(800) 567-1180

BUILDING INTEGRATION

Posts Tagged ‘covid19’

How to follow the recommendations and get kids back in school

The nationwide community is split on its opinions as to whether or not to send kids back to school right now. Some say we’re better waiting it out as numbers continue to grow in some communities. Others say the kids need school and their parents need school so they can go to work and school is necessary, now.

What we can all agree on is IF schools are to reopen in-person, the list of recommendations must be followed for the safety of everyone – students, teachers, faculty, administrators and all those who work in the school.

ASHRAE, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers is an American professional association seeking to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems design and construction. They have weighed in, specifically, on the recommendations around HVAC systems in buildings such as schools. ASHRAE’s Epidemic Task Force’s position on the subject is as follows:

Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through the air is sufficiently likely that airborne exposure to the virus should be controlled. Changes to building operations, including the operation of heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning [HVAC] systems, can reduce airborne exposures.

In July of 2020 the task force published its recommendations and guidance. In that document, they clearly state:

This guidance has been formulated to help designers retrofit and plan for the improvement of indoor air quality and to slow the transmission of viruses via the HVAC systems. The underlying effort of the designer should be to increase outside air to the spaces and treat return air. The designer should also be concerned with mechanical filtration of the supply air and maintaining indoor comfort as defined by the design temperature and relative humidity.

Recommendations include:

  1. Create a committee for the district or campus, focused on health and safety. The committee should have recommendations from environmental health and safety, administration, education staff, operations staff, local healthcare providers, and all stakeholders with a responsibility to the campus and its community.
  2. Develop PPE regulations.
  3. Where semi-annual / annual scheduled maintenance on the equipment can be performed safely, do not defer this maintenance cycle.
  4. If workers will be in an unsafe situation, defer maintenance if possible.
  5. Review Checklist No. 1 provided by ASHRAE to be handled during the summer months.
  6. Operate all HVAC in occupied mode for a minimum of one week prior to occupancy.
  7. During the week prior to occupancy perform Checklist No. 2 Startup Checklist for HVAC Systems Prior to Occupancy – provided by ASHRAE.

For more information regarding these checklists or other recommendations published by ASHRAE, please feel free to reach out to us at (800) 567-1180 or via the contact form on our website. We will be more than happy to help get your school ready to go, no matter where you are located.

How does a company add a human temperature check system right now?

At ECT, we think of ourselves as a solutions company. We have several areas in which we typically help our clients: 

  • Security (access control, intrusion prevention)
  • Video Surveillance
  • Temperature Controls
  • Systems Integration
  • Fire System Monitoring
  • Active Shooter Detection

With today’s ever-changing landscape and new safety measures being discussed at every crossroad, we find our customers need direction and advice on different solutions nearly every day. 

One issue making the rounds now is how best to check temperatures of employees and/or customers when business begins to resume to some level of normalcy. 

We’ve been working with companies on how best to research and implement these types of solutions, and we continue to do so every day. Here are some of the things we’ve learned along the way: 

Companies will need to determine the need, and how many persons they wish to ‘scan’ and at how many entries.  One challenge to consider will be who monitors the scan system and should it be determined as the only determinate or should it indicate a secondary screening? How far is the company willing to go and trust the system in place?

Other items to consider when comparing systems will be how quickly can they be delivered and installed, can they be scaled to keep all buildings on one system, and are they HIPAA-compliant. 

There are several companies bringing such systems to market. Our team of experts at ECT Services can help you navigate this road and determine the best solution for your specific needs. If we can support you as you prepare to reopen your business and help you navigate this new world, please let us know. 

We continue to adapt and implement new technologies and partner with our customers through this time.

For more information, please contact our team at (800) 567-1180. 

How companies are prepping for the return to work.

During this time of businesses being closed and buildings mostly empty, our team has been hard at work.

We know when the workforce is allowed to return to their office and the world begins to get moving again, things will need to look quite a bit different. We anticipate in no way will doors fly open and office building lobbies will all-of-a-sudden be full of people again, waving their Starbucks in the air, high fiving each other on a great company party over the weekend or gathering for a bit of office gossip before heading up the elevator.

No, it will have to be different – much like the differences we saw with security post-9/11.

Companies are taking this into consideration now and are taking social distancing measures into account now so that when the government says everyone can go back to work, they can do it as safely as possible.

One of our customers is focused on monitoring building occupants and their movements in and out of the building to better allow for reporting a possible exposure. Working with their existing system and making a few additions we are able to make this a reality.

Another of our customers is focused on their turnstiles and how they can be used to affect change. We are currently working on upgrading some of those systems to allow for a break between people passing through the turnstile on their way in. In addition, we are upgrading these systems to no-touch card readers.

Another customer we are working with has decided to go with camera technology that will scan for temperature before allowing entry into the building.

Our goal is to work with each of our customers to implement a strategy that will make sure they have what they need to insure a safe re-entry into work when the time is right.

Stay safe, everyone. Please let us know if we can help your company reconsider future safety measures so that you, too, will be ready. You can reach us by clicking here.

The new, secure normal

Working with clients throughout the past few weeks has been nothing short of interesting. Our customers have different levels of security, depending on the type of business they run. And these days, they’ve had to take a second look at their systems and procedures. We’ve been happy to work with them to find the best solutions.

One of our customers is in the logistics/fulfillment industry. We’ve worked with them for a long time on their temperature control system. Because their business typically runs 24 hours a day, they didn’t have an electronic security system in place. Rather, they had armed guards at the door keeping their employees safe as they enter and exit, and making sure only those who are permitted to enter the premises are, in fact, entering.

Now, because their company is not on the “essential” list, their employees are home, the building is empty. Rather than pay two armed guards to protect the building and, perhaps, not social distance from each other, the customer called and asked for our help.

Now they have an installed security system to be sure all products inside the building, and the building itself, are safe and secure while people are not in it.

Yes, this has led to some layoffs and furloughs for employees, and the company hopes to bring their team back on when the economy is moving again. In the meantime, their new system gives them peace of mind without keeping people on the payroll – in an effort to save their business.

We encourage you to continue to look at your business for areas where you impact security and protect your building and your customers from theft while less – or maybe no – people are coming to work everyday.

Reach out via our contact page and let us know how we can help you find the right solutions right now.

This is no time to let your guard down.

With so many companies closed and employees not in the buildings, it’s important that systems are checked regularly.

When people are able to return to work, they will want to step right back in where they left things – and have all systems “go.”

This is especially important for your HVAC, temperature controls and security systems. With the weather changing rapidly and spring trying really hard to come alive, temperature control systems must be checked and serviced, even while people aren’t in the building.

Security systems are also critical right now. Empty buildings can be a temptation to anyone looking to snag a few free computer monitors or office supplies. So having your systems checked and running properly is critical right now. You want to be sure that the systems protect your building and that only those who should be going in to check things are the people going in. So much of this can be done remotely, and we are more than happy to help.

Our service personnel is available and ready. Click here to read how we are able to support our customers through this pandemic. Our emergency service line is running and “operators are standing by.” To schedule a service appointment, please click here.