Alarm Innovations has installed an integrated alarm and access control system supported by Mobotix cameras, MxActivitySensor software and MxMC(MxManagementCenter) management software for Miss Temple, Australia’s first women-only 24-hour gymnasium. 

THE reason for being of Miss Temple, the latest venture of Queensland’s 24-hour gym chain Temple Fitness, is the creation of Australia's first women-only 24/7 gym concept, giving members the opportunity to train in a comfortable, supportive environment surrounded by like-minded women. It goes without saying that ensuring safety and security could be guaranteed around the clock was vital. 

Having already worked with Brisbane-based security integrator Alarm Innovations, which installed integrated access control and security systems at a number of its mixed-gender gyms, Temple Fitness knew it could trust the company to provide the right solution for its new women-only facilities. With a women-only clientele, being able to assure their personal safety would be an absolute priority. 

An integrated solution

An access control and alarm system was integrated with the gym’s membership software along with, importantly, a duress alarm should any member require urgent assistance. 

“In addition to safety and security, management particularly wanted to tackle the issue of tailgating, where more than one member goes through the turnstile on a single pass,” says Alarm Innovations, Kevin Cameron. “This can be a big source of income loss for 24 hour gyms.” 

Using MxActivitySensor, an alarm is triggered when more than one person enters on a single membership card, sending an email to the gym management with photos and the membership number of the card used. This is considerably cheaper than using an infrared beam, the main alternative until now. It is also possible to carry out spot checks to monitor the issue of membership sharing, when a non-member borrows a member’s card to enter the gym. This will enable them to gauge the extent of a problem which has been quite difficult to track until now.

“We started using Mobotix cameras about 2 years ago,” Cameron explains. “After some research, I really found that the image quality, analytics, reliability, and ease of installation or integration, far surpassed other brands at the same price.” 

According to Cameron, these attributes made MOBOTIX technology very appealing for a gym environment. The solution at Miss Temple combines a myriad of functions, from security, access control, anti-tailgating event triggering, and duress alarms, to motion detection for lighting in the entire building, and air conditioning control in some areas. And the energy efficiencies, which have already been implemented at the existing mixed-gender Temple Fitness gyms, have brought savings going into the thousands of dollars. The system is configured and managed through the MOBOTIX video management software MxMC(MxManagementCenter) firmware, which comes free of charge with every camera. Further customisations can also be implemented to trigger alarms for unwanted behaviour, such as entering unauthorised areas, with breaches setting off a siren and alerting the control room.

The installation, which was completed in a few days and, according to Kevin, was very straightforward, employs mainly Q25 cameras. These are ideal for indoor spaces, thanks to MOBOTIX hemispheric technology, which means an entire room can be covered by just one camera with no blind spots. 

“This makes Mobotix a much more economical solution than other brands. For a similar price you would not be able to get an installation of the same standard, with all the features, image quality and ease of use,” Cameron says. 

The operation is managed onsite through MxMC on a workstation, with alarm and duress signals being sent to the Alarm Innovations’ 24/7 control room. The control room operators have access to a single camera at a time via the browser interface, which offers virtually all the functions of MxMC including live footage viewing, event searching and playback, and alarm management. Perhaps most important in this instance, operators can use the built-in intercom to communicate with a person at the scene of an incident, as well as control ancillary devices such as lights and doors. 

Strengths of the solution

The benefits of an integrated security system such as the one at Miss Temple reach beyond the safety of patrons to offer protection for the business itself. Being able to prove due diligence on the part of the gym and show precisely what has occurred on the part of the claimant, shields a business against false negligence and work cover claims. This can help avoid the costs of unnecessary litigation proceedings, as well as reducing liability insurance premiums. It has already been shown to be effective with a recent case against one of the Temple Fitness gym franchises being dismissed after footage showed that the customer’s claim of having been assaulted in the car park was false.

With help from Alarm Innovations and Mobotix technology, Miss Temple Fitness has been able to save time and money by streamlining operations, reducing energy consumption and insurance costs, and providing protection against fraud and litigation. Furthermore, by assuring their patrons safety out of hours, they have been able to provide a secure and welcoming environment for their female customers. In essence, Mobotix has proved to be the perfect tool to provide this optimal solution, which benefits the business and the clients in equal measures.

The duress and incident management process really is the standout feature of this installation. In the event of a duress alarm being triggered, a signal is sent via the alarm panel to the monitoring centre. There, an operator is able to log into the camera where the incident has occurred using the browser and assess the situation through observing the live footage, as well as communicating with Miss Temple clients via the inbuilt microphone and speaker, which is standard on all Mobotix cameras. The MX-232-IO-Box allows control of external devices such as lights, and importantly in critical situations, to open doors to allow emergency services to enter. It’s a very clever integration from Alarm Innovations. ♦