Vigilance through human observation is a foundational aspect of security design. Our previous posts have talked about the importance of security teams and spaces with a clear line of sight to doorways and windows, for example. However, in an era where threats can be hard to anticipate, incorporating technology and modern design elements into church buildings can significantly enhance security levels. This article delves into a few of the innovative devices and elements that contribute to creating a safe and secure environment within church designs.

Bollards: Unseen Guardians

One increasingly prevalent addition to church buildings is the incorporation of bollards. A typical one is pictured on the right. These sturdy barriers serve as a deterrent against vehicles entering the church premises, potentially avoiding a catastrophic incident. We’re all familiar with bollards, as they are often used outside retail buildings; however, they need not sacrifice aesthetics for functionality.

Innovative designs offer bollards that seamlessly blend into their surroundings, serving dual purposes. From ornamental versions to those featuring integrated lighting, bollards can enhance the architectural appeal of a church while bolstering its security. Whether resembling simple spheres or doubling as planters, like the ones pictured on the left, these bollards are anchored with deep foundations, ensuring their effectiveness in preventing unauthorized or accidental vehicular access.

Bollards aren’t just for new church designs, either. They are also being added to protect existing church buildings. In fact, The McKnight Group recently installed them in front of a megachurch we’ve worked with many times.

Door Access Controls: Tech Enhancing Security

While door access control systems have been in existence for a while, their adoption within church buildings varies. However, there is a growing recognition of their importance in safeguarding churchgoers and premises alike. These systems encompass a range of options, from electronic key fobs and keypads to the latest smart doorbells equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and cameras.

Modern access control systems offer both flexibility and security. They allow for granular control, permitting access only to authorized individuals during specific times. Additionally, they can facilitate tracking of entry and exit, providing invaluable insights for security management. Magnetic locks with motion detection capabilities are particularly vital in areas like children’s spaces, enabling swift lockdown procedures in emergency scenarios.

As church leaders contemplate ways to enhance safety, it is essential to explore innovative solutions. It’s also vital to stay up on all the latest design trends and church building features. It’s why we offer our various i3 webinars. These free sessions delve deeper into subjects such security and safety design, and many more. See our website to view upcoming topics and to sign up.