During the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing touchpoints wherever possible throughout a building is front of mind for many businesses. A range of hands-free door opening solutions can help minimise the spread of infection.
Doors and door hardware are common touchpoints when entering or exiting a building, or when moving between different rooms. However, there are options available that can either limit the amount of direct contact with ironmongery and doors, or offer an anti-bacterial solution.
Eryl Jones, Managing Director at the Assa Abloy Door Hardware Group, states, ‘Doors are the one item we all touch every day; a physical barrier to keep us secure and safe. But with the increased risk that touching a door now poses, what can we do to overcome this challenge?’
When looking to limit the spread of infection from doors, the first stept is to make sure existing door hardware is being cleaned properly. As one of the most commonly touched surfaces in a building, it is vital that a regular cleaning routine is established. Hardware should be cleaned with a mild, non-abrasive anti-bacterial detergent and water solution, using a soft cloth. Then, using water and a soft cloth only, surfaces should be wiped to remove any remaining detergent residue. The treated surface should appear visibly wet then allowed to air dry.
In areas with high traffic, users can consider products that allow doors to be opened without peoplen having to use their hands. For instance, arm and foot pulls are an easy and cost-effective door furniture solution that limits the level of contact an individual has with a door.
Other products feature anti-microbial surfaces. Hardware treated in this way, or that use materials such as copper, can effectively reduce the risk of transmission. Anti-viral copper door handle tape can be wrapped around a clean door handle and has been proven to inactivate 99.98 per cent of corona viruses, according to Assa Abloy.
Hold-open door controls can help keep doors open at all times, except in the case of an emergency. For instance, the DC300G-HF door closer holds doors open in medium to high traffic corridors, allowing people to pass through without touching the doors.
For those after a completely hands-free solution, there are a range of access control devices that simply require the wave of a hand to open. These are fitted with motion-sensing technology, and ideally suited to sensitive applications such as bathrooms and environments such as hospitals, laboratories and schools.
Sharing keys between personnel can increase the spread of bacteria and germs. An access control system that employs individual keys puts a stop to this, while simplifying key management throughout a site and saving personnel valuable time and money.