By Will Biggerman
Keeping your church or religious institution safe is of the utmost importance. You want to protect your staff, congregation, youth, and childcare division while anyone is on the property.
Designing a church security camera system can be hugely beneficial to your community’s safety, but it comes with its own challenges and considerations. The right surveillance technology can help you proactively manage threats and keep your property, employees, and participants safe.
Here are our tips to help you get started when designing a church security camera system.
Outline Your Goals
It’s difficult to design the right surveillance system without knowing what your goals are. Identify which areas of your church are of concern for your surveillance needs. You may want to monitor your property for emergencies, such as a fire or potential intruders or vandalizers.
Contemporary surveillance technology gives you options when it comes to protecting your people, as well as your assets. However, you need to know your property’s vulnerable zones and your priorities to implement a comprehensive security solution.
Consider All Entrances
Places of worship often have multiple entrances. Numerous access points present security challenges, and securing all your doorways can play an instrumental role in keeping your building safe.
Don’t forget to consider windows, particularly ground-level or basement windows, which can be easy targets for intruders. For doors, consider an access control system to secure all entry points and monitor and control who enters your facility.
Aside from entrances, also consider whether or not you’d like surveillance for your parking lot and drop-off areas—securing these points can help keep staff and youth safe during drop-off and pick-up times.
Have a Way to Monitor and Secure Donations
Most churches receive donations in the form of cash, so having a way to monitor and secure donations is essential. Monitoring cash from collections and securing donations can help prevent theft and ensure that all funds are accounted for.
When designing a church security camera system, consider how your cash donations are handled and include security precautions around your collection system.
Add Intelligent Analytics
Integrating intelligent analytics into your church security system can help you proactively mitigate threats.
- Fire and smoke detection can detect an emergency before flames have a chance to cause major damage and compromise safety.
- Suspicious behavior settings allow your surveillance system to notify you when loitering or other suspicious activity is occurring around your church to prevent an incident.
- Gunshot detection can identify the sound of a gunshot and dispatch emergency responders to save crucial seconds in a crisis.
Depending on your goals for your surveillance system, intelligent analytics can enhance your protection and accelerate response time should an incident occur.
Decide on In-House vs. Outsourced Monitoring
Unless you plan on having church staff monitor your surveillance cameras around the clock, it might be smart to consider outsourcing your surveillance monitoring needs to trained security professionals. These dedicated personnel monitor your security video footage to help you respond immediately and appropriately to a security violation.
Too often, security cameras only serve to provide evidence after an incident has already happened. Without the right monitoring solutions, your cameras will do nothing to prevent a crisis that could cause significant damage and even cost lives.
Outsourcing your monitoring needs can help you proactively prevent problems, respond faster in an emergency, and better secure your church.
Create a Cohesive Security System
Security cameras can play a pivotal role in securing your church, but without a strategy, cameras rarely have their desired effect. With the right expertise and a plan, you can create a cohesive system to provide you with solutions that enhance everyone’s safety.
Each religious institution is unique, and you’ll need to continue evaluating your needs as your community grows and changes. Maintaining your technology and consistently assessing your security objectives can help you get the most out of your system.
Will Biggerman is vice president and chief operating officer of Surveillance Secure, which was founded in 2006 with the understanding that the security needs of clients require new and modern solutions that include the best equipment, professional installation, and attentive ongoing support and maintenance, www.surveillancesecure.com.