Sensor program makes worship facilities ‘smarter’

First UMC in North Andover, MA.

February 06, 2017

Paul Carlotto, a member of the Insurance Committee at First United Methodist Church in North Andover, MA, shares the following story.  

In 2010, the main water line for the sprinkler system burst at First United Methodist Church in North Andover, MA. By the time the problem was discovered, the Montessori school and church classrooms in the basement were completely flooded. The congregation could not use the building for five months. 

If we had had something like Church Mutual’s Sensor program back then, a lot of damage and time lost could have been prevented.

Now with Church Mutual sensors in place, I am alerted when there is an issue. In December 2016, I received an alert when the inside temperature had dropped to 25 F. It was late, but I had been through water damage before and knew I had to go and check.  Sure enough, a window was not closed all the way, and a strong wind gust blew the window out. If I had not remedied the situation, a water pipe would likely have frozen and burst by morning.

Anything we can use as a forewarning is a good thing. It is another tool I can use to reduce risk at our church. When Church Mutual came along with this program, and offered it for free, it really was a no brainer.

Church Mutual has been hearing stories like this all fall and winter from customers using its exclusive sensor program, writes Patty Smith, Conference insurance representative at Fred C. Church.

Learn more from Church Mutual

Specific churches that have been identified by Church Mutual will be contacted directly to sign up this program. Selected churches that choose to participate will get temperature sensors to place in key locations in their church building and 24/7 monitoring service. Alerts are sent via text, email, or phone to one or several contacts you designate if temperatures are lower than normal or water is detected. The churches will get all of this equipment and monitoring at no cost. 

The New England Conference Insurance Committee encourages you to take advantage of this service.

Whether it is a window left open, water on the basement floor from malfunctioning equipment, or a door closed that should have remained open for heat, by using Church Mutual’s sensor program you are creating a “smart house of worship” that will alert you to problems – even when you are not there. 

If you have questions or need more information, contact Patty Smith at (978) 322-7217 or or Chris Duble at (978) 322-7225 or

Find more information from our insurer, including safety tips, here on our website