What Type Of Security Camera System Should You Use For A Church?
For complete security, you may want to install a security camera system that includes window and door alarms. If you want to monitor the security cameras remotely, you should install IP cameras. You may also want to consider adding fire, gas, and water emergency monitoring solutions.
Select the Right Type of Camera for Your Church
The first step in choosing a security camera system is deciding how you want to monitor the cameras and alarms.
With a basic CCTV system, the cameras continuously record footage. The footage is stored on tape or digital media in a central location, instead of storing the video directly on the camera. These systems typically use wired cameras that are physically connected to the storage device.
You can also find WIFI security cameras that connect to your local network. These cameras typically work with a web-based application or mobile app that allows you to monitor the church from any location. Instead of storing the video locally, the WIFI cameras often upload the footage to the cloud.
These systems often require a membership fee, which may include multiple plans with varying amounts of storage space for the footage.
When you record locally, the recording device records on a loop. If it runs out of storage space, it begins recording over the oldest stored files. This provides continuous recording without requiring paid plans for storage, but it increases the risk of deleting over the footage.
The WIFI cameras are also called IP cameras. While they use a wireless connection to deliver their signals, they still typically require a wired power source.
Besides the recording and monitoring method, you should consider the type of camera. Most security cameras record HD footage. While you may save money by purchasing an SD camera, the video that you record may not provide a clear view of the suspects after a break-in.
HD cameras start at 720p, which is all that you may need. A 1080p camera provides greater resolution, but it also requires more storage space for the video. With 720p, you can still record sharp, crisp images.
Security cameras also include extra features. Depending on the location of the camera, you may want night vision, a wide-angle lens, or motion-activated recording.
Night vision is useful if the camera may need to record in the dark. Luckily, this feature is included with most cameras.
A wide-angle lens is preferred when the camera needs a wider view of the surroundings. For example, exterior cameras often use wide-angle lenses. In fact, a hallway is the only place that you may want to avoid wide-angle lenses.
The motion-activated recording is also useful. You can avoid the need to record footage 24/7. When someone walks into the field of view of the camera, a motion sensor is activated, and the camera starts recording.
Decide Whether You Want to Include Alarms and Sensors
Besides cameras, a church security system may also need alarms and sensors to protect against theft and vandalism. Cameras are more of a deterrent while alarms can be used to alert authorities or the church to a break-in.
The main types of alarms include window and door alarms. They typically work by using a magnet and a transmitter. When the two components are placed next to each other, the magnetic field creates a closed circuit. When the door or window opens, the circuit is broken, and an alarm gets triggered.
These alarms are called reed switches. They are often battery-powered and can be installed on any door, window, or gate that can open and close.
You should start with the first-floor doors and windows, as they provide the easiest access for intruders. If you cannot afford enough alarms to cover every exterior window and door on the first floor, you may want to focus on the main entrances.
Another option is to use motion-activated sensors to provide wider coverage. For example, if you have a large row of windows, you can use one motion-activated sensor to cover the entire area instead of installing a series of reed switches.
When placing the alarms, you should also pay attention to basement windows or cellar doors. It is easy to overlook these areas, as you may not frequently use them. However, the basement is often one of the first areas that an intruder will search for an opening.
Choose Between Self-Monitoring and Paid Monitoring
Another consideration is whether you want to monitor the security system on your own or pay a security company to monitor your church.
The advantage of hiring a security company is that you can receive help with the selection of security equipment. Experts can assess the layout of your church, identify the vulnerable areas, and recommend the best cameras and alarms.
Security monitoring services can also give you peace of mind. If an alarm is triggered, the security company can handle the process of contacting the necessary authorities.
Besides monitoring your window and door alarms, professional security companies often offer additional monitoring services. You can include fire, gas, and water emergency monitoring to protect against all types of disasters.
The drawback to professional security monitoring is the cost. You need to pay a monthly fee, installation fees, and other charges to receive continuous coverage.
With self-monitoring, you are responsible for alerting authorities to a crime. However, you avoid service fees.
Instead of simply setting up security cameras, you may want to install a complete security system. This ensures that your cameras, door alarms, and window alarms all work together to provide comprehensive protection against theft and vandalism.
When choosing a security camera system, you can choose self-monitoring or professional monitoring. Self-monitoring is less expensive. However, professional security companies can help with the installation and alert authorities when an emergency occurs.
You may also want to consider using IP cameras instead of analog CCTV cameras that record to a local storage device. With IP cameras, you can keep an eye on your church from any location.