Outdoor Access Control for Rec and Wellness

Outdoor access control with Detex

One of the largest segments of the population of the U.S. consists of people of retirement age. There are a great many senior living facilities across the country. Outdoor access control plays an important role in the security of senior or assisted living campuses. One needs to have control over who comes in and who leaves. Signing in and signing out is something these campuses should require for guests and residents alike.

Of course, many if not most of these residences have outdoor spaces. The question for security is how do you secure the perimeter — i.e. lock the gate — and only allow certain people to get through?

It’s a question you need to be asking in your recreation and wellness facilities as well.

How to Secure the Perimeter

In years past, people understood only one way to control access like this in an outdoor environment. That was to use an electromagnetic lock. Power on means locked, power off means unlocked. It’s very simple, right?

But what happens when you lose power?

When power is out, the lock is not secure. Anyone can come in and, perhaps even more scary, anyone can go out. Imagine someone with Alzheimer’s disease or some other form of dementia wandering through an unsecured gate and away from their facility and all the staff members trained to help them. Such a scenario could have tragic implications.

The solution in healthcare — hospital courtyards, assisted living facilities, memory care units, etc. — is a panic bar on the inside — the push side of the gate — that is always latched. Pushing the pad down lets people get out. On the pull side, the gate is locked. The only people who need to get through the gate are authorized personnel. This way staff can come and go easily. Friends and family members will be signing in at the front desk. It is something to consider for your recreation and wellness center.

Outdoor Access Control Keeps People In

With healthcare facilities like assisted living and memory care residences, one of the most critical solutions required is outdoor delayed egress. Its primary function is to prevent residents — some of whom may be experiencing dementia — from straying off campus unaccompanied and put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. Delayed egress solutions can be critical. It can at least temporarily slow a resident’s departure while at the same time alerting facility caregivers or other staff that someone is trying to get out.

Outdoor alarms — those for panic bars and gate — can also help in that regard. The alarm sounds when the gate opens. Image how you can use this for security with those who visit your rec center?

Good in Any Climate

As with any outdoor environment, you want to have security hardware that will stand up to the elements: extreme cold, extreme heat, the salt of the ocean air, the sands of the desert climates, etc. For most if not all of these access control solutions, you can seek out products that are tested for these harsh conditions. That’s important. Performance is non-negotiable from a security standpoint, so you can’t afford to have it break down due to weather conditions. You don’t want to incur the expense of replacing your gate security hardware year after year.


Detex Corporation is the only manufacturer of weatherized delayed egress systems, battery powered door prop alarms, weatherized exit alarms and door prop alarms. Contact the experts at Detex Corporation for a wide array of products that protect people, secure property, and assure the life safety and security objectives of customers worldwide. Contact Tim Shafer at tbs@detex.com or Kent Nelson at gkn@detex.com.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Campus Rec Magazine