With an increase in crimes targeting churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious institutions, our team at Mammoth Security has been busy designing and installing security systems at places of worship.
We want you to know that we have the experience and know-how to provide security assessments and smart solutions that will help keep your religious space secure.
Religious institutions are vulnerable "soft" targets for active-shooter events and terrorism. By collecting worshippers with specific religious identities in one space, they become attractive targets for people inspired by hate.
According to the Faith Based Security Network (FBSN), there had been nearly 2,000 deadly force incidents and more than 900 deaths at places of worship between 1999 and 2018. And according to data from the FBI, shooting deaths at houses of worship more than doubled between 2019 and 2021.
Houses of worship attract hate-motivated vandalism because they represent specific faiths and identities. For example, church leaders from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have counted 182 incidents of vandalism at Catholic churches alone since 2020.
Common forms of vandalism targeting churches and other places of worship include bullets fired through windows, the desecration of religious symbols, and arson.
The majority of fires at churches and other religious houses are caused by faulty wiring and malfunctioning heating systems, but arson is shockingly common. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 34 fires occur at places of worship in the U.S. every single week––and five of them are set intentionally.
Places of worship often have valuable assets that attract thieves. In 2020, there were 15,630 property crimes at houses of worship, including burglary and larceny. Stolen items range from electronics to jewelry--and the cost to individual churches has ranged from thousands of dollars to millions.
Unfortunately, many church members and people welcomed into other houses of worship feel tempted to commit theft and other crimes.
Even worse, internal conflicts between church members can escalate to the point that church safety is threatened.
Proactive actions you can take to improve your church security system include creating a volunteer church security ministry, installing a church access control system with lockdown capabilities, and installing IP security cameras both indoors and around your building's parking lot and perimeter.
FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recommend that church leaders develop security teams to manage and oversee their church safety protocols. You can find FEMA's Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship here.
Your volunteer church security team should be trained to use your church security cameras and access control devices. To simplify training for your church security team, select cloud-based security systems with easy-to-use interfaces.
Our team at Mammoth Security is ready to help you select security systems that your church security team can easily manage. In fact, some of the best security system interfaces on the market are designed for people who lack IT knowledge.
We recommend cloud-based IP security cameras to support your church's security staff and volunteers. Video footage from cloud-based IP security cameras can be live-streamed to security team members individually on mobile apps.
Live streaming allows your premises to be more effectively and actively monitored by church security teams both during events and remotely at any time of day or night.
According to statistics provided by FBSN (Faith Based Security Network), more than three-quarters of attacks at houses of worship begin in the parking lot or another area outside of a worship building.
Outdoor security cameras and access control systems are, therefore, essential components of any church security plan.
Because religious services and events put worshippers in a vulnerable position, religious institutions are advised to rely on a single dedicated entryway during worship hours while all exit doors remain unlocked from the inside for easy evacuation.
A church access control system should have an interface that provides remote access so that your security team can rapidly initiate total lockdowns or lock specific doors to contain threats.
Aside from gaining control during emergencies, access control systems are used to secure offices, storage rooms, rooms with electronic equipment, and buildings of all sizes from crimes such as theft and vandalism.
Alarm systems are an essential component of any church safety and security program because most churches are regularly vacant for hours at a time.
Aside from vulnerability to burglaries, houses of worship require a security policy that addresses fires caused both by arsonists and accidental safety oversights.
Fortunately, most alarm system sensors include carbon monoxide sensors and smoke or heat detectors--providing not only alerts for law enforcement officers in the event of a break-in but also alerts for the fire department.
Synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship and faith-based organizations are often the targets of crimes inspired by hate. In fact, the risk assessment for non-Christian places of worship is often direr than that for churches, making even more robust security procedures necessary.
No matter your faith, our security experts at Mammoth Security want to use our knowledge and experience to provide physical security that will keep your members safe.
Begin developing your church safety and security plan by forming an oversight board and appointing a church safety director. Next, develop church security procedures and recruit church security team members to support your security plan and consistently maintain your church's security.
FEMA provides free resources to assist religious organizations in developing security teams to implement a security plan that features effective security measures for a wide range of church security emergency scenarios.
Church security directors should preferably have law enforcement, military, or security backgrounds and be organized.
Your security director should take responsibility for selecting and training your volunteer church security team or security staff.
Your security director should also arrange for the purchase of necessary safety equipment and security systems.
Routine security training in access control system management and other security measures is essential for an effective and robust security policy.
Each security team member on your volunteer church security team should be trained by your security director to follow a security plan and protocols for a full range of emergency situations. Your security team members should receive appropriate security training for all emergency security procedures.
It's also recommended that at least one member of your security ministry have a concealed weapons license.
In addition to a security ministry, security camera system, alarm system, and access control, police officers can play a significant role in the physical security of your church or house of worship.
Many local law enforcement officers have experience in church security plan development and church security training practices, and churches are advised to reach out to their local police department for a thorough risk assessment.
Access control security systems are installed at church daycares and other youth-oriented access points to lock doors and ensure that children leave only with authorized caretakers.
An access control security system can also help to prevent volatile domestic disputes from spilling out in front of children.
The best video surveillance security camera depends on the field of view it is intended to monitor. A robust church security plan usually requires a variety of camera types with different lenses and specialized strengths to provide full coverage at a reasonable price.
That said, cloud-based IP video surveillance systems allow for the best security plan implementation and for the most robust security system overall. This is because IP security cameras come with smartphone apps that make it possible for your security ministry to keep eyes on your building and its perimeter both during services and remotely at any time.
Security cameras with night vision are useful for your outdoor security plan, as well as for security indoors during services with dim lighting. Fortunately, most security cameras today have IR LED lights to see in low-light environments.
Indoor or outdoor video surveillance PTZ (Pan-Tilt-Zoom) cameras are a useful investment for more advanced security measures. They provide security team members and security staff with security equipment that can track figures of concern as they move and zoom in on them.
Spotty cell service can be a serious problem during emergency scenarios when reliable access to video footage, security cameras, and access control is most important. But with a security policy that uses private WiFi and two-way radios, your church security team members can stay in touch during any emergency without having to scramble for internal phone numbers.
The right security plan for your church or place of worship depends on factors like the size of your congregation, the area you are located in, and how your building or buildings are laid out. Our team at Mammoth Security wants you to know that you can trust us to customize and install security systems that meet the unique needs of your house of worship.
From access control and alarm systems to advanced communication tools and security cameras, we have solutions to help you prepare for emergencies like active-shooter events and scenarios that are much more common, like robbery and arson.
If you're ready to take the next step toward securing your place of worship, just fill out the simple form below to receive a free, zero-obligation site consultation from Mammoth Security.
You’ll meet a friendly member of our team as we survey your church or place of worship, discuss your security concerns, spot points where your security can be improved, and begin to develop a security plan that's expertly tailored to the unique layout and security needs of your house of worship.
Wireless cameras are not reliable enough for commercial use yet. Instead, we use purpose-built antennae to connect hardwired cameras on light poles and buildings.
For Camera Systems
Watch live or previously recorded footage on any mobile device. Save it to your phone and e-mail it just like any other video or image.
4k or 8MP cameras represent the best value at the moment. Depending on your situation, a 30+ megapixel camera can be installed allowing you to read a seat number from the opposite end of a football field.