A Birmingham silversmith has devised a way to call for help and alert church congregations if a fire breaks out in their building.
Based in the Jewellery Quarter, Avon Silversmiths will this month launch two designs of special edition whistles - aimed at tackling the growing number of church fires.
According to the Department for Communities and Local Government, an estimated 1,000 fires break out in churches in England and Wales. Some 200 of these are arson-related and it is thought many of these could be avoided by taking simple precautions.
With strict fire precautions now in force, the silversmiths devised the whistles as a way to help to avoid disasters.
Stamped with praying hands, they have been made to The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 standard.
This stipulates that all places of worship should be able to alert people quickly in the case of fire, with whistles recommended if they are powerful enough "to be heard all around the building".
The whistles will be on sale at the forthcoming Heart of England Christian Resources Exhibition at the Telford International Centre from February 21 to 23.
Dubbed "the ideal church show", the event introduces tailor-made products and services to church leaders and members and is this year expecting more than 5,000 visitors.
Des McCarthy of Avon Silversmiths, said: "Our first design is shaped like a referee's whistle - although, if this is ever blown, everybody gets sent off.
"It can have praying hands or a saint depicted on it - depending on what the church wants."
The whistles cost £65 or £45 for a smaller, tube-shaped version, which can be placed in an inside pocket or worn around the neck.
"Our whistles are useful for personal protection as well," Mr McCarthy added.
"You can't carry a gun or a knife but a loud whistle can draw the kind of attention to make an attacker flee."
On October 4 last year, St Barnabas church in Erdington was destroyed by an arson attack.
Despite the efforts of 70 firefighters the Grade II listed, 19th century church was destroyed.
One of the few items to survive the blaze was a partly-damaged wooden cross.
Church officials have since pledged to rebuild the church within two years, although they admitted there were many things from the building, including the historic stained glass windows, which could never be replaced.
The Rev Andy Jolley, area dean for Aston, said:
"I welcome the way which this brings attention to the issue of fires in churches and it encourages people to be aware of the potential of churches being burnt.
"If a loud and piercing whistle brings attention, that is great.
"I will be at the Christian Resources Exhibition and I shall look out for them.
"If it helps people to feel safe that they can call for help, then that is great."
For more information, visit www.church-silver.co.uk and www.creonline.co.uk