Dény Security contributes to the safety of visitors to the Nîmes Arenas

Nîmes Arenas / credit photo : Heilfort Steffen

Labelled a City of Art and History, Nîmes, the 20th largest city in France, particularly owes its identity to the Roman monuments that were erected there. With 400,000 visitors per year, the Arenas remain an essential tourist attraction in the Gard. In the summer period the city uses them to organise numerous concerts, shows, festivals and other events that can welcome up to 14,000 people in corrida configuration.

Like any ERP. (Etablissement Recevant du Public - Establishment Receiving the Public), the Arenas have people's safety as the essential requirement, so as to avoid the least incident being transformed into a tragedy.

The Arenas, a historic DENY SECURITY customer

An amphitheatre dating from the end of the Ist century A.D., the façade of the Arenas comprises two superposed levels of 60 arches. Originally all the ground floor arches were open to serve for entry and exit. Under the vaults five circular galleries, 162 staircases and corridors leading to the tiers allowed spectators to access to their sets or leave quickly.
Today, the arches that support the Arenas are all fitted with gates. For many years a electro-mechanical lock system was in place with as many keys as gates. Before each event each gate was opened mechanically and electronically locked. With this system becoming non-compliant to current safety standards the Arenas' managers have thus naturally called on DENY FONTAINE, the supplier of the original system, to find a solution that met not only the security requirements of this type of establishment, but also their expectations.

Reconciling security, flexible management and respect for the architecture

The Nimes Arenas being accessible to different users (technical departments, production company, etc.), the managers were seeking a system that could simultaneously control the emergency exits and provide simple, effective management of the accesses, whilst respecting the architecture of the location, without forgetting an adaptability constraint taking account of the age of the gates. DENY FONTAINE has thus installed an emergency exit management system on 28 gates combined with an access control system on 9 gates.

Composition of the new system:

All information is relayed to the security PC where any authorised person can display the status of the emergency exits at a precise moment. In addition a general command system located in the security PC allows instantaneous unlocking of all the gates.
In the steward's office a control PC also allows the locks to be displayed and interrogated by sector. With 8 permanent near field badges the Arenas are now able to assign badges on request. In the event of loss or non-return, the steward simply uses a dedicated program on his computer to deactivate the badge.
Throughout the duration of the installation the Nimes Arenas received technical support from the DENY FONTAINE "Works" department who undertook system installation and commissioning, assistance and training for the Arena technical team.

Credit photo : Heilfort Steffen