Protecting your Camp and Conference Center from Intruders

You’re responsible for protecting your property and ensuring the safety of your campers and visitors. With criminals constantly looking for opportunities to exploit lapses in security, the following tips will help you make your facility a less appealing target for those with bad intentions.

Conduct periodic surveys to ensure exterior lights are working and placed to illuminate building entrances, sidewalks, steps, loading docks and parking lots. Ample lighting in the right places makes intruders less likely to see your buildings or grounds as easy targets.

  • Upgrade your outdoor lighting. Consider replacing older incandescent lights with LED bulbs. LEDs are a little more expensive, but last longer and typically are brighter.

  • At night, keep at least one interior light on in the main buildings. It gives the impression that the buildings are occupied.

Lock as many doors as possible. With so many cabins and lodges at a camp, it is difficult to lock all doors 24/7. Keep the main gate locked or guarded. No one should enter or leave camp without the knowledge of a counselor or camp director.

  • At conference centers, you will want to unlock the main doors during normal business hours. After that, be sure doors and windows are closed and locked.

Install deadbolts. They provide the best possible security of any door lock. Some models use safe combinations, passcodes or even your fingerprint to open doors.

Consider an electronic keycard system. With a keyless system, you can:

  • Manage a person’s access via computer.

  • Identify who used specific doors and when.

  • Deactivate a keycard when someone leaves the organization.

Consider installing security cameras. Today’s digital cameras can connect wirelessly to a recording system in your main office or directly to a security company. Install them near doorways and other high-traffic areas.

Consider installing audible alarms. The sound of an alarm signals an emergency, alerting campers, visitors, volunteers and staff to potential danger.

Ask local law enforcement to conduct a security vulnerability assessment of buildings and grounds to determine strengths and weaknesses of current security practices.

  • Secure local law enforcement for daily/nightly patrols of parking lots and buildings.

  • Invite first responders (EMTs, fire department, etc.) to visit your facilities and provide them with a current map of all the buildings so they are familiar with your layout in the event of an emergency.

Other considerations:

  • Trim overgrown trees and shrubs next to buildings to help eliminate hiding places.

  • Keep track of keys. Know who has the keys at any given time.

  • Establish a neighborhood watch program.

  • Have an access procedure in place for buildings that require people to enter or leave through a main, monitored entrance door.

  • Conduct security sweeps before, during and after camp and conference center events by trained staff members.

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Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. (a stock insurer)
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

© 2020 Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I. All rights reserved. Protecting the Greater Good is a registered trademark of Church Mutual Insurance Company, S.I.

Church Mutual is a stock insurer whose policyholders are members of the parent mutual holding company formed on 1/1/20. S.I. = a stock insurer.