We've all heard about Sherlock Holmes, and many of us think he really existed. Nope, he was the creation of author Arthur Conan Doyle back in the 19th century. Holmes was well-versed in forensic science and was famous for examining areas with his magnifying glass. In fact, many of Holmes' most uncanny deductions were the result of his magnifying glass.
Well, jump forward about 130 years, and we find that many cleaning professionals and facility managers could use a Sherlock Holmes with a magnifying glass, looking for clues as to how clean and sanitary their restrooms are. However, and fortunately, we have a more scientific way of doing this today, and that is with the use of ultraviolet flashlights.
An ultraviolet (UV) flashlight is a type of flashlight that emits UV rays. While humans can see the light released by a traditional flashlight, we cannot see the light emitted by an ultraviolet flashlight. But that's really not important. What’s important is that these UV rays can reveal hidden soils on surfaces, fixtures, floors, and walls in a restroom. We should add that they can be used in many other areas of a facility as well. Sometimes they are used to detect soiling in carpet as well as microorganisms on high-touch areas such as doorknobs and window sills. They are also frequently used in hospitals and medical centers.
“We use them to provide an additional layer of treatment [when cleaning] everything in a room, from ceiling to floor,” says Environmental Services Director Renzo Medrano with St. Mary's HealthCare System in Georgia. “We especially want to capture high-touch areas such as bed railings, phones, and call buttons. The [UV] system is a great asset and a wonderful investment in patient safety.”
Infection Prevention and Control Manager Doug Blomberg, also with St. Mary's, adds, “We use the system in our surgical suites and isolation rooms, plus anywhere else it’s needed. We already have extremely low rates of hospital-acquired infections, but since the UV system can detect [potentially dangerous] germs—even those that are drug-resistant—it can help us continue to keep our staff and patients healthy.”
Recently, a new generation of UV flashlights has been introduced that are far more flexible and easier to use than ever before. These are battery-operated UV flashlights. Some are even pocket-size with heavy-duty metal cases for added durability. This way, cleaning workers and facility managers can carry them at all times and use them whenever and wherever there is concern that surfaces may not be cleaned adequately.
Because the goal of professional cleaning is to help keep people healthy, UV flashlights can prove invaluable in helping industry professionals achieve that goal. Too bad for our friend Holmes. Imagine all the crimes and mysteries he could have solved if he’d been using a UV flashlight instead of that old magnifying glass. For more information on battery-operated UV flashlights and ways to keep your facility clean and healthy, contact Impact Products.