By Brad Sweet, Commercial Marketing Leader, Allegion
Predicting what post-pandemic facilities will look like and how they will operate isn’t as simple as gazing into a crystal ball. Occupancy has picked up significantly since the start of the pandemic but saw a decline in late July 2021. Some businesses are moving forward with reopening plans, while other employees must wait a bit longer for their first break-room coffee in more than a year.
What is clear is that people’s behaviors have changed since March 2020. Many are still wary of the invisible germs living on the surfaces they touch—the door pulls at a school, the buttons in an elevator, the railings along the stairs.
The touchless mindset has merit. A 2014 study found that a virus on a single doorknob could spread to up to 60 percent of commonly touched surfaces in a few hours. The attention to contact transmission will likely continue as part of our “new normal,” which has led many to seek out access control solutions that eliminate the need to touch a door.
Per Honeywell’s report, “Rethinking Buildings Post-COVID-19,” pandemic-related issues are a top concern in U.S. facilities. Most surveyed facility managers said COVID-19 had prompted them to rethink how their facilities operate. They also believe healthy buildings will continue to be a top priority after the pandemic.
The concerns and corresponding behaviors society inherited over the past 18 months won’t become obsolete overnight. Do your employees feel confident in returning to work? Will visitors to your facility prefer an automated door over a hands-on mechanical one? And if so, is your building prepared to meet people’s new expectations?
Automated openings aren’t just for main entrances anymore—interior doors that experience frequent traffic benefit from becoming touchless. Below are 10 examples to consider making contactless to help decrease the number of surfaces pedestrians touch, improving peace of mind by helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Applications for touchless access beyond the main entrance:
- Public restrooms
- Classrooms and auditoriums
- Shared spaces in residence halls and multifamily and mixed-use buildings
- Gym entrances in multifamily buildings or higher education facilities
- Staff lounges
- Storage rooms
- Patient and exam rooms
- Waiting rooms
- Private offices and meeting rooms
How To Make A Door Touchless
One of the most common ways to achieve touchless access is with an auto operator and touchless actuator. For automated openings, it’s simple. If you have an electrified opening with a push-button actuator, you can swap it out for a touchless actuator or reader.
Doors that operate mechanically have traditionally been a barrier to touchless access, but the newest automatic door operator from LCN® makes the transition to touchless access control easier than ever—and more affordable too.
The LCN 6400 COMPACT™ Series low energy automatic operator is a simple and cost-effective solution that enables facilities to automate more openings for touchless access. While traditional automatic door operators have a heavy price tag, the LCN COMPACT operator is a fraction of the cost. The motor gearbox mounts directly onto an LCN 4040XP mechanical closer with just four screws, eliminating the need to take it off the door. Together, you can efficiently convert more doors to touchless.
Invest in your employees and customers by investing in solutions that keep them healthy. The pandemic changed the way we live, work and go about our daily routines. Touchless security solutions help reduce contact transmission by decreasing the number of surfaces pedestrians encounter, thereby decreasing opportunities for exposure and improving peace of mind.
Learn more about the COMPACT Automatic Operator at us.allegion.com/compacttouchless.