That’s not every church in the United States, but obviously the average church in America is small. If you are one of those churches, you have limited resources, and you need to know about communication equipment for your security team, then this article is for you.
A traditional walkie talkie or two-way radio is nothing more than a battery powered device that can send and receive radio messages. The basic components of the radio include a microphone, a speaker, an antenna, a battery and a push-to-talk button. Radios transmit one signal at a time, and they use a push-to-talk (PTT) system which means you push a button to speak and release the button to hear others talk.
What Kind of Radios Will Our Team Need?
If you are a smaller church with one building and a parking lot, basic low watt personal use radios that work on a Family Radio Services (FRS) band will probably work for your security team. These radios will work in outdoor and indoor environments, they provide a range of a mile or so, and they are inexpensive. Remember, the range on these radios is limited; buildings and trees can interfere with the range. I don’t sell or recommended specific products, but I have included a link to a popular and affordable FRS radio below:
1. Basic low watt radio systems are inexpensive
2. Radios are easy to use
3. Radios do not rely on cell phone signals and they will work during power outages
4. Units come in different shapes and sizes to include small, concealable options
5. Accessories such as headsets and earpieces can be affordable
1. Only one person can speak at a time
2. Individual unit cost- obviously, you need more than one radio
3. The more team members you have volunteering during a shift, the more radios you’ll need
4. Lower watt radios that operate on an FRS system can be susceptible to interference
We Don’t Like the Traditional Radio Option. What Else is There to Choose From?
There are a number of free walkie talkie apps for smartphones. The apps can provide your security team with the ability to send a quick voice message to other security team members, similar to the traditional walkie talkie (radio). Some of the apps work with both iPhone and Android, and some do not. To use these apps, all security team members will need to have a smartphone and they will need to know how to use a basic app.
Apps that can be used for Android and iPhone:
Two- Way: Walkie Talkie
1.Most of the apps are free
2. The apps are easy to use
3. Having a smartphone is required- according to the Pew Research Center, 81% of Americans own smartphones
1. May not be compatible with both Android and iPhone
2. Bugs or errors- it’s an app
3. May not work seamlessly with some Wi-Fi networks
4. Dependent upon cell phone signals