​COVID-19 Shul Security Tips

With our Shuls shut down and the COVID-19 shelter in place order still in effect, now is a good time to do what we can to ensure our Shul buildings are safe and secure.

We’re committed to improving synagogue safety in the country with our training programs that are designed to keep you safe. After completing our programs all our members will be able to protect our Shuls when needed.
 
There are a number of no-cost and low-cost solutions that can help up us do this. Here are a few recommendations:

  • If your Shul has a burglar alarm system, now is the time to arm it and monitor its usage. Each user should have their own individual code so that you know who is arming and disarming the system. If you don’t have a burglar alarm system, there are many low-cost options out there:

 

  • Ring also has a DIY alarm system kit that can be monitored for $10 per month, or you can choose to monitor it yourself for free. A basic system will cost $150 - $250 depending on options.  The system requires a reliable Wi-Fi signal. https://shop.ring.com/pages/security-system

 

  • SimpliSafe is a DIY alarm system kit that has monitoring packages starting at $15 per month. A basic system will cost around $225. www.simplisafe.com

 

  • If you don’t have a Wi-Fi signal at your building and don’t want to install yourself, you can install a traditional burglar alarm system based on phone line connectivity. Installation for a basic system is approximately $300 - $500 and monitoring services run $15 – 45 per month depending on options. Fees are contract-based, usually annually or multi-year. For more info we recommend Fox Valley Fire and Safety:  https://www.foxvalleyfire.com/

 

  • If your Shul has a Shabbos-friendly push-button lock on entrance doors, now is a good time to change the combination. You want to restrict or control who has access to the building. As always, we never recommend posting the code / combination in Hebrew on the door.

 

  • If there are people who still have access to your Shul building, it’s a good idea to monitor their access to ensure the the building remains secure. A good way to do this is with a low-cost plug and play Wi-Fi based camera system. These systems will alert you when there is activity and are accessed via smart phone app. One such system is the Blink camera system. A 3-camera indoor system costs $189 and does not have any recurring or monthly fees. This is cheaper than getting the exterior grade cameras. Place the battery-powered camera just inside your entry doors looking at the door so you can see who is coming in, connect them to the internet and you are good to go. https://www.amazon.com/Blink-Home-Security-Detection-Included/dp/B018HC6PVA?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1 Another good option are Ring cameras, which will cost approximately $100 per camera for a battery operated unit.  https://shop.ring.com/products/stick-up-security-camera-battery

 

  • An excellent deterrent to criminal activity is proper lighting. If you have any lamps, place them in a window visible from the street and connect them to a timer that goes on for a couple of hours at night. If you have multiple lights you can do this with and stagger them at different times, this will give the appearance that there is activity inside the building. Exterior lights over building entrance doors should be on after dark- a dusk to dawn photo electric sensor or timer is a good way to do this. Motion sensor lights are also very effective.

 

  • If you have a mailbox on the exterior of the building, make sure mail or packages are picked up regularly or forwarded to another address. Same thing if mail deposited into a mail slot can be seen from the street (i.e. through a glass window). You don’t want to give the impression that nobody is around or paying attention.

 

 
If you have any questions about these recommendations, or need further information please email us at info@cclshulmembers.org Stay safe and stay healthy! 

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