5 Practical Tips for Church Security
These 5 practical tips for Church Security may seem insignificant, but actually they could make a difference in an emergency situation. Church security is not just about burglar alarms and cctv surveillance cameras. Sometimes it’s just some common sense observations that can possibly save someone’s life.
Most Church Security is just common sense
1. Make sure the outside of your building has adequate lighting and maintain those lights.
Last week we did a walk around of our facility and found out that we had 8 fixtures with burned out bulbs. Some of those fixtures belonged to the church and some of them were city owned street lights that were out. A few minutes of changing some lamps or making a phone call to the utility company and your problem can be solved. The neighborhood around your church may have changed in the last few years and it would seem that the area is now more populated. Years ago having the perimeter of your building well lit was not an issue. Today it may be. Adequate lighting is one of the most inexpensive additions that you can add to your church security program.
2. Audit your door openings.
Is it necessary to have every exterior door open to your facility, all day and all evening long? On Sunday mornings it may be necessary to have multiple door access, but having your building completely accessible all Sunday afternoon and evening may bring problems. You might want to limit access to one or two monitored doors in the afternoons and evenings if your activity schedule has that need. We have had occasion where assailants have entered our building, found an open room, hid and stayed the night only to burglarize and vandalize our building. It’s a very easy aspect of church security if you simply limit access to some of your doors.
3. Do not put personal information about staff or church members online.
It is advisble to not list staff members home addresses, phone numbers and family members in any printed or online format. Some information needs to remain private. Online Church directories are a big no-no. We don’t live in Mayberry any more and people specially target vulnerable people like … single moms, older adults and those with special needs. Also, if people take pictures at church for publicity please let them know that they need to seek permission to publish those pictures. Do not put pictures of children on your website without full model releases. Never post or tag a child’s name under a picture.
We don’t live in Mayberry. Church security is necessary
4. Background Checks and MinistrySafe.
Background checks are a must for anyone who works with children, youth and vulnerable adults. Along with those background checks your church needs to have an operating policy that includes a program like MinistrySafe. A sexual awareness program and policy. Our insurance company has made it a requirement of coverage. If you make everyone get a background check and take training will it mean you will never have a problem? No, but it does create another level of protection for your staff, members and children.
Trust your suspcion when it comes to Church Security
5. Don’t ignore a suspicion.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the statement — “I knew something was not right about them.” Really? And you didn’t say anything? We can’t afford to ignore the most basic condition to the human soul, fear. If something does not look right … that might be the time you start a conversation with someone about your fears or concerns. I’ve heard this alot … “Well, I didn’t want to be judgmental.” Better safe than sorry. If nothing else there might just be another level of awareness and caution. One of the things that MinistrySafe puts into place is a 6-month wait on folks that want to work with children or youth.
These 5 practical tips for church security may seem insignificant, but it may make the difference in saving someone’s life.