These days, more church/temple parishioners and staff are becoming concerned about their church safety. After all, a large gathering is always a prospective target for attackers, especially if the attacker has a connection to the church or temple or one of its members. Therefore, leadership must make an effort to tighten security for the safety of the members and the workers, and themselves.
In this article, we’ll provide a few tips that you might want to consider when keeping your church or temple safe for parishioners.
10 Security Tips
Below, we will explain 10 things you can do to ensure the safety and security of your parishioners and staff at your church or temple.
Create a Church Security Plan
Before you begin drafting a security plan for your church or temple, everyone who has a vote must agree that it’s a priority to tighten security. Once those involved with this decision have come to an agreement, the leadership/elders, along with the assistance of local law enforcement and security team, can come up with a plan.
Create a Church Security Team
If you don’t have a competent, dedicated team in place, it’s next to impossible to tighten security at church. Talk with members with experience in security and public safety and request their leadership or assistance with creating a security team. In addition, volunteers should be invited to join, as long as they have been trained and receive regular refresher training on maintaining security at church.
Educate Other Members of the Church/Temple
Once you have your security plan and team in place, it’s time to notify the other members of the church. They must be educated on what is involved in church security and their role in the process. Additionally, they should be asked if they are interested in joining the team and taught how to be observant in every situation.
Install Surveillance System
The next step in this process is to install a video surveillance system inside the building and outside around the property. This will help the security team monitor activities around the property and identify any possible threats before a situation escalates.
Designate Hours of Operation
Many churches/temples have an “open-door” policy. This means that anyone can come in or out at any time without being questioned. However, by putting some hours of operation in place, you can easily tighten church security. After all, when there are specific opening and closing times, it prevents those who want to sneak in when they think no one is watching, such as at night or on days when nothing is going on.
Create Lockdown Procedures
Every church/temple needs to have a plan if there is an incident such as a fire, shooting, explosion, or anything else. The church security team should create a lockdown procedure in case there is an incident to protect the members of the church/temple and secure the property.
Provide Emergency Response Training
In case an incident does occur, there needs to be an emergency response team to secure the area, call emergency responders, and care for those injured. The church security team should be receiving regular training on proper procedures for responding to emergencies.
Regularly Test Security Systems
Now and then, at least once every 3 months, if not more often, the security systems and procedures must be tested. Make sure fire alarms work. Test how long it takes your emergency responders to get to where they are needed. Check the effectiveness of your lockdown procedures. This way, you know if everything is working as it should or if some things need to be adjusted.
Control Access Points
In every church/temple, there are areas that not everyone should access, but these are typically the places perpetrators target when attacking. These areas should have limited access, such as keyed or electronic locks that will automatically lock.
Have Law Enforcement Review Security Plan & Procedures
The best way to ensure that your security measures are adequate is to contact local law enforcement and have them look over your plans and procedures. They know how criminals operate and will approve or make suggestions for changes in these procedures.
A church/temple should be a place where people feel safe. Unfortunately, safety has become more of a concern over the years. If you are unsure what your next step should be, contact Securiteam to learn more about church security plans and procedures.