Church communities can no longer ignore the need for a Church Security plan. It’s the first step to ensure a safe space for adults and children who worship, learn and grow in your church. With a healthy balance between paranoia and avoidance, it’s about staying vigilant to ensure the right level of security is adopted and maintains that open, welcoming feeling the congregation have come to expect.
As a strong believer in helping our community, Select Security is here to ensure churches and their pastors in our communities are aware of some of the measures available to ensure their place of worship remains safe and secure, for them and the families who attend.
Church Security Tips
1) Create a church security plan – create your plan by answering the question, “what should we do if….” The plan should be developed by the church leaders and consider any given situation and then added to a policy and procedure manual which can be updated.
2) Develop a Church Security Team – involve church members who may have safety backgrounds in the military or police, they will be useful for when there is any questionable movement going on in your church.
3) Install security cameras – just by adding security cameras in the parking lot will heighten the security of your church. After monitoring from week to week you will be able to notice things that look suspicious. Select Security will do a walk-through of your facilities to ensure you choose the right mix of equipment for your needs. You may find you need less than you think especially with recent changes in technology.
4) Put in place controlled hours of operation – ensure you have clear public hours of operation, making sure someone is in the building when the doors are unlocked. Avoid times when employees or volunteers are in situations of being alone in an empty building.
5) Develop a clear lock-down procedure for busy periods such as Sunday services – in the event of a shooter, fire or other incident planning where people should go, what they should do, especially in areas where there are children. Then communicate this to all members of the church. This will determine the best approach to protecting your members and making a clear defined plan so everyone knows what is expected of them.
6) Communicate your security plans– we mention this again as it has two purposes, it ensures all your key members are aware of any new changes being made to the security of the Church, and two by making your security plan public, it may deter any members who intend to do harm, they will be aware of those around them being more vigilant.
A few smaller but important tips for Church Safety, to help you be more proactive and alert:
- Ensure emergency lights are installed and tested around your Church premises.
- Test your security systems and routines at least annually.
- Designate an “official” to patrol the parking lot regularly.
- Know your members, when new members walk through your doors, make sure they fill out a quick information sheet. Not only will you have their basic information on file.
- Never allow an adult in the Children’s Area without proper identification.
- Create a clear protocol for handling money, making sure people are in groups rather than alone.
- Get to know your local police, fire department, and paramedics.
- Define an official spokesperson for the church.
We can never be completely sure that everything is covered. We can however make sure we greatly reduce the security risks by being proactive. Select Security are here to help you find the right solution for your Church community, with our hands-on Sales Account Managers who will do a walk-through with you to find the right solution, to our customer-focused Customer Care Department and our 24/7 Central Station. We are here to help you create a robust Church Security plan, which puts your Church community safety first and maintains your open welcoming approach people have come to expect from Churches.