Responding to questions is an important part of what we do in each of our free i3 webinars. While the main purpose of these webinars is to address current church building issues for church leaders and present the latest church design and construction information, we also know that no two church building situations are identical. So, the Q&A segment gives us a chance to answer specific questions. Here are two from the recent Safety and Security Design webinar and how we responded.
Question 1: Can the McKnight Group renovate and remodel my church building with security in mind and how would that process work?
The short answer is yes—and of course there’s more to the process. While it is perhaps easiest to address security in the church design phase of a new building, there are ways to remodel an existing facility with security and safety in mind.
First, we’ve found that many older buildings have multiple entrances, each of which looks equal in importance. In order for a church building to be more secure, attendees and guests need to all use one primary, clearly visible entrance. This allows your security team to focus attention more efficiently in fewer areas. To accomplish this, we often design as much transparency as possible at the primary entry, adding height for prominence. Large areas of glass can help people see what’s inside and feel safer about entering your church building.
Once that primary entrance is designated, other entrances are kept locked and refitted with egress-only hardware, or other emergency exit devices. This makes it easy for people to leave the building safely in an emergency without allowing anyone into the building who has not passed through your security system.
Another issue we often see with older properties is that church offices are not located near the central entry point. This is where an electronic or keyless entry system could be a good investment. Integrated into an existing secondary entrance that’s closest to your church offices, this system can allow approved staff to enter and exit the church building using an RFID tag. Visitors can ring a doorbell and communicate through video with security or reception personnel before entry is approved and the door unlocked.
As to how the process works, just give us a call at 800-625-6448 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. We typically visit your existing church building and do a free assessment. In this one-time site visit, we can sometimes share immediate recommendations for security enhancements to your existing church design. We also use the information we gather in the visit to present you with a proposal for church design services.
Question 2: Do you have any recent instances when you’ve had to renovate because the church had a security or safety issue?
Fortunately, none of the clients we’ve worked with have experienced a major act of terrorism or violence. However, we have worked with a few churches that have experienced smaller security incidents, such as domestic situations. In some cases, this takes the form of someone arriving to pick up a child from church/school/daycare who is not the same as the person who checked in the child. It is one reason why it’s so important for church leaders to have safety and security protocols in place.
Do you have security questions about your church design? Give us a call and we’ll be happy to talk with you about this important topic. We also encourage you to sign up today for our next i3 webinars.