Have you taken stock of how secure your church is from theft or violence due to unauthorized access to your building? It is of paramount importance that your members and staff are safe when they come to church. When members and their families are worshiping they should be and feel comfortable that the church premises is secure.
In past market research, Brivo has found that the majority of respondents are overconfident in the security of their facility. This overconfidence is spurred by a lack of understanding of the real vulnerabilities of lock-and-key systems, which are the security solution most churches are using. Let’s break down the vulnerabilities of a lock-and-key security solution.
- Keys are easy to duplicate
- It is easy to lose track of who has keys to your church
- There are no tracking capabilities to know who is in your church or who has accessed your church at any point
- Rekeying in the event of lost or stolen keys can cost hundreds of dollars
- If someone is locked out or needs access, a key-holder must be on-premises to open doors
Break-ins and theft have obvious costs associated with them. But what are the costs of these vulnerabilities that are not associated with theft and loss of property and that could and do happen regularly?
Here are two major categories for church building vulnerabilities that can cost your church:
#1 – Monetary Costs
The Risk: Lost or stolen keys; rekeying
The Cost: $100 (minimum fee) + $25 per door
Rekeying happens in churches up to five times per year when incidents like these occur:
- Break-in or theft
- Theft of keys to the church
- After a staff member or volunteer loses a key
- If a volunteer or staff member leaves without returning assigned keys
- After terminating a key-holding staff member
The Risk: Theft
The Cost: Stolen money, A/V and tech equipment, and religious valuables
Church valuables can also hold historic value and may be one of a kind items. The sentimental and spiritual significance of these items is incalculable.
#2 – Emotional Costs
The Risk: Unauthorized access and possible violence
The Cost: Harm or upset to the people who rely on your church
It is important to remember that many church buildings serve multiple functions.
- Schools operate in church buildings
- Bible study groups convene in church buildings
- Church staff and clergy meetings are held in the church buildings
- Community groups meet or share space in church buildings
The people and children in the classrooms, meeting rooms and the sanctuary itself are who you are protecting while they are in your building. If there is a risk of unauthorized access then there is a risk of harm. Make sure you KNOW your doors are locked when they should be and that the people who are coming into the building are authorized to be there.
If your church does not have video surveillance and access control there is no way to securely monitor staff, members or visitors.
Cumbersome and incomplete security solutions are not the answer for your church. There are automated, simple, secure, and affordable options available. When you think of physical security, what pictures come to mind?
Images of giant key rings with dozens of dangling keys or a security guard monitoring TV screens watching every entrance and hallway? The good news is that old technology has been upgraded.
Security of the Future
New technology is available that includes systems that offer one cloud-based security platform that allows churches to go beyond traditional security to:
- Automate – by saving valuable time and viewing access records and video remotely from mobile devices
- Simplify – by managing all components from one system, controlling access, viewing videos remotely, and setting-up alerts to unexpected access events, all from one platform on web or mobile devices
- Secure – by controlling all access at all times and granting or revoking access, setting-up access schedules based on employee permissions, and granting temporary access to volunteers
Automate the security of your church with a scalable security platform that combines access control, video surveillance, and mobile access and management.
Churches have communities to serve. Do not let the security of your church distract from your mission. Churches are sanctuaries for your community. Keep them safe.