Web Exclusive - January 2012
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Operations & Maintenance: Locker Rooms

Quality Materials, Security Improve Locker Room, Restroom Upkeep

By Deborah L. Vence

Security Measures

Besides regular maintenance, security is a top priority as well, seeing as recreation facility users will be storing personal belongings, taking showers and changing clothes in locker areas. Therefore, security measures should minimize theft.

Bonney's locker company has taken vandal resistance and security issues into account in the construction of its line of solid plastic lockers and the development of locking mechanisms.

"To begin, [our locker company] constructed with durable solid plastic made from either 30 percent pre-consumer content or 100 percent post-consumer content (recycled HDPE plastic)," Bonney said. "The lockers are further reinforced by durable, vandal-resistant all-welded construction.

"The vandal resistance of [our lockers] is also enhanced with a full-length latch bar, which runs the entire length of the door, providing a continuous security latching system. The latch, which lifts up to open and returns to closed position after the door is closed, is secured to the locker door with stainless steel security torx-head shoulder screws," she added.

As for locking mechanisms, the lockers come with a number of lock options, depending on the needs of the facility, such as:

  • Built-in key lock
  • Built-in combination lock
  • Card lock, which uses a card lock located inside the locker door. The user inserts a card to secure the locker with the key. When the locker door is opened with the key, the card is released.
  • Keypad lock, which also uses a keypad lock on the front door and is locked and opened with a PIN.
  • Coin return lock, where the user inserts a coin to secure the locker with the key. When the lock is opened with the key, the coin is released.
  • Coin retain lock, where the user inserts a coin to secure the locker with the key. When the lock is opened with the key, the coin is retained in a collection box secured with a master key.
  • Combination padlock
  • Pocket lock, which replaces the standard hasp on the front of the locker door. Any locker not in use can be claimed and secured by simply "docking" in the portable locking device.

Meanwhile, Martin noted that "Security is and has always been a top concern for facility owners providing lockers to their users. Usually, in the event of a break-in and a user suffers a loss of personal belongings, the facility owner is held responsible.

"Lockers need to be secure," he said. "Interesting to note, a significant trend for lock choices for lockers is going toward user convenience instead of locker security—user convenience being not required to carry a padlock or key in order to use a locker, but rather a simple user programmable digital or mechanical combination lockset that is very easy to use and offers little security."

McKenna also said that she has heard, perhaps more in the private health club market, about the use of small lock boxes or wallet-size boxes located near the control desk.

"You can come into a recreation facility, show your ID badge and put [your personal belongings] into a four-inch by five-inch lock box," she said. "You can have your wallet, cell phone and keys in these private lock boxes. And they are often right by the entry … right next to the front control desk. You can just put your materials and personal items and they are safe."

Finally, it is imperative that recreation facilities have a system in place, and most do, that require a club pass or ID card to gain access to the club.

"What happens, though, in shared use facilities, where you may have an event at which a small number [of people] don't normally go to that facility, but are there to watch a special event … they have access to the locker rooms. In that case, it's difficult to find out who's in the building. Ideally, [it's better if they are] identified in some way."

And, that's where the maintenance team can help.

"[They can] walk through and keep an eye on what's going on," McKenna said. "At the end of the day, it's about being observant, [knowing] who's in the building that will help in theft prevention."