Talking about churches and security may seem off-putting at first, but it’s important to recognize that your place of worship is a criminal’s target. Just recently, a man broke into a Florida church in search of valuables to steal, doing thousands of dollars in damage.
Churches often have expensive sound and video equipment, antiques, artwork, and even cash. If your house of worship only holds services once a week, the building could be empty for six days out of every seven. That gives thieves plenty of time to plan and execute their crimes. Putting in the right security measures helps keep your church and your church members safe from all sorts of emergencies.
In this blog, we’ll look at how to implement church security without negatively impacting your congregation.
- Start with an expert assessment
- Plan and install the right security measures
- Create emergency plans for every scenario
- Schedule frequent emergency drills
- Train your staff and members on security protocols
Have faith that your church will be okay, but plan for everything with good security!
Let Bates Security take the lead on designing a custom security solution for your house of worship. We have more than 50 years of experience installing and monitoring security systems for faith-based institutions in Florida.
Learn why we're the police-trusted solution when you schedule a free security consultation. Call us at (800) 403-9471 or click below to make an appointment today.
Start With an Expert Assessment
Being a person of deep faith doesn’t automatically mean you have any experience with church security. It might almost be the opposite, where you tend to trust too much or want to provide as much as possible to your community. Security experts can help you temper your generosity with a solid helping of safety.
During an assessment, a security expert walks through the building and works with you to develop a plan for access control, video surveillance, and emergency alert systems.
Plan and Install the Right Security Measures
Faith-based institutions often lack even basic security systems. They may have a door and window alarm system, but that’s often all there is. Beefing up security doesn’t mean offering less service to your congregation. Instead, it means making the services you already offer more safe.
Your Sunday school volunteers don’t need access to your safe unless they’re also on the church board in a financial position. Your church members don’t need access to the boiler room or the sound system. Putting in an access control system means you can let the right people access the parts of the building they need without adding any extra risk. Plus, you can add or remove people from specific areas as needed. If you hire a new staff member or let someone go, you want to be able to quickly add or remove their access to the building. Keys can be easily copied, but automatic locks that only work for those with the right digital credentials are substantially more secure.
Adding Video Surveillance
While you wouldn’t want to include video surveillance in areas where people might be receiving one-on-one counseling, putting up cameras in areas where you store money or in all public areas of the church is a good idea. You can preserve your member’s privacy while also capturing enough detail on where people are headed to be useful if a crime is committed.
Old-fashioned fire alarms do one thing — they interrupt everything and start a mass evacuation. But, what if the emergency is an active shooter or a hurricane, or a flood? You don’t respond the same way to all emergencies, and neither should your emergency alert system. Installing voice evacuation systems lets you communicate more clearly about what the emergency is and guides people in different parts of the church to their closest exit.
Create Emergency Plans for Every Scenario
There are an endless number of potential emergencies that can crop up, but only a few ways that you can respond. Develop plans to handle as many scenarios as you can. Make sure your disaster plan includes what to do in inclement weather, during acts of violence or medical emergencies, and for evacuation. Have your leadership team well-trained on each response, so they can lead the rest of the congregation if something goes wrong.
Schedule Frequent Emergency Drills
Don’t rely solely on training. Running drills that test your ability to implement your plan is critical to making it happen when things go wrong. Experience is what makes the difference between a properly followed emergency plan and one that takes hours to complete.
Train Your Staff and Members on Security Protocols
Your congregation is often your best resource for handling emergencies, but only if everyone knows what to do. Talk to your congregation and collect information about special skills they might have. If you have police officers, nurses, EMTs, or doctors in your congregation, keep them in the loop when making your emergency plans. The more church security training you offer, the more people you have available to help.
Pray and prepare with expert security system designs.
Bates Security installs award-winning customized solutions that can deliver an unmatched level of security for churches. For more than 50 years, we've served churches and other faith organizations in Florida, keeping congregations and church property safe in emergencies.
Call us today at (800) 403-9471 or click below to schedule your free consultation with one of our local security experts.