Gyms and leisure centres attract a constant flow of traffic and unfortunately, are sometimes targeted by criminals. Additionally, current Covid 19 restrictions have put pressure on facilities to control and monitor their number of visitors. Gyms, in particular, have the extra challenge of dealing with visitors with different access rights. Installing an access control system unlocks several benefits for both a business and it’s visitors, such as facilitating 24-hour opening. That’s why we have put together this blog to lead gym and leisure centre owners through the basics of access control with turnstiles.
Benefits of Installing a Secure Access Control System at Your Gym or Leisure Centre
1. Prevent Unauthorised Access
Tailgating – where paid members let friends without paid access follow them into a facility- is a common problem for 24-hour businesses with unstaffed receptions. Gyms need to restrict access to visitors with paid memberships to maintain profitability. A secure access control setup can issue alerts when more than one person passes through a turnstile with a single authorised card. When integrated with the management software, you can access data on which members permit unauthorised access into the facility.
2. Control Access to Premium Facilities
Leisure centres often have premium facilities that are separate from the general facilities for regular members. If your fitness club has premium areas, it is essential to restrict access to visitors with premium memberships. An access control system easily integrates with biometrics and your facility’s membership database, so your visitors can check in using cards, biometric scanners and key fobs.
3. Facilitate 24-hour Operation
Having your gym open for 24 hours has many benefits. With members able to access the facility at any time, peak times, which are stressful for your staff, can be spread out over the day. It is also a good way of attracting new members if other gyms in your area have limited opening hours. Twenty four-hour operation may ordinarily involve leaving entrance points unmanned during the night and exposing the facility to crime. A secure access control setup comes in handy to allow authorised access only. This is particularly useful at less busy times when there might only be one employee on the premises.. Access control can issue alerts and trigger an alarm when a visitor without access enters the facility.
4. Maximise Customer Service
In gyms with a secure access control, staff can focus their attention on assisting members. With security handled by a reliable security system, staff are freed up to complete their various duties rather than constantly policing who is entering and leaving the facility.
5. Reduce Fraud and Theft
Even reception staff employed at the entrance and exit points, fitness and leisure facilities still report theft and fraud. A fool proof access control system reduces crime rates in such facilities by regulating access to visitors with known members with either a card or biometric details.
5. Regulate Number of Visitors at your Gym
For leisure centres such as swimming pools that host sporting events and competitions, monitoring footfall is of utmost importance. Competitive events attract many members and spectators, and the right access control system can allow a free flow of visitors while keeping count of the number of people entering the facility. As an event manager, you will know when the venue has reached capacity, and in case of an emergency, you have an accurate count of the number of people in the facility. Regulating the number of visitors in your facility is currently a requirement for all gym owners in Ireland due to Covid 19 restrictions.
6. Enable Seamless and Touchless Entry and Exit
In today’s world, which encourages fewer human touchpoints, technology is racing to provide touchless solutions. An unstaffed access control system is the best for your fitness or leisure facility. An access control system integrates with the membership database to let in visitors using biometric details. With integration with CCTV and event recording, an access control system can provide security even when unmanned.
7. Provide Valuable Insight About Facility Use
When integrated with software, an access control system can provide valuable data about how visitors are using the facility and when certain areas of the facility are in use. When integrated with other building management systems such as lighting and HVAC, they can reduce energy consumption, especially for 24-hour gyms. Access control also provides insight on peak hours, allowing you to better plan your staff around peak times.
Why Turnstiles are the Most effective Access Control System for your Gym or Leisure Centre
Benefits of Turnstiles Over other Access Control Systems
Turnstiles can provide gyms with simple, cost effective, compact and secure access control while blending with your facilities design and aesthetic. Further, turnstiles come in a range of designs tailored to suit different building entrance ways. Here are the different types of turnstiles which you can install and tailor for your fitness or leisure business:
Types of Turnstiles to Consider for your Gym
Easy Gate Turnstiles
Easy Gate turnstiles offer integrated access control, allowing members to use their identification cards or tags to access the premises. Integration with your membership database means that easy gate turnstiles can be left unstaffed. Visitors with fake or expired cards cannot enter. Similarly, visitors cannot use the same card twice within a specific time frame, preventing tailgating.
Rexon turnstiles are full-height, bi-directional and motorised using an electronic access control system. These turnstiles come with a 120 degrees opening to allow for comfortable, easy and safe access for pedestrians. Rexon turnstiles utilise lockable doors with integrated steward scanning, a security hatch, push-button and keyed exit release.
With a tripod barrier arm installed at waist height which rotates to allow entry, bar turnstiles have a sturdy construction, and mechanics enables them to last for decades. Bar turnstiles are a popular option for cafeterias and gyms as they offer bi-directional access control and usability in indoor and outdoor environments.
Perfect for offering wheelchair access or access for large objects during an evacuation process, Pegas turnstiles utilise a swing gate with a glass wing, offering an attractive design aesthetic. Pegas turnstiles provide the added benefit of a silent motor driven unit for high user comfort.
An interior half-height turnstile made of a combination of glass and a stainless steel handrail. Round turnstiles are the perfect option for an entrance hall or lobby, requiring access control with high performance and aesthetics.
Advance Access Turnstiles
Advance Access offers a wide range of access control solutions including pegas, easy gate, rexon and bar turnstiles. Our turnstiles have been trusted by businesses in Ireland for over 20 year including Ben Dunne gyms. If you need customised turnstiles for your gym, you can trust our experience and expertise in providing custom security solutions.