With open doors and a generally trusting atmosphere, churches and other religious institutions are often targets of burglars and vandals. In March, a Portland church actually had to cancel its Sunday services because of a break-in the night before:
The best way to safeguard against crime at places of worship is to protect the facility with discreet security solutions that offer protection without creating an unwelcoming atmosphere.
There are several ways to install church alarm systems and other security measures that still allow for the preservation of beautiful interiors (no one wants to see a stained glass window covered by a surveillance camera) and a sense of openness among congregants. We recommend a verified intrusion/access system that separates the church into multiple zones.
One possible alarm system design for a church would be to divide the main sanctuary, offices and meeting room into three separate zones with alarm verification. With the separation, employees could work in the offices while the sanctuary and meeting rooms are protected against intruders. If a person were to gain entry to a protected space, they would trigger a door, window or motion alarm. Then, one of our operators would see a ten second video clip of the space to determine if the alarm is real or false. This not only protects the facility but employees as well. Staff and clergy members would carry access cards and fobs that would allow them entry to any part of the building they are approved for, as well as automatically disarming the security in that area. For instance, a pastor could go from the office into the sanctuary without setting off the security system, but a burglar would have no such luck.
Religious institutions provide valuable services here in Portland and it is important to keep them safe from vandals and thieves. Verified security systems can provide this protection while still preserving tradition and inviting atmospheres.