Brought to you by BOMA/Suburban Chicago's Emergency Preparedness Committee
SARS-CoV-2, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus, may place countless people’s lives in danger if not properly prevented or mitigated properly. The good news is that although the coronavirus is new, viruses are not. Experience with Ebola, norovirus, MRSA and other viral contagions have taught scientists, and those in commercial real estate (CRE) who combat viruses, quite a bit over the years.
As part of a demand response to novel pathogen and occupant wellbeing, CRE members have implemented necessary protocols to help ensure the safety of their people as their building’s greatest asset. Enhanced cleaning of high touch point surfaces is now common to daily scope of work. These enhanced procedures include CDC approved cleaning products, tools, technology equipment and processes to ensure overall efficacy of disinfection tasks.
Science-based disaster recovery companies are deploying added-value innovations for their residential, education and commercial clients that compliment traditional methods like EPA-registered chlorine or peroxide-based cleaners which are known to be highly effective against the COVID-19 virus and that are designed for disinfection of hard, nonporous surfaces.
“The industry is embracing newer technologies to supplement traditional ones.” Explained Scott Moore, EVP, Operations and Environment, Health & Safety at American Technologies, Inc. based in Anaheim, CA. “UVGI mobile room sanitizers, for example, work well to compliment other tools like hydrogen peroxide mist foggers for the disinfection of indoor environments.”
The application of UV-C energy to deactivate microorganisms is known as Germicidal Irradiation or UVGI. Artificial UV-C energy is produced in germicidal ultraviolet lamps that produce UV radiation by ionizing low pressure mercury vapor. These lamps are similar to typical fluorescent household lighting fixtures, but do not have the phosphorescent coating which imparts the soft white light. Ionized mercury emits a predominantly discreet wavelength of 254nm in the UV-C band, which is an ideal wavelength for destroying the DNA of single-celled organisms. Shutdown of an organism’s metabolic and reproductive processes result from the absorption of UV light, rendering it no longer pathogenic.
These new techniques go a long way toward making a building safer, but one of the biggest gaps that still needs to be filled for many building operators is the communication process. Notifying employees and tenants with customized action plans that are truly effective is typically a manual and arduous process. What’s more, many of those plans are housed on different computers and devices, making it hard to manage and find in a emergency situations.
Thankfully today, there’s an app for that.
Several companies have introduced mobile-based solutions. Companies like In Case of Crisis, a Crisis Management Application from RockDove Solutions based in Washington, DC, offer client specific “playbooks” complete with business continuity plans, evacuation maps, fire and flood safety information, and more, customized for each building and client.
The same types of apps are also useful on a daily basis in combating coronavirus. They offer options for daily COVID-19 check-ins so operators know who’s okay and who’s feeling sick and can take action before the virus spreads to others.
Whether it’s the coronavirus, a flood, a fire, or some other disaster, being prepared greatly helps to reduce the size of the loss and having a plan in place that all stakeholders can have access to is even more vital for saving lives.
Written By: Sara Baker, ATI Restoration
To learn more about disaster preparedness and virus disinfection services, please email: [email protected]