With the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus, businesses are having to think more about how to keep their facilities safe for employees and visitors. Touchless door hardware is one way to help prevent the spread of pathogens within a facility. Touchless solutions for entryways include touchless door activation, touchless access control, and automatic doors. A touchless activation system typically uses a motion sensor, so that a person can open the door by passing their hand in front of the sensor.

Health & Safety Benefits of Touchless Commercial Door Hardware

Public health officials recommend wiping down “high-touch” surfaces like doorknobs, phones and light switches with a disinfectant such as a bleach solution. The issue with bleach solutions, though, is that it’s corrosive to metals, and some people are allergic to it. With commercial doors, touchless entry hardware makes bleach less necessary. Research has confirmed that reducing contact with doorknobs and handles does lower the possibility of spreading the virus through contact.

Touchless access control allows for the same reduction of physical contact with the door, but also adds an extra level of security. They usually use an opener in the form of a fob or keycard, and are hooked into a security system that limits who can open the door. They can limit access in different ways – by keeping an electronic list of approved people, for example, or by allowing different levels of access based on certain criteria, such as a person’s role in the business.

Another option is an automatic sliding door or doors, of the type often seen in groceries, hospitals and elsewhere, and that open automatically when a person approaches them. Sliding glass doors on businesses have the distinct advantage of being entirely touchless, and when you pair them with an air curtain, you keep environments separate as well.

If Touchless Door Access isn’t For You

There are other measures you can take to reduce the spread of germs via use of your storefront door even without touchless door hardware. Because sometimes that super-modern, high-tech vibe isn’t for every business. For instance, if you have traditional double wood doors on the exterior of your business, a keypad or swipe card might not fit that aesthetic.

So how can you take measures to streamline sanitation practices during COVID without having to bleach your door hardware every 20 minutes? Some metals are actually antimicrobial. For instance, copper will disinfect itself on a rolling basis, which makes brass door knobs and plates a “healthier” choice than brushed nickel or steel. You can also get hardware for commercial doors that has antimicrobial coatings on it.

We’re all learning a new normal. Though presumably the pandemic will be over at some point, the need for continued health and hygiene precautions may continue into the future, which means that installing touchless door hardware may be worth looking into for the long term.