Expert Advice: Disinfection for Coronavirus - Answers We All Need Now!
You’d be lying if you said cleanliness is not at the forefront of your mind as Covid-19 continues to take a toll on our region and world. But Mark Sims, CEO and Founder of FIKES Products and Services, will tell you that we need to do more than simply clean our workplaces, businesses, and community spaces to help flatten the curve. “There is a real distinction that few people know about cleaning and disinfecting,” he says. “When you’re cleaning any surface it’s to remove soils or debris by applying a cleaning solution to wipe or remove it shortly thereafter. But when you are talking about disinfecting for complex and harmful viruses, it takes some chemistry, it takes some technology, and it takes leveraging some know-how.”
The Washington-based facilities services company has been utilizing a high-quality, EPA-registered disinfecting process that offers the most complete sanitation process for the past three years. Today, this service has become increasingly sought after in a variety of businesses, facilities, and places where people gather, live, and work that are seeking safety and some peace of mind. A local businessman himself, Sims is committed to sharing his and his team’s expertise as our community continues to work together to fight the virus. Here he shares insight into the electrostatic sanitation process and other ways FIKES can help serve its communities.
How is FIKES responding to the coronavirus?
We have always been in the field of sanitation and disinfection and also products that are safety- and sanitation-related, for instance hand sanitizers, disinfectants for purchase, all different types of exam-grade gloves, antibacterial soaps, masks, etc. This has happened so quickly that we have facilities that used to never have shortages or supply chain issues of any kind that are contacting us out of the blue. We’re also disinfecting stores and businesses due to serious concerns. Because of our products, methods, and electrostatic technology we can do that very effectively and efficiently at a fraction of the cost of other biohazard-type applications. Customers continue to comment on how reasonable our thorough service is. While there has to be some charge associated, we really just want to help in any way possible.
Has FIKES ever treated something like this before?
I’ve been in the business for 25 years plus. There have been different Norovirus outbreaks we’ve addressed, and we’ve treated for isolated cases of C. Diff. in retirement settings. This pandemic is something unprecedented that at present is everywhere. We have sanitized everything from small office buildings, travel terminals, and furniture stores to restaurants. Metropolitan Markets have begun having us disinfect all of their locations for added protection in the community. They have initiated additional sanitation and safety measures internally but saw real value and confidence in a professional service to best protect their employees and shoppers. Their staff was so excited that it was going to be professionally disinfected. It made them feel that much more comfortable going to work.
What is your process for disinfecting facilities?
It is a combination of two things: First of all it comes with a high-quality, EPA-registered disinfectant (see #5449). Our disinfectants have kill claims on existing viruses, as well as any emerging pathogens and viruses. It’s also a solvent-free product so that you can spray it on multiple surfaces. Applications can take place on countertops, touch screens, grab handles, light switches, you name it—really anything that is going to be part of a touch transmission.
It’s a great product accompanied with a patented electrostatic technology, which is based on the principle that opposite charges attract and like charges repel. It allows for a unique wrapping of the entire surface with the most thorough coverage of any alternative. By spraying the front of any object that has a back side to it, through the electrostatic positive-negative approach, it will completely wrap the entire touch point. We have tested this in the past by swabbing it for bacteria before and after with proven products like the Hygiena Testing Method, which provides a remarkable reduction and confirmation of how well the disinfectant process works. We have the units, we have great disinfectants, we understand how it works, and we have the know-how, having done it before.
What precautions are you taking while disinfecting?
We always come equipped with personal protection, but we have been even more aware and more careful with the concern surrounding Covid-19. For instance, we would normally wear safety goggles, but now we are also wearing face shields. We might wear a certain type of nitrile glove as protection, but now we are also wearing an exam-grade nitrile glove underneath a nitrile flocked glove. I could go on about precautions, but we are treating this all very much like a biohazard because it’s so contagious. We are very concerned about the health of the community, but we’re also very concerned about our team members who are doing the service, as well. It’s important to us that for the community and employees we’re protecting while disinfecting.
What is your recommendation to restaurant, facility, or business owners right now? How can they ensure that their spaces are safe now and/or when they’re able to reopen?
Being that some of the businesses are closed, I realize that resources are tight. But this is something that we need to do now to flatten this curve, as the statistics are daunting. We need a minimum of an hour when there is no one in the facility. This is a good time to ensure that there are no viruses or bacteria present, and we are able to go in and completely disinfect top to bottom. For all businesses that have some activity right now, those employees know that this is going on, and we are talking a lot about social distancing and safety. To know that their work environment is disinfected—beyond the health benefit, which is clear—it’s a sigh of relief, and it should be. It’s like when you are sick and the doctor comes over. For a business it’s kind of like your house call.
Businesses hopefully after this will showcase and advertise their sanitation and disinfectant measures. We hope they do so proudly and that none of them pretend this isn’t important or that they understand exactly what to do. We are happy to come in and protect and disinfect, but we are also happy to consult. If you are looking at doing something daily or providing any type of training, we’d be happy to provide that as well. We don’t just want to flatten the curve, we want to crush it. That takes a community effort. We are happy to entertain anything at a very fair cost, but at the end of the day we want to take care of our community and equip them, however best works to attain the optimal results of disinfection and safety our region desperately needs.
To learn more about FIKES and how they can help, along with the array of services and products the company can offer, visit ﬁkesproducts.com or request more information at info@ﬁkesproducts.com.