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Sanitizer-integrated access control to provide extra care from COVID-19

Sanitizer-integrated access control to provide extra care from COVID-19
Safe access control systems play an essential part as countries across the globe try to restart economic activities after prolonged lockdowns.
COVID-19 continues to force security solutions providers to come up with new devices that can ensure safety and security. Manufacturers worldwide are considering the production of temperature screening devices, touch-less access control systems, and even behavioral analytic solutions that could ensure the practice of healthcare guidelines like social distancing.

Among these, access control systems play an essential part as countries across the globe try to restart economic activities after prolonged lockdowns. Businesses need to restart, with systems in place to help employees remain healthy and safe at workplaces. Touchless access control systems can help in this regard.

But there are companies exploring options beyond just touchless systems. A single-most important way to fight COVID-19 is by washing hands frequently. Another is to make sure all the devices are cleaned and sanitized often. Here we look at some of the latest developments in this regard.

An access control system that forces hand-sanitization

The London-based InfectProtect recently launched SteriSecure, a bio-security device that integrates into a building’s current access control system to ensure people who gain access have clean, sanitized hands.

“It works as a relay device that sits in between the control panel and entry method (door, turnstile, etc.) and only passes on the unlock signal once both hands have been successfully coated with hand sanitizer,” explains Michael Howe, MD of Infect Protect. “Unlike standard automatic hand sanitizer dispensers, SteriSecure has four spray nozzles, two on top and two at the bottom, which ensure that a user’s hands are fully coated and speeds up the application time allowing up to 30 uses per minute.”

Traditionally such devices have been used in agriculture to prevent the spread of contaminants from one area to another. Howe points out this usage inadvertently revealed the solution’s health benefits as well, with staff sickness rates dropping 80 percent. With the current global pandemic, their solution is finding a use case in many industries that would have been surprising just a few months ago.

“Since the pandemic, InfectProtect has been installing this solution in health care locations (dentists, doctors, hospitals), factories, logistics centers, supermarkets, schools, and universities,” Howe added. “The one connecting factor we have noticed across most of our client base is that they usually require a solution that enforces hand sanitization if they have any chance of reducing the infection points within their building.”

InfectProtect currently sells SteriSecure across the UK via a network of systems integrators and facility management companies. They are now looking to expand via national and international distributors and installers.

Devices to automate door handle cleaning

Enforcing hand sanitization is a great way to contain the pandemic. But what if your customer insists on a solution that disinfects the door handle as well?

Some vendors have come up with solutions to sanitize door handles after they are used automatically. The Swedish company Clean Handle has a device that you can fix above a door handle. A sensor detects when the door handle is used and, ten seconds later, sprays a disinfectant from an aerosol capsule.  

Door handles that self-clean

Besides the solutions mentioned above, door handles that can disinfect themselves are also seen as a potential solution. Two students from Hong King were in the news last year for developing a door handle that is coated with the antibacterial mineral Titanium Dioxide. An LED integrated into the handle will expose Titanium Dioxide to ultraviolet rays to activate the mineral. This is an area that companies can explore further.

Should you adopt these solutions?

A device like SteriSecure would prove invaluable in places where large numbers of people frequently enter. However, in places that need more control over who gets access, customers would want to add another layer of security with a touch-less access control system that works on facial recognition, mobile credentials, etc. This combination can ensure both safety and security.
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