When Denmark’s largest chain of fitness centres wanted to maximise its security and optimise efficiency across 150 locations, it chose a solution from Siemens using a state-of-the-art intruder alarm from Vanderbilt.
Founded in 2005 and based in Copenhagen, Fitness World is Denmark’s leading provider of fitness centres and gyms, boasting over 450,000 members across 150 locations. The company’s aim is to enable as many people as possible the chance to have a healthier lifestyle and it has become renowned for providing effective training in centres that have an informal and welcoming atmosphere, at a price everyone can afford.
Fitness World has invested heavily in facilities that have cutting edge equipment and its buildings are designed to be accessible and safe places for its members to train in. Security is a high priority for the company and ensuring that only authorised personnel can enter the building is vital. However, issues such as false alarms and members forgetting their entry cards meant that Niclas Pedersen, the company’s IT Manager, would often be contacted to resolve the issue, taking up valuable time during his working day and often late into the evening.
‘This type of issue is not uncommon in buildings such as fitness centres, where there are high volumes of people coming and going at all hours of the day,’ explains Pedersen. ‘That said, I knew that there must be a more effective way of dealing with the situation, while enhancing the level of security within the centres, so I contacted Siemens and set up a meeting to discuss what could be done.’
Flemming Lorentzen, Key Account Manager at Siemens, takes up the story and says, ‘It was clear that the existing system was causing Niclas severe inconvenience. After listening to his concerns I was confident that a solution comprising Vanderbilt’s SPC intruder detection technology and the Siemens Remote Service Centre would address the problem, by combining state-of-the-art technology with remote monitoring. It meant that many of the issues he was having to deal with personally could be resolved by our highly trained team, without compromising the overall security of the sites.’
Designed with ease of use in mind, the Vanderbilt SPC intruder alarm system’s in-built flexibility meant that it could be used throughout the entire Fitness World estate. With its modular design, embedded Internet server and support for wireless detectors, it not only meets today’s requirements efficiently and cost effectively, but also offers a high degree of future proofing. Furthermore, to cater for changes to layouts within the fitness centres, it can also be reconfigured and extended when necessary.
To reduce potentially disruptive and costly false alarms, SPC boasts extensive automatic and manual facilities for event verification. As a further aid to dependable operation, all units in the range have integrated emergency power sources. Together with continuous functionality monitoring, these ensure that each module is self-sufficient and that the system will continue to work correctly even if the mains power fails. In such an event, the Siemens Remote Service Centre is immediately notified and prompt remedial action initiated.
The SPC system is connected via Ethernet to SPC Manager software that is housed in the Siemens Remote Service Centre. SPC Manager supports up to 1,000 SPC panels located anywhere in the world, providing real-time monitoring of installed systems and the ability to modify the user settings of more than one system in a single command. As well as key status information, it also monitors events and activities for each panel and provides a convenient summarised overview with drill-down options for additional details. All installations are also connected to SPC Safe to secure all back-up configurations remotely.
SPC can be integrated with a wide range of interface options and Fitness World selected Vanderbilt’s high-end SPCK623.100 LCD Comfort Keypad with graphical display, card reader and audio. Its four soft keys and multi-dimensional navigation key allow easy operation, with status information and ‘next step’ prompts clearly
displayed. An integrated card reader enables quick setting/unsetting of designated areas at Fitness World’s centres by use of a proximity card only, or in combination with a valid user PIN, while the built-in speaker and sensitive microphone support audio features such as alarm verification or voice annunciation.
While its security and access control attributes were the main drivers for the installation, SPC has also provided a number of less immediately obvious building automation based benefits. Most significantly, it allows each facility to remain open to members before and after staff start and finish their working days. The alarm can be programmed, at say 4.30am, to disarm automatically and turn on lights, music and TVs. Importantly, between this time and staff starting work, the building is still secured by the security features of the SPC. This functionality means that members can enter the building without Fitness World staff being present and the same applies at the end of the day, with members able to train until late in the evening. Not only does this increase the flexibility of the centres, but also saves Fitness World money by lowering its employee wage costs.
It also helps the company enhance its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon emissions. Flemming Lorentzen, states, ‘We have configured the alarm so that when it is armed at night it deactivates some of the machines, the lighting in specific areas, the water supply, and also turns off the audiovisual systems that are in operation during opening hours. This all contributes to Fitness World’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme.’
The combination of the Vanderbilt SPC intruder detection system and the Siemens Remote Service Centre has made a massive difference to Niclas Pedersen and others at Fitness World. He concludes, ‘What's been achieved has far exceeded all my initial expectations and vastly improved my day-to-day efficiency. I am able to concentrate fully on my core activities, safe in the knowledge that we have the highest level of security in place and that any problems will be dealt with quickly.’