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Safely Re-open Your Facility After a Closing

Posted by Tom McArdle on 5/15/20

Whether it is due to a damaging disaster, seasonal operations, scheduled maintenance or even a public health emergency, many companies go through the process of closing down and re-opening. Currently, a larger number of businesses have closed their offices and other buildings, even if their employees are still currently working from home. While we wait for the “all clear” to return to normal business life, it’s never too early to start planning how to get your building ready to reopen. There are simple steps to take to get your business safely up and running again - let’s review a few of them now. 

Review Your Assets & Ensure Readiness 

open-sign-for-business-odorox-hydroxyl-groupBefore you closed up your facility, you should have made a detailed list of all the physical assets of your business. Now that you are ready to re-open for business, it’s time to review the list and make sure that everything is present, accounted for, and up to date. This list will include:

  • Signage that is updated to reflect any change in your operations, such as hours or processes
  • Technology including computers, alarms, servers, routers, phone systems, and POS and payment methods  
  • Security systems and location access 
  • Furniture, fixtures, and any necessary supplies 

Make sure to turn on all of your technology and security systems, and ensure that they are in good working order. Is your WiFi working properly? Do any light bulbs need to be replaced? Are your restrooms stocked and ready for customers and employees? Are there any extra sanitation supplies or PPE that you will need?

This review period is also a great time to make sure that the inventory you have of your company’s assets is up to take and on record with your insurance provider. Make sure that your insurance has a detailed list of your business’ possessions, including item descriptions, serial numbers, purchase dates, estimated values, and even receipts when available. Once you’ve made sure that everything is in its place and ready, it’s time to start cleaning and sanitizing the area. 

Disinfect Your Facility: Surfaces, Air and Electronics 

Part of ensuring a safe reopening is cleaning the entire building, taking time to make a plan to clean hard surfaces, soft surfaces, electronics, and even the air. Cleaning the air may sound like a complex process, but with the help of Odorox® Hydroxyl generator, sanitizing the air of your building is easy. There are two ways to use the Hydroxyl machines in conjunction with your existing cleaning and sanitizing process: 

  • The first option is to keep the hydroxyl machine running 24 hours a day in order to continuously  purify the air. Our machines can safely be used in occupied buildings, such as hospitals, clinics, government facilities, factories, offices, retail stores, and more. 
  • The second option is to use the hydroxyl machines during your scheduled cleaning sessions to ensure that the air is completely cleaned at that time. 

Once you have your hydroxyl machine implementation plan ready to go, it’s time to choose the disinfectant you will use on hard surfaces. A EPA registered household disinfectant is recommended. Follow the directions on the label: Many products recommend wearing gloves and protective clothing. As you prepare to re-open your facility after it has been closed up due to COVID-19, it is recommended that protective gear be worn at all times during cleaning. Begin your cleaning process by wiping all hard surfaces with a disinfectant. This includes:

  • Countertops
  • Doors (don’t forget the knobs and handles)
  • Desks and chairs
  • Walls and baseboards, including light switches and plates
  • Conference tables and chairs
  • Windows
  • File cabinets and any other storage or business equipment 

Get Ready to Clean Your Soft Surfaces

Soft surfaces also need to be have a disinfectant applied. These include carpeted floors, rugs, window coverings, uniforms, towels, and even bedding in places like hotels. Clean these surfaces with soap and water, or with stronger cleaners that can be used on these materials without causing damage. If laundering is an option, we recommend taking this route as well. 

Sanitizing the Electronics at Your Business

Electronic devices such as touch screens, tablets, computers, and phones must also be wiped down with disinfectant before staff start using them again. Use a disinfectant wipe that are safe for electronic devices, or if there are no instructions on the devices regarding sanitation, a solution of 70% alcohol and water is safe to use on electronic devices. Use this in a spray bottle and dry thoroughly.

A Safe and Warm Welcome Back 

Once the building has been cleaned and sanitized, it’s time to bring back in the staff and customers. Remember, people may be a little nervous, but educating your audience about the steps you’ve taken to ready the facility to re-open will help everyone understand that the facility is as safe as possible. Make sure that you have a communication plan in place to let your staff and customers know all of the details of your re-opening. Signage, emails, social media posts, direct mail, and even phone calls are all useful ways to get the word out. 

If you are committed to providing a clean and disinfected environment for your customers and employees, Odorox® can help. Keeping a hydroxyl generator running 24 hours a day is a great way to get the air and porous surfaces purified and cleaned, and as a continuous supplement between deep cleanings. If you are not sure which is right for you, contact us today for more information.  The staff at Odorox® is here to help, and can create a custom plan that includes  the correct size generator necessary for the space you’re cleaning.  Visit our website for more information, and reach out any time with questions.

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Topics: Ask the Expert