Why Automatic Code Lockers are Amazing for Patrons and Gym Owners Alike
Gym lockers are a common feature in many gyms around Australia, and rightly so. By there very nature, there are patrons coming and going on their own schedule who have a need for secure storage of their personal belongings. Since many gyms have change rooms, clients also need a place to hold their clothing. Whether your lockers are front of house for phones, wallets, purses and car keys; or back of house for when gym-goers have their end of session shower, automatic code lockers are becoming more and more popular. With the increased popularity of 24 hour gyms such as Plus Fitness or Anytime Fitness, lockers that do not require staff intervention or assistance are in high demand.
Sadly, there are still many 24 hour gyms (especially the local gyms I have attended recently) that only offer open cubbies to their patrons. It is not practical or even possible for patrons to leave keys and wallets in their car, and thus the risk of theft increases. Indeed, you only have to look on Youtube to see videos of debit cards, car keys, and IDs being stolen from unsecured gym storage cubbies. This guy stole a credit card and bought $5000 worth of Apple products.
This may simply be due to a lack of information about what is available for gym owners to provide for their patrons. This article will guide you in your automatic code locker purchase and show you how to avoid the common pitfalls that exist when providing lockers for your members.
Why aren’t 24 hour gyms providing secure lockers as much anymore?
There are a couple of reasons why 24 gyms aren’t supplying lockers any more and are opting for open cubbies.
- Not staffed 24 hours. Gyms not having staff on while patrons are still able to use the lockers means that locked doors may not be unlockable. Key systems have master keys, padlock systems can be brute forced with a bolt cutter. But, both of these options require a staff member on hand to authorise the forced entry.
- Supplying keys and padlocks costs money. Keys get lost and so do padlocks, and replacing them can be frustrating and time consuming. Time that can be spent on signing up new members. Lockers that are unusable can bring down the professional appearance of your gym.
How do Automatic Code Lockers Solve these problems?
Digital Lockers, or Electronic Lockers, have a few specific features that make them perfect for the gym. They are shared access, they can have automatic unlock timers and you don’t need to give keys or padlocks to your patrons.
1. How do patrons access the lockers without staff helping?
Automatic Lockers are accessed by anyone, when they are set up in “Shared User Mode” or “Public Mode”. This means that when a locker user types in their code, the door is locked until they remove their belongings. When they remove their belongings, the code is wiped and the door remains unlocked until the next patron claims the door.
2. What if a user tries to keep a locker for themselves for extended periods of time?
Many automatic lockers have a timed unlock mode. Once the door is locked, the timer starts, and can be customised to your specific needs. If you believe that 2 hours is more than enough time for all patrons, you can set the locker to automatically open after 2 hours. Anyone who leaves their belongings overnight can simply be cleared out by the next employee on shift. This will discourage patrons from trying to reserve the locker permanently. This brings me to the next point:
3. What if someone wants to be a jerk and lock all the doors?
Depending on your clientele (i.e. young lads who think stupid things are funny), you may be concerned about patrons locking all the doors, preventing other patrons from enjoying the lockers as intended. Thankfully, an automatic timer will limit the effect of this kind of prank. If it happens often, checking the cameras is easy enough to do.
4. What if someone forgets the code for their locker?
Normally, this would be a deal breaker. Just like losing keys, forgetting the access code is a nightmare as your car keys, wallet and phone might all be inside the locker leaving the patron trapped. While this is definitely worth consideration, knowing it could be a problem helps find ways around it.
- Our recommended digital locker lock, the 3780, has a double code entry requirement when locking the door. What does that mean? Whenever a user locks the door, they have to put the code in twice. This is an elegant solution. It eliminates the risk of pressing an incorrect button and not realising. It also helps the locker user remember what they typed in.
- The trusty automatic unlock timer prevents users from having to wait too long. You could set the length to 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours, and patrons would never have to wait longer than that to retrieve their belongings.
Pros and Cons of Automatic Code Lockers
Now we’ve addressed some of the issues that automatic lockers solve in your gym, it’s worth knowing that they aren’t perfect. Below is a list of pros and cons so you can make an informed decision when buying gym lockers.
- Limited staff involvement, day to day. Putting a sign up with user instructions, which is standard practise in 24 hour gyms, will go a long way to helping gym-goes be self sufficient.
- Provides a better, more professional and higher class experience for your patrons. Secured belongings
- Prevents theft of opportunity. Removing temptation from would be thieves will ensure you’re never on the news for the wrong reasons.
- No keys to give out, means no replacement keys and no wasted employee time on administrative duties relating to the lockers.
- Digital lockers remove the requirement for keys but introduce the requirements for batteries. Thankfully, some locks have upwards of 2 years battery life and low life battery warnings.
- Automatic code lockers require a much higher up front investment.
- Some staff training and setup of the locks sometimes required, depending on the model you opt to buy.
Some of our automatic code locker options
At Hi Tech Lockers, we have one of the most comprehensive locker lock ranges in Australia. Our expertise in the field allows us to choose the right lock for your specific gym, leisure center or sports club. Below is some of our range. If you’re ready to add digital lockers to your gym, send us an email at email@example.com and we will find a locker that suits your requirements and budget.