very valuable phone whilst keeping hold of the various bibles and papers in the other hand and still having hands free to turn the key in the lock and the handle of the door, all at the same time. Solutions might include attaching a small pen torch on the key ring or using luminous markers on both the key and the lock. In some situations it may be that “borrowing light” say from street lighting is possible. It may be that this light is obscured by bushes and trees that have become overgrown and pruning these may allow sufficient light into a darkened area.

Once in the building, and without “local” knowledge, finding a light switch can become increasingly frantic and hazardous so use of luminous stickers around either the light switch plate or on the switch itself will be helpful. Indeed, this will also work in the main areas of the building as there will often need to be a mini route march from switch to switch to arrive at the main bank of light switches.

Also consideration needs to be given to getting to the fuse board in the event of a power outage – is there emergency lighting, how do you make your way to the fuse board and can you see what is in there when you get there?