No matter the location or the size, today’s churches and synagogues need to make security a top concern. From theft, to vandalism, to threats, faith-based organizations are especially vulnerable to specific types of crimes. Criminals don’t expect churches to have the same amount of protection that businesses do; the good news is, church administrators can prove them wrong by being proactive. Here are some ways to get better equipped for safeguarding your worship facilities in 2021.
Perform a risk assessment.
The first steps in church security planning are knowing the problem areas and evaluating your risks. The size of the property, the number of problem areas and the budget being allocated toward security will help determine whether the church needs a full-blown, top-of-line system with dozens of cameras, or a more basic security package with only a few cameras.
A risk assessment, conducted by a licensed security integrator, can reveal the problem areas and levels of risk so that church administrators can understand how best to invest their security budget.
Consider the congregation’s needs.
When doing church security planning, it’s important to recognize that the size of the property and the size of the congregation are not always the same thing. A campus with more regularly attending members will need a more robust security system with additional features, such as an access control system that makes the church childcare program a safe place to drop off young members.
However, some smaller congregations can benefit from this as well – especially if they hold frequent events on the campus. In general, churches that hold regular events will need added security protection, including system-wide lockdown capabilities so that the entire campus can be locked down in the event of an emergency.
Choose access control carefully.
There are many types of access control systems, and many that can be well-suited for the needs of churches and synagogues. If you are tasked with selecting an access control system for a place of worship, here are some of the features you should be on the lookout for.
Unobtrusive design. A large, clunky system can easily detract from the beauty of your campus. Rather than choosing an outdated system that does this, choose a sleek door reader or a system that can be managed by an attendant at the drop off station.
Easy-to-manage credentials. The process of dropping off kids should be easy and effortless for parents and childcare workers. You may want to invest in a system that accepts mobile credentials, so parents can merely swipe their phones at pick up time – or, consider offering a biometric system that only requires their fingerprint.
Attendance reporting and tracking. Today’s churches take attendance for a variety of reasons, including record keeping, outreach and even security. By choosing an access control system that offers attendance tracking, your administrators can know what families have been onsite in the recent past (and when a family is returning after a long absence). In our new spatially-sensitive climate, this feature can also help churches plan for better social distancing.
Future-proof technology. The last thing any organization needs is to be confronted with the need to replace their access control system just a few years after making the investment. To prevent this, look for products that can scale up and down easily according to your attendance level. We also recommend a cloud-based system that enables over-the-air software updates, so that maintenance and upgrades can happen without needing to call a repair technician.
If you are an administrator interested in creating or updating a security plan for your church or synagogue, we can help. Call IDS Alarm Services to find out more. We look forward to hearing from you.
About IDS Alarm Services, Inc.
As an experienced security integrator, IDS Alarm Services, Inc. has served clients in the Southeast U.S. since 1990. Their innovative product offerings include Access Control, Fire Alarms, Network Wiring, Security Systems, and Video Surveillance. Contact us today if you have any questions about adding security or fire alarm systems to your property.