Radiator guards have traditionally been basic, fixed units that make access difficult and time-consuming. Internal cleaning usually requires complete disassembly and in the the case of hospitals or healthcare facilities, this therefore usually requires extensive assistance from Facilities or Estates personnel.
Ultimately, this impacts on cleaning schedules and hygiene standards. A radiator guard interior that has not been cleaned combined with the convection process, work together to form the perfect conditions for the growth and distribution of potentially dangerous bacteria and particles.
Radiator hygiene and infection control
There have been a number of reports in the healthcare sector expressing concern regarding uncleaned radiators and their implication in the spread of Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs).
“Covered heat emitters raise the most infection control concern. Heat emitter covers allow dust to build up beneath and inside the grille. The dust has been found to contain MRSA and other potentially pathogenic organisms. When emitters are turned on during the winter, dust and bacteria are dispersed by convection to the ward area…estates departments have had to prioritise their resources in line with decreasing budgets. ”
Source: NHS Estates (2002) Infection Control in the Built Environment guidelines.
The DeepClean LST radiator and guard range has been developed by Contour as a direct consequence of the hygiene maintenance issue.
The benefits of Contour’s DeepClean LST radiators and guards
1. Major cost savings through ease and speed of cleaning
Typically one traditional style LST radiator guard can take well over 1 hour to disassemble, remove, clean, reassemble and refit, including the removal and subsequent reapplication of silicon sealant between the wall and guard.
The DeepClean design makes it possible for a single cleaning operative to access every internal and external surface of the radiator guard without any support from a Facilities or Estates department. This significantly improves cleaning efficiencies, helps reduce overheads and importantly raises hygiene standards.
The radiator guard itself has a unique, patented door design (UK Patent No. 2 410 544) with quick release locks, which allows the complete front of the radiator guard to lower and lie flat on the floor. The open hinge arrangement also permits complete front door removal if required.
Contour Rotarad™ rotating radiator valves can also be retrofitted to existing panel radiators to allow the emitter to also fully pivot down to the floor – delivering access behind the radiator for unrivalled cleaning and maintenance.
NHS guidelines state that radiators should be cleaned on a weekly basis and that radiator covers should be removed as part of a ‘damp-dusting’ cleaning regime.
For reference these specifications can be found in NHS National Patient Safety Agency documents ‘The national specifications for cleanliness in the NHS: Guidance on setting and measuring performance outcomes in primary care medical and dental premises’, August 2010 and ‘The Revised Healthcare Cleaning Manual’, June 2009.
On this basis here’s an example costing based on a hospital with 150 radiators that require a full weekly clean (please see graphic to the left).
In this example, replacing traditional LST units with DeepClean LST radiators or guards could save £47,174.40 in cleaning costs by the end of year 1, or over £314.50 per radiator/guard.
2. BioCote® protection – reducing the risk of microbial cross contamination and infection
The DeepClean range incorporates BioCote® anti-microbial protection, as standard into the paintwork of all the LST radiator guards. This technology provides effective and permanent protection to the surface of the LST radiator guard, preventing the growth of harmful microbes such as bacteria and fungi.
Regular QC testing and on-site field studies commissioned by Contour demonstrate a reduction of 99.96% in dangerous bacteria and infection such as MRSA and E.coli in less than 2hrs.