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Sep 23 2016

FF: Hygienic Handle

Category: Fixed-it Friday,Health Care,Locks & KeysLori @ 12:13 am Comments (25)

microban-pullAlex Howe of Allegion sent me today’s Fixed-it Friday photo of a piece of hardware he recently saw on a restroom door.  Although I have never seen this product before, the Microban cover on the pull made it pretty easy to track down.

It’s designed to keep the pull handle clean, by automatically changing the disposable cover each time the pull is used.  It is also available as a horizontally-mounted product that’s more like a traditional lockset (but looks like the product in the photo).

Along with the potential germ-avoidance benefits I thought about some potential issues…would building occupants know how to use it?  Will facilities replace the cartridge of covers and the batteries, and what about the waste generated?  Is it aesthetically-pleasing enough for architects to specify it?

The other thing is…if someone leaves the bathroom without washing their hands, and you avoid contact with their germs because of the plastic, what about the next thing that person touches?  I can’t imagine that every door handle in the facility would be of this type.

I’m not being a Negative Nelly…I’m a big fan of innovation and I like to avoid germs if possible. (Please wash your hands, people!)  I’m just wondering if anyone has experience with this product or something similar.  If you do, tell us about it in the reply box!

There’s a Youtube video here that explains how the product works.  Thank you to everyone who told me about the misspelling in the video, but it’s not my video so I can’t fix it.  I appreciate that you all have my back though!  🙂

As always, let’s keep our comments constructive. 

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25 Responses to “FF: Hygienic Handle”

  1. lach says:

    What happens if the hygienic cover roll is torn (gets hung up and tears). Do you have to scratch the rest of the roll and start anew? Can’t you just use a paper towel to open the door to accomplish the same thing?

    • Lori says:

      I don’t know what happens if the cover tears. I just use the same paper towel that I use for my hands and hope that there’s a trash can next to the door.

      – Lori

      • Eric T says:

        I can’t stand a bathroom with electric hand dryers and doors that swing in. I think there should be a “hygiene” code against this.

  2. Jason says:

    This seems like an overcomplicated and expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist. Also, what about the lock button? There’s no cover on that. It’s also way too big and complicated (and ugly IMO). I agree with you too Lori, eventually, they will stop changing the cartridge rending it useless.

  3. Michael Pedersen says:

    I think it kind of looks like a toilet itself. Not very pretty, and very over-engineered. If you’re paranoid about germs in the bathroom, a foot pull would be a much better (though still questionable) solution.

  4. Cathy says:

    ‘Their’ is spelled incorrectly in the video. I will never use this product.

  5. Glenn Younger says:

    The odds of getting an infection when in a hospital are 5% (national average). 4% of the infections are brought into the hospital with the patient. 4% or 5% does not sould like a lot till you do the math and discover millions of people die each year from infections tied to a hospital stay.
    So, understanably, hospitals are trying hard to get that numbers down. The Joint Commission inspections include a close look at door seals and door closers to limit airborne stuff, and there seems to be a hand sanitizer around every corner in most hospitals. This ugly handle is just one attempt at reducing infections. I have not seen one of these, but we will likely see several more attempts before they come up with a better solution.

  6. Kyle Williams says:

    I understand what they are trying to do but I don’t like the idea of pulling on a crinkly plastic covered door pull. Definitely not a design or feel I think most people would find acceptable.

  7. David Coughlin says:

    Will this be approved by the fire marshal / AHJ? I can see it being a problem in a fire. Plastic melts quickly…and it get’s slippery when wet from sprinklers.

  8. Jeff says:

    I prefer the touchless wave to open design found at…

  9. Mike Elia says:

    This reminds me of the automatic toilet seat covers in O’Hare Airport’s United terminal [I was there last week and they are still operating]. They somehow keep those filled and operational, but 24-7 toilet room maintenance is difficult for most facilities to afford.

    I wonder in what type of facility this thing would be used? I agree with Jason: for the most part this is a problem which doesn’t actually exist.

  10. Gerald says:

    If door doesn’t need to latch, use a foot pull at bottom of door.

  11. Rich says:

    The only safe and clean way to solve the rest room germ problem is for everybody to just stop using rest rooms. Just say NO to the GO. That said, I agree that there should always be a way to open the door without having to touch it. An auto operator with a contactless sensor would be great. Somewhere I saw a video that the worst machine for sanitary operation was the high speed contactless hand dryer that you just lower you hands into. It said that the machine spread germs clear across the room. You know the one. The same guy makes over engineered/overpriced vacuum cleaners and fans too.

  12. M. Stenner says:

    Or one simply use the same paper towel, just used to dry their hands, to open that restroom door… …and properly dispose of it in a garbage can next to the door….

    Paper towel is not only a ‘renewable’ resource, but also easily recycled.

    Call me a curmudgeon, but some ‘old dog’ tricks still seem to make sense.

  13. James Slemmons says:

    Two words…Copper

  14. Eric says:

    Seems a bit overkill.

  15. Shirly says:

    Too complicated! Just wash your hands. I am old fashioned!

  16. lach says:

    I feel that antimicrobial finish would be better than this. Antimicrobial will starve and kill the bacteria. While this only stores the bacteria on a plastic sheet in a spindle. It doesn’t block or kill the bacteria.

  17. Vincent Chestnut says:

    How do you use a foot pull with your foot in a cast? Using crutches?

  18. curtis meskus says:

    So after you left the rest room did you handle the menu that the other 500 customers used? How about touching something on the front door to the building that has been touched by a million hands?

    It seems that we are getting sick because we are not developing antibodies to small germs picked up every day.

  19. Andrew says:

    Seems like an extremely smart way of making a bunch of money in the industry.. I can imagine the consumables will match the initial investment of that lock in a year at a high use facility.

    You know what would be cheaper and likely more effective? Sanitizer by the door (open door, get sanitizer).

  20. Eric T says:

    If the restroom has electric hand dryers only, the doors should swing out, IMO. Since electric hand dryers tend to break and often get replaced with paper towel dispensers, I think all restroom doors should swing out and a trash can should be near the door.
    Curtis makes a good point about menus in restaurants and the filthy front door. Menus have been proven to be some of the nastiest things we touch……and that’s right before we eat. Yum…

  21. Jean Tessmer says:

    Did you know that brass metal cylindrical handle sets kill germs upon touch? From Wikipedia “Antimicrobial copper-alloy touch surfaces can prevent frequently touched surfaces from serving as reservoirs for the spread of pathogenic microbes. This is especially true in healthcare facilities, where harmful viruses, bacteria, and fungi colonize and persist on doorknobs, push plates, railings, tray tables, tap (faucet) handles, IV poles, HVAC systems, and other equipment. These microbes can often survive on surfaces for surprisingly long periods of time (sometimes more than 30 days).

    The surfaces of copper and its alloys, such as brass and bronze, are antimicrobial. They have an inherent ability to kill a wide range of harmful microbes relatively rapidly – often within two hours or less – and with a high degree of efficiency. These antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research. The research also suggests that if touch surfaces are made with copper alloys, the reduced transmission of disease-causing organisms can reduce patient infections in hospital intensive care units (ICU) by as much as 58%.[1][2” Less messy,less maintenance,last a long time, more cost effective use copper alloy products in Hosptitals or any where else you need to kill germs. If the client can afford the upfront cost I usually spec copper alloy materials for commercial spaces.

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