Gyms and leisure centers are central to many people’s daily routines, with data suggesting that over 64 million American citizens possess an active gym membership. Of course, the health benefits associated with frequent gym visits are often the main reason people sign up, but with modern facilities offering 24 hour access and wider amenities, the positives of membership have grown.
Whilst gyms provide members with a way to better themselves both mentally and physically, it’s important to remember that these facilities can be dangerous if operated inappropriately. Aside from issues regarding equipment misuse and poor safety protocols, physical security will always be a concern with hundreds of workers and members entering the property each and every day.
Thankfully, modern technologies and intelligent security policies can help gym owners to protect their members from harm, and improve the convenience of accessing on-site facilities. To learn how this is achieved, here’s how gyms are enhancing member safety and management in 2023.
1. Managed Access Control
Considering that the average US gym has around 1500 members, it’s essential that gym owners and security teams have systems in place to prevent intrusion events and protect members from physical threats. This is particularly important in 24/7 gyms where overnight staff may be limited.
Gymnasium access control systems can be deployed to ensure only authorized members can enter the facility. Gym-goers will be issued unique credentials linked to membership accounts that must be presented to on-site readers for access to be granted. Security teams can then view access logs remotely to investigate suspicious events and edit permissions if credentials are misused.
Touchless systems using mobile credentials allow members to manage their own access from a personal smart device, with permissions stored in a gym membership app that can be tied to existing scheduling and amenity booking systems. This lessens the workload of gym staff and ensures that members can safely access gym facilities at any time of the day without assistance.
2. Smart Video Security
Alongside managing property access, gym owners and security teams must be able to protect members from potentially harmful incidents inside the facility. Video security cameras should be positioned to cover all entrances, corridors and public spaces, but simple fixed CCTV cameras may not provide security teams with enough information to reliably protect members from harm.
By installing a cloud-based video security system utilizing adaptable IP cameras, security staff can view live video feeds and adjust camera positions remotely from a web-based management platform, allowing teams to assess unfolding incidents immediately to improve on-site security.
Additionally, many facilities now utilize AI software integrations designed to alert staff remotely of suspicious incidents. AI programs are used to identify anomalous events like crowds forming in unusual areas or individuals carrying contraband items, with systems programmed to send real-time alerts warning security staff of dangerous behavior that should be investigated further.
3. Automated Incident Responses
Modern gym and leisure center owners are increasingly choosing to implement cloud-based security management systems to enhance property security via automated incident responses. Cloud-based systems can be connected to a wide variety of additional security devices using Wi-Fi and Ethernet technology, with each device designed to instruct the operation of the next.
For example, if AI-informed security cameras detect the presence of contraband items, on-site alarm systems can be immediately activated, or if an access control reader is tampered with, staff can be notified remotely and asked to access nearby security cameras to view live footage.
Cloud-based systems can be further improved via integrations with the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT sensors are used to control wider devices when certain actions are detected. For example, IoT motion sensors may instruct connected cameras to begin recording, IoT pressure sensors may activate alarms and door locks, and IoT heat sensors may trigger fire suppression systems.
4. Data Security Protections
Not only are gym owners expected to protect members from physical threats, they must also ensure that all confidential customer data is reliably stored and secured to prevent the risks associated with data breaches. All customer records, membership information and access to installed digital systems must be suitably managed with cybersecurity best practices in mind.
Modern gym IT and security teams will typically store all confidential data including member’s payment details, access records and other identifiable information in cloud-based or physical servers, with these systems secured behind advanced encryption and verification processes.
To access data storage systems, staff will be required to follow a multi-factor authentication (MFA) process which experts suggest can prevent up to 99% of cyber-attacks, with access to on-site Wi-Fi services typically subject to similar protections including encryption and VPNs.
Gyms and leisure centers provide millions of people with health and wellness benefits each and every day, but for gym owners, ensuring the safety of their members can be a complicated and time-consuming task.
Thankfully, modern technologies and smart management systems have been developed to streamline and simplify these processes, helping gym security and customer service teams to enhance member safety and management, protecting gym-goers from threats.