The following information is provided for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. For guidance about how to comply with Coronavirus regulations relative to your high-rise facility, please contact state and/or local government officials such as OSHA and/or facility management.
Whether you own or manage a high-rise facility, you’re likely starting to wonder about facility management amid COVID-19. I even think about Coronavirus safety relative to my doghouse. Although some governors have extended “safer at home,” “stay at home” and “shelter in place” orders, others are starting to loosen parameters. Depending on the location of your high-rise facility and the nature of the businesses that occupy it, you may be ready to start formulating a reopening plan. To help you in that endeavor, we have put together a list of suggestions to consider in order to keep everyone in your building safe:
Keep it Clean (This is always a good idea anyway, right?)
In addition to deep cleaning and thoroughly disinfecting common areas, meeting spaces, and frequently touched objects and surfaces, you may want to consider taking additional steps. For instance, in addition to intense scrubbing at the end of the day, provide receptionists and security guards with disinfectant and paper towels, so they can clean surfaces each time someone new approaches a desk or opens a door. What’s more, even if the risk of COVID-19 eventually fades, it will always make sense to provide hand sanitizing stations (stocked with sanitizer which contains at least 60 percent alcohol) and soap for use in restrooms to keep everyone safe. Also, if it is practical to do so, you may wish to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including disposable gloves, for anyone who will be interacting on a regular basis with the general public. I doubt gloves would work for dogs. Like most canines, I prefer licking my paws to keep them clean.
This is a great time to review or establish an emergency plan. Any time is a great time to create a disaster preparedness plan! In fact, you may want to seek legal counsel, as well as feedback from insurance professionals and risk management experts. Make sure safety protocols are observed even during natural and manmade disasters. This is the perfect time to craft an infectious disease preparedness and response plan.
Consider when to close common areas and amenities and also when to postpone or cancel events and meetings altogether. When in doubt, reschedule anything that could potentially lead to Coronavirus community spread. Experts continue to caution people against standing closer than six feet apart. But please don’t stand six feet away from your pets. They might take it personally. This is a difficult distance to maintain during a large gathering. In many cases, digital meetings may be the safest way for people to interact.
Consider installing plexiglass dividers between staff and members of the general public. This type of divider is recommended for all face-to-face interaction. Many business owners and community leaders require staff members and visitors to don face masks before entering the property. Since this rule varies by location, you might even consider offering disposable varieties at entrances.
Since COVID-19 can spread from person-to-person and (possibly) person-to-pet, a great way to safeguard the health of building occupants is to take the temperature of every person who enters your facility. Several easy-to-use- varieties of digital thermometers take temperatures without directly contacting the skin. A good rule of thumb is that everyone who enters the building should have a temperature lower than 100.4 F. Normal temperature for dogs and cats is higher than humans – from 101 to 101.2 F. Instruct staff to stay home if they exhibit any associated symptoms.
Keep to Yourself
Spread is thought to occur from person-to-person, mainly via droplets of respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus also lives on surfaces. So, even though most of us learned how to share in kindergarten, when it comes to COVID-19, it is best not to share desks, phones, pencils, paper, tools, dog bowls, and other equipment. Also, consider installing air filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher, as this can help capture up to 80 percent of viral particles, which could help keep you and your building occupants safe.
About the AUS Fire Life Safety Training System
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