When the time comes to consider a church building or remodeling project, there are many obvious things to consider: your church’s vision for ministry in the community, its worship needs, teaching needs, community and fellowship needs—and, of course, its budgetary constraints.
There are also other, less obvious needs that church leaders should consider when making their dream church building a reality. Some of those revolve around safety and security, and we addressed them in one of our recent free i3 webinars. Over the next several posts we will outline some of the safety and security needs from that webinar that all church leaders should discuss and address.
Beginning with a Disclaimer
Our expertise is building churches. While we endeavor to build safe and secure church buildings, we do not pretend to be church security experts or security team experts, nor are we experts in the development of policies and procedures for church security teams. But when it comes to church building design, we have a lot of experience and wisdom to offer.
Defining Safety and Security for Your Church Building
It’s important to understand the difference between safety and security. “Safety” is an umbrella term for many types of potential issues that could arise in your church building. These include health and mental wellness, fire safety, weather safety, building security, the presence of dangerous persons, environmental disaster, crime, vehicular safety, and many other issues that relate to the safety of persons when they are on your church property.
“Security” refers to a subset of safety that specifically addresses human threats. While much of safety addresses items that might be unintentionally dangerous or harmful, security focuses attention on the ways in which humans might bring intentional harm to people or property in your church building.
Incorporating Security and Safety in Your Church Design
Here are five elements of safety that are important to address in any church design: fire safety, vehicular safety, environmental safety, security, and health and wellness. The latest safety and security measures in each of these categories should be implemented into every church design. In forthcoming posts, we will address these areas so that you can be well aware of what’s needed to keep your new or remodeled church building safe and secure for all who come through its doors.
Fortunately, many safety and security elements are mandated by municipal building codes. This makes it easier for you to be certain that you are incorporating necessary safety features into your church building. Next, we will discuss which safety elements are covered by building codes. As for upcoming free i3 webinars, we will be announcing our 2020 webinar lineup soon, so stay tuned!