Access Control

Using Security to Keep a Church Open and a School Safe

By Randy Mann

Schools must have high security to protect young children from outside dangers so they are free to learn in a safe environment. But what if a school is on the same property as a church?

Because churches are typically open and accessible to everyone – both for Sunday morning worship services and community activities during the week – securing the facility can become incredibly complex.

But that’s the exact challenge we faced when building an integrated security solution for a Nashville church and school on the same grounds.

Separate But Integrated Security for Church and School

Our first concern when securing a grade school is preventing unauthorized entrance from the outside while young students are inside.

But unlike other schools, this one is affiliated with a church. The two entities are on the same property, but have very different access needs.

Here is how we created two different security systems to serve a school and a church on the same property.

Securing the School’s Main Entrance

To start, we consulted with the building’s architect to create a secure entrance for the school building. This was a critical and important first step to ensure the safety of the students.

This secure entrance to the school includes the following components:

School Security Measures

Having the right technology and security system in place is incredibly important, but these tools can only do so much. To increase the security of your school, church or other facility, we recommend a number of safety protocols and procedures to complement the technology and ensure it’s being used properly.

School leadership did a tremendous job with this. Beyond the design of the building and system, administrators also implemented the following internal protocols to ensure safety beyond the front doors:

Oftentimes, it’s these extra steps that can make a big difference in the level of security at your facility. All of these processes, combined with top-notch security and access control systems, help keep kids safe and ready to learn.

Keeping the Church Accessible and Secure

The church has a very different security process compared to the school With thousands of parishioners attending Sunday morning worship services and hundreds more attending weekly activities facilitated by more than 50 staff members, the church is one of the biggest in Nashville!

The church uses its facilities not only for spiritual activities, but also for Girl Scout meetings, soccer leagues, swimming, preschool music classes, concerts and more. All of these activities require convenient access for the community.

Church Security Measures

To accomplish this open access approach, we worked with the church to implement the following security measures at their facility:

Church Safety Protocols

Much like the school, the church was smart to put additional protocols in place for an added layer of security. These procedures include the following:

Integrated Security Systems for Churches and Schools

The church and school work together to keep the church property open and accessible, while maintaining a tight security presence on the school side of the property.

Thanks to an integrated security and video surveillance system combined with internal protocols, these two organizations were able to create a smart, effective and safe facility for all of their needs.

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