Security has reached a new tipping point for churches all across America. From vandalism to shootings, parishes all over the country are taking the necessary steps to improve the safety of their members and their building. At Herring Technology, we believe our expertise in providing Nashville with commercial security systems are beneficial to churches as well. We have rounded up some of our best safety tips to help keep you and your church members stay protected.
- Start with a Security Plan
The best way to move forward with security is to develop a plan. Sit down with key church leaders to highlight concerns and address any areas of weakness. These weaknesses could be blind spots on the building, broken windows, and non-functioning door locks. Advisably, you can work with your local law enforcement to establish a base for stronger security. Their job as law enforcement officers provides them with a wealth of information on how you can safeguard your parish members and building from potential threats. They can provide you with any additional information you might benefit from such as neighborhood safety and the crimes that are happening in your area.
- Train Your Team and Deploy Your Security Plan
Once you've accomplished your security goals and outlined your strategy, search within your ministry to see if you can find church members who might have a public safety background. Ask if they will use their skillset for the safety of the church and volunteer in their spare time. The purpose of the volunteer security should be to help when events and services are going on. Making the most out of your recruits will come with training them on the security plan you have developed and delegating responsibilities to each person. Try to explain why the program was created and which church leaders they can report to if any issues arise.
- Display Your Hours of Operation
Make sure your church and the accompanying buildings have designated hours listed somewhere for the public to see. If you haven't put together a suggested time of operational hours, you should do so now. There isn't a right or wrong answer for what you should choose, but whatever you decide on you'll want to have members of your volunteer security team available to assist. You'll never want to put anyone in potential danger, so try to limit the option of your volunteer team being in a building alone. There is always safety in numbers.
- Install Key Entrances
Many churches are installing software security options that make it difficult for there to be safety issues. One way you can do this is having an entry key installed on the building. These type of keys are part of an access control system which allows or revokes the rights of an individual to enter a building. What makes this system worthwhile is the flexibility it offers the church. The most protection this type of system can provide is retina or fingerprint scanning. However, most churches won't need something this sophisticated and can settle instead for keypad or card entry. Either way, you can develop and delegate as many or as little cards or combinations as you want to your security personnel. By doing so, you can keep track of who, what, where, and when people accessed the building outside of operational hours. Keyed entries are also an excellent choice for any part of the building that might be dedicated to children's bible studies.
- Use HDCCTV Cameras
An essential part of security for any public building is video cameras. The HDCCTV cameras can pick up visual information about any person or persons entering or leaving the building, but one of the biggest benefits is its ability to identify a suspect if it's required. Additionally, most security technology provides an option to live stream video footage in real time. In the event of a security breach, you and your security team can assess a situation safely and wirelessly. It's not uncommon to find cameras that can also be remotely controlled as well.
- Develop Lock-Down Procedures
Unfortunately, facing a potential gun threat is a real issue these days, and you wouldn't want to leave your building unprotected if you knew there was a way to safeguard your parish. Shooter Detection Systems are available to provide a level of security as you've never seen. There is infrared gunfire flash protection that can produce the highest performing, fully automatic detection around. This type of system registers gunshots and instantaneously discloses the information to your security team about where and when the shots were fired. It can also send notifications to desktops and mobile devices of the immediate danger. On top of all of this, the Shooter Detection System can initiate a lock-down, and by providing sensors throughout your building, information can be relayed quickly.
For more information on security and surveillance products, contact us at Herring Technology and a friendly customer service representative will be happy to assist you.