Church Safety, Security, and Emergency Procedures (part 2 of 5)


Safety measures are most effective when several layers exist (overlapping systems which support each other). Note: Using the term “safety” more often than the word “security” is wise, because “safety” has a positive connotation; “security” has the potential to imply a threat.


Suggested “layers” or systems for safety can include:

  • Use biometrics (fingerprint) check-in systems at stations for all children ages birth through fifth grade (preschool and elementary areas). Alternatives like bar-codes or cards can be used, but those are easily forgotten or left at home (not as consistently secure). These systems using bio-metrics can use a parent’s fingerprint to generate a paper stub containing a lot of information pertinent to the child (information initially entered by the parent or a staff member). The church can configure the information according to its needs. Once check-in stations are active, the stub system should be mandatory and used every time preschoolers and children go to their classes for programming.
  • Use a beeper/buzzer system for all pre-verbal children (usually birth through age two) to allow parents to be summoned quickly if necessary. Beepers are personal, private, and easy for a parent to hear/see in order to respond. These can also be helpful for older children with special needs who may have communication issues.

NOTE: Investigate smartphone options/apps which might address some or all of these needs. This technology is rapidly developing and should be regularly considered in light of the new options available.

  • Install safety cameras to monitor all hallways and exit doors, angled to view people as they leave the church/area. Do not draw attention to them; people who potentially seek to do harm will notice their presence. Average churchgoers might be alarmed or perceive danger if you raise their awareness.


Lead On!