A lot is still unknown about COVID-19 as far as its viability on surfaces. We’ve learned it’s extremely contagious when people cough, sneeze or talk, as droplets of moisture are propelled outward and carry the virus into another person’s face. Like other viruses, it enters the body by way of the mucus membranes in our noses, eyes and mouths. That’s why when you touch a surface where the virus may be present, you’re probably not in danger unless you transfer the virus to your mouth, nose or eyes by touching your face.

It’s already a vastly different world than it was a few months ago due to this virus. Many businesses are figuring out how they will protect their employees and customers when they reopen. As the owner of a small business, whether you are temporarily shuttered or are an essential business that is still open, you’ll need a safety plan moving forward.

Experts have already warned this virus could be around for a while; there is also the chance another virus may come along and wreak similar havoc in the future. After all, we have been warned that some sort of pandemic was likely for years. Well, here it is. There could be others.

Among your other sanitation and safety procedures, include cleaning your commercial door hardware in your Sacramento business.

Door Handle Safety in Commercial Contexts

Your door handles, whether on the front door or in the restrooms, are two of the most significant hot spots for microbes of any type. You should ensure that these door handles are frequently cleaned throughout the business day. If possible, an employee wearing gloves and a mask might open the front door for customers. After all, as the Center for Disease Control says, “Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.”

Make sure your employees understand the importance of practicing good hygiene. Insist that they wash their hands frequently throughout the day, for at least 20 seconds. Remind them not to touch their eyes, nose or mouth after touching surfaces about the business. If you are worried about contamination – and you should be if you’re open to the public – clean surfaces frequently, particularly door knobs and handles, and disinfect them afterward.

Door Knob Materials with Antimicrobial Properties

Door knobs or handles are frequently made of stainless steel, which easily harbors viruses and bacteria. An experiment that compared the presence of bacteria on a steel plate as opposed to a copper plate found that while bacteria thrived on the steel, the antibacterial properties of copper killed the bacteria within a few hours.

In fact, copper can kill COVID-19 within four hours by disrupting cell membranes of the microbe, and destroying the RNA. Copper essentially creates hydrogen peroxide that terminates the cells. You may want to look into installing brass door hardware in your facility, as brass is a copper alloy. There are also door knobs, locks and plates for commercial use that are coated with antimicrobial products that give them essentially the same properties as a copper alloy like brass.

Other Ways to Keep Your Door Hardware Clean

In hospitals and other settings where hygiene is of paramount importance, companies are installing ultraviolet door handle attendants to sterilize ADA-approved handles. Automatic door handle sanitizers are also available, spraying a small amount of sanitizer on the handle after each use.

Many businesses are hurting financially right now, but another long-term fix for the danger of door handles is to switch to touchless access hardware for commercial contexts. It isn’t too big of an investment to retrofit all your doors and locks with touchless entry, and it’s a long-term investment that will pay for itself in reduced energy costs and paid time employees would be spending cleaning door knobs all the time. Touchless entry also improves security at your business, but that’s a discussion for another day.

No doubt new safety equipment and materials will be developed in the months to come that can boost our ability to prevent infection, but in the meantime, do take a thorough look around your business and find ways you can lessen the likelihood of contamination.