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Community housing centre secured with SALTO

Monday 03 August 2015

The Gatwick, a former hotel turned rooming house now providing accommodation for disadvantaged people in the Port Phillip Bay area of Melbourne, Australia, has installed a new SALTO access control system to provide advanced accommodation security.

Operated by the St Kilda Community Housing Ltd, a not-for-profit housing agency committed to the provision of affordable accommodation for low-income and disadvantaged single people, The Gatwick provides a home to people who have special needs. These can include issues such as a mental illness, drug and/or alcohol dependence; a history of homelessness or the risk of homelessness.

Given that Victoria is Australia's most densely populated state and Melbourne its second-largest city, most of the population is concentrated in the area surrounding Port Phillip Bay. For those disadvantaged by a lack of financial resources when competing in the local mainstream housing market or lacking strong family attachments while experiencing social disadvantage The Gatwick provides a secure housing environment while getting back on their feet and finding their way back into mainstream society.

The building had acquired a reputation with both the local police and community, and the owner's attempts to preserve the buildings' historic grandeur were being negated by escalating malicious damage caused by a small number of residents. This was leading to increasing costs for repetitive maintenance and tenant welfare issues.

A contributory factor to this was that its old mechanical key system meant that rooms were not always as secure as they could have been and this meant that personal security issues were highlighted as significant concerns when the City of Port Phillip and St Kilda Community Housing decided to intervene and upgrade the building to improve the life of residents and provide them with a sense of 'ownership'.

'As the leading supplier of accommodation locking solutions, SALTO's XS4 Mifare controlled electronic locking system with Departmental software plus wall reader/door controller mix was ideal for The Gatwick' comments Dennis Mavropoulos, Business Development Manager, SALTO Systems Australia and New Zealand.

'Mechanical keys are not only cumbersome to carry, but they can be time consuming and expensive to replace if lost ' not to mention the potential security implications ' and given that it is also impossible to

obtain any type of audit information showing which keys have opened which doors and when - it was decided mechanical locking had had its day.

Working in consultation with our distributor Australian Lock Company and local SALTO approved installer Omega Security Solutions, a highly secure and flexible access control system was designed to meet all of the needs of the building.

The advanced XS4 system now provides door level intelligence to control access to all external doors within the building for both staff and residents. Finished in satin stainless steel, these stand alone locks are specifically designed for use with both external and internal doors and are approved to withstand fire for one hour. Simple and quick to install, power is supplied via three AAA batteries good for up to 40,000 openings or around 3 years of normal use.

Each lock is simple and quick to install. They feature anti-vandal protection to safeguard their electronics, housed in the inner back plate, on the inside of the door. Their Mifare smartcards remove the need for keys, thus delivering considerable long term cost savings and removing the need to re-cut keys or fit replacement locks if a card is lost as it can be instantly deleted from the system,' Mavropoulos continues.

Colin Frauenfelder, Facilities Manager, St Kilda Community Housing Ltd, says 'We're pleased with the finished installation and with the performance of our new SALTO access control system. It delivers everything we've asked of it and we also like the fact that its scalable meaning we can add more doors to the system in future as needed.'