When properly implemented, a church security system helps protect a church’s property, congregation and guests.
Protecting your house of worship takes more than simply putting up a couple of security cameras. There are various components to security that will allow your church to protect itself.
Security cameras are not only great for monitoring important areas of your church property, but they also work as a deterrent. Surveillance cameras should be placed in strategic places to ensure visibility while limiting blind spots.
It’s also important to think about the type of cameras you need and how your church intends on viewing the video. Every camera functions differently and has varying levels of video quality and accessibility.
Whether it is burglar alarms or a fire alarm, a system to alert your church when something goes wrong is an important aspect in protecting the church.
The traditional use for access control is to keep people out of important places where they don’t belong. This helps churches to reduce the risk of important equipment being broken or things of value being stolen.
However, there are other uses for access control. For example, your church may be open to various groups with people coming in and out. Traditional keys are easily stolen or lost, but with modern access control, you can choose who can has access and monitor who enters and leaves.
Like the rest of our lives, smart technology has become an integral part of securing a church. Smart technology allows easy access to surveillance footage, alarm notifications, and access control permissions for those who should have access.
With most churches lacking security personnel, having smart technology provides them with the accessibility they need to make protecting the church more realistic.
While not part of the security system per se, it is an important part of protecting the church and its members. Two-way radios are essential for larger churches but can also provide great safety benefits for smaller churches.
Whether you want to monitor the halls as people come and go, or protect the children during the children’s programs, two-way radios provide ease of communication to provide the safety needed.
One thing that ties all the security systems together is a security plan. It is an important part of evaluating what security measures are important and what systems are best to fit your needs.
All of these components play an important role in protecting a church. As you may have noticed, some of the components cannot be outsourced.
A security company will help design and install the equipment, but your church will play a role in ensuring that things stay safe.
Risk Assessments and Planning
Every house of worship is different, which means the security solutions they need will vary. Some churches may only want a few cameras to monitor parking lots and entrances, while others need different levels of security like access control. The best way for your church to ensure they have the right security solutions in place is by doing a risk assessment.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a security expert to perform a basic risk assessment (though it would benefit you greatly if you walked through with a security expert). Here is how you can perform a basic risk assessment to help you plan what security systems you will need.
First, identify what areas you need to protect the most. Then walk through the property and identify vulnerabilities. You may also want to take note of any special challenges you have. Once your assessment is complete, you will have a starting point for planning your security solutions.
This process, though it seems unnecessary to some, helps your church to identify potential risks you were not aware of and plan the best approach for your security needs.
Costs of a Church Security System
A security system for a church will vary vastly from church to church. For example, a simple DIY surveillance system for a small church will cost under $1,000, while a large church that needs multiple cameras, access control and other systems will pay over $10,000.
There are a number of factors that will influence the costs of a security system:
- How much equipment is needed
- The type of equipment purchased
- Whether you need to pay for a professional installer
- Paying for additional monthly monitoring
Some churches qualify for grant programs that help them cover the cost of their security improvements.
Regardless of your church’s needs, it’s important to consider a future-proof security design. This way, if you need to change or upgrade your systems later, it is not an extremely labor-intensive project.
The best way to know what your specific costs will be is to get a quote from a local security company. They will be able to help you assess your needs, design your security system and provide an estimate of costs.
Hiring a Professional Installer
Many churches rely on the help of expert security professionals to design and install their security systems. It makes securing a place of worship a much simpler process. Is outsourcing your security the right choice?
- Ensures security system is properly installed
- Better design limits blind spots and provides improved security
- Availability of experts to ask questions
- Access to equipment you may otherwise not have access to
- More expensive
- May need to wait for availability in scheduling
Choosing a Professional Security Installer
If you believe hiring a professional installer is the best option for your church, then it’s important to know how to pick the right one. There are a number of security installers near you, each having their own specialties. Going back to your security plan and risk assessment will help you identify who best fits your needs.
Once you find some who fit your needs, make sure they have the following qualifications:
- Licensed (not all states require licensing, though it helps identify qualified companies)
- Services they offer
Expertise and knowledge are basic requirements for hiring a security professional…but it is also important that they are professional and courteous. Your security needs may change over time, and it’s important to have a security partner that you can go to when you have questions.
This information is courtesy of SYSTCOM, a proven and growing leader in design, installation, and support of high-quality information technology systems, www.systcom.com.