According to research from the Association of Religion Data Archives, the state of Kansas is home to over 4,700 churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. In Missouri, the number is closer to 9,000. Each of these structures is designed and built for a unique purpose: to welcome the faithful for worship, fellowship, ministry, and mission.
As welcoming as each church, synagogue, temple, and mosque may be for all those who seek peace and comfort, it’s also safe to say that every church and place of worship has plenty to protect, from business offices to A/V equipment, on-site storage facilities, cash and personnel, not to mention irreplaceable objects of special significance. In fact, most churches these days also have on-site schools or daycare services. These facilities hold perhaps the church’s most precious cargo and bring with them their own unique security needs.
The potential for theft or robbery is a liability to the church if the facilities and grounds aren’t secured. Also, churches and places of worship of all traditions and denominations are vulnerable to vandalism and even theft from parking lots. This has driven churches to investigate various methods to protect their property, assets, and people while remaining an open and welcoming place for the faithful and those in the community who rely on them.
Fortunately, churches can protect themselves from theft and unwelcome attention using the same kinds of commercial security measures that work for so many other Kansas City businesses. But churches also have special considerations, because they are meant to be both safe and welcoming. These security measures are vital for the former, but they must not be too intrusive in order to maintain the latter. A commercial security company that understands and appreciates the unique role a church plays within the community can be helpful—and these are a few of the tools they recommend to help secure church property:
Programmable Access Control
Traditionally, the doors of the church are open wide for the public—but that doesn’t mean that just anyone can go anywhere at any time. For many churches, access control may be the answer, as it is an easy-to-scale system that can lock and unlock doors and track events for any number of users and can be managed in real time from an internet-connected device such as a smartphone, computer or mobile device. Access control systems, coupled with monitoring solutions such as commercial security cameras, can help to protect everything from common areas to those aforementioned school and daycare areas to the innermost rooms of the facility, where irreplaceable religious assets may be stored. Access control systems are more than just locks; they allow you to control who has access to what parts of your facility and when. For churches, this allows them the flexibility to secure certain areas of the facility during special events, weddings, youth program nights, community meetings, and so on. With programmable access controls, you can help ensure that the openness of the church and the flow of congregants and visitors is not hampered while also keeping your facilities and people safe when they need to be.
Burglar alarms may be the first thing people think of when they think about intrusion detection, but alarms come in a variety of styles and purposes, some of which may be a better fit for your church or place of worship than others. For example, door contacts are sensors that let a security system know whether a door is opened or closed. The benefit here is that when the church is closed, an alarm will sound if there’s an unauthorized entry. A commercial alarm system can also generate open/close reports that keep a record of when the system was armed or disarmed, so you can keep an eye on things even when you aren’t there.
Commercial Security Cameras
Speaking of keeping an eye on things, a little surveillance goes a long way. Sure, the word surveillance may have a somewhat unpleasant ring about it, but the fact is that commercial security cameras help to keep people and property safe, and to provide a valuable record that can be helpful if the authorities have to get involved. With an array of capabilities available, cameras can record whenever a motion sensor is tripped, be set on a timer to come on after hours, or record 24/7, depending on the needs of your facility. There are even night-vision cameras and other monitoring options that can be tailored to the needs of your facility and your congregation.
Each of these elements plays an important role in keeping any facility safe, whether it’s a business or a restaurant or a church or other place of worship. But each element can only do so much on its own. It’s when all these different parts are brought together that real security begins. An integrated commercial security system brings together video monitoring, intrusion detection, access control, and system management and analytics into a holistic package that works in tandem to provide top-down protection for your facilities, your assets, and, perhaps most important, the people who work, pray, minister, and congregate in your church.
The very thing that makes churches so welcoming, so vital to communities is also what makes them uniquely at risk for certain security threats that many other businesses may not have to face. What’s more, churches have to find ways to confront these unique challenges without sacrificing the openness that is so integral to their mission. This can be a difficult task, but it’s far from impossible with the help of commercial security professionals who understand the unique needs of churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. We can help you craft a layered, unobtrusive security approach that will allow church leaders, directors, and staff to keep their finger on the pulse of current and future security needs, and select the security solutions that are best for your facility and congregation.
For a commercial security partner who understands the unique needs of your place of worship, just contact A-TEC Security today. We’ve helped countless Kansas City residents and businesses protect the things that mean the most to them with residential and commercial security, providing everything from security cameras and access control systems to 24/7 monitoring and much more.