Keeping fire doors closed SAVES LIVES – now there is a solution for not touching the handle!

Fire doors are a vital part of fire safety and can only do their job in preventing the spread of fire and smoke if they are closed.  A few minutes of ‘propping’ a door open can lead to grave consequences.  If a fire door is wedged open this means that a fire can spread, at worst it will slow down the fire and smoke so people can be evacuated safely, at best it will save lives and protect the building from damage.

Keeping a fire door shut can hold a fire in a room for up to 30 minutes, which would usually give Fire and Rescue Service the time to respond and be attending the fire before it has a chance to spread. This critically gives people time to escape or seek refuge, and also allows the emergency services a safe and protected route into the building.  It is even possible that an insurer would not pay as a result of fire doors being left open and there are penalties for not following the rules. A Norwich Landlord was jailed for 21 months and the Humber Landlords Association were fined £100,000. Fire doors are there for a reason and must be kept closed

There are lots of reasons that people wedge open fire doors, we all know they can be a pain when you are carrying a tray of drinks or if you are trying to navigate big heavy luggage.  They can be a struggle if you are in a wheelchair or pushing a buggy and now on top of everything else; we are all aware that touching door handles can transfer germs on to our hands. With the rise of Covid-19, more and more people are reluctant to touch door handles as they are afraid of contamination, however, where fire doors are concerned, it is not a solution to avoid germs by wedging a fire-door open.

There is a simple solution with a device called StepNpull® The Foot Handle, a foot operated door pull which mounts on any commercial latch-less wood or metal door, and gives the user the option of pulling the door open with their foot instead of the door handle. It is the perfect solution for providing a touchless passage through a door.  The surface area of StepNpull® which is in contact with the door face is small and the bolt through fixing is the same as those used to fix pull handles to door leaves.  Therefore, following the users own risk assessment, this simple device can be used on fire doors.  Don’t use the Corona-virus pandemic as an excuse for keeping your fire doors open, it is not an excuse as fire is a killer and germs can be avoided by providing a solution in the form of hands free door opening – StepNpull® The Foot Handle

The Impact Of Minimising Contact Touch-points On The Spread Of Germs

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of “hot spots” were identified early on where the virus spread to large populations in New York, Washington and California.

When it comes to spreading COVID-19, plus other germs, bacteria and viruses, every public building and business has hot spots as well. These are areas that dozens of people touch on a normal day.

Consider how many people touch a restaurant menu during a normal week. Think about how often somebody reaches for the toilet doors in your office. Try to count how many fingers and hands make contact with elevator buttons, railings, conference room tables and light switches in a given workday.

Each contact has the potential to leave behind and pass along droplets from a sneeze or cough. Surfaces also collect particles that people can emit by just talking or exhaling. These droplets can contain a number of illness-inducing germs.

In fact, according to researchers at the University of Colorado, the average person’s hand carries more than 3,000 bacteria from at least 100 species.

The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) cites studies of COVID-19 that suggest it can remain viable for hours or days on surfaces, regardless of the material. Furthermore, it’s possible for the virus to spread by a person touching a contaminated surface or object and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes.

It’s not just the coronavirus that can live on surfaces. Bacteria can remain unchanged on an object after two weeks at room temperature. Studies have shown that influenza can survive on surfaces and can infect a person for up to eight hours.

It’s impossible to clean a common surface every time a person touches it. And no matter how much people are warned not to touch their faces, it’s become a habit too difficult for many to break.

The best way to minimize the spread of germs through common surfaces is to reduce the amount of contact altogether and a goal for all businesses to aim for in the post coronavirus world is to help employees and visitors avoid touching as many of the same surfaces as possible.

Ideas to accomplish this goal include:

• Installing hands-free, foot-operated door openers on all common doors, especially toilet exit doors. This will minimise how often employees touch germ-infested door handles with their hands. This is an inexpensive fix; you can easily install a device for about £35 per door.

• Installing motion-detection lighting throughout their facilities to reduce the touching of light switches. This can also decrease energy bills as lights will only come on when needed, which is better for the environment.

• Updating water, ice and beverage dispensers so they don’t require a user to touch a surface with their used cup to make the machine dispense liquid.

• Encouraging employees, customers and visitors to avoid touching surfaces with their fingertips. This is the part of the hand most likely to transmit a virus. Instruct people to use objects such as pens to push elevator doors and tissues to grab handrails.

The new normal in the post pandemic world is that more people will think about how everyday actions can spread germs and viruses. This preoccupation will not be limited to germaphobes. People will for a long time remember how COVID-19 killed and sickened thousands and led to a virtual halt to our way of life.

A business that wants to appeal to employees and customers in this new world will take the necessary steps to minimise how many objects people have to touch.

Handy Facts

  • Typically there are between 10,000 and 10 million bacteria on each hand.
  • Damp hands spread 1,000 times more germs than dry hands.
  • The number of germs on your fingertips doubles after you use the toilet.
  • Bacteria 40 million years old have been extracted and successfully grown from a fossilised bee.
  • In 1918 more people died from the influenza virus (approximately 30 million) than died in the First World War (10 million).
  • When you cough germs can travel about 3 metres if you do not put your hand or a handkerchief  over your nose and mouth.
  • Studies show only about 70% of people wash their hands after using a public toilet.

For the children of the future, adults act now

For the children of the future, adults act now

Kids washing handsOn the 15th of October Global Handwashing Day was launched, supported by the United Nations. It was aimed at young children to learn of the true impacts hygiene has on our world. It’s message: ‘simply wet, lather and rinse’. Perhaps in future years they will add ‘avoid contaminated touchpoints’ to emphasise the need to accept the fact that we now have a choice about opening communal doors.

Children from all over the world struggle against the poverty line, failing to uphold personal hygiene. The day recognised that by implementing soap and water, to those in need, we can save up to 1400 infants (under 5 years of age) every day.

Illness is spread globally, not just far from home. Like a chain reaction, one illness contracted on home soil could easily travel from carrier to carrier until reaching countries that do not have the tools to prevent contamination.

Washing our hands appropriately dramatically reduces the risk of widespread contagion and helps save the children of tomorrow. To compliment a thorough wash, always choose StepNpull as the last thing you do to prevent bacterial spreads.

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