Help fight infection with antimicrobial switches and sockets
6 August, 2020
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Infection control is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare sector. A number of factors can increase the risk of acquiring an infection, but high standards of infection prevention and control practice, including providing clean environments, can minimise the risk.
Switch plates, such as light switches, dimmers and sockets have one of the highest touch rates in any environment, so are likely to hold a significant number of microbes on their surfaces. Whilst regular and rigorous cleaning of these settings is essential, the use of products with antimicrobial properties will also have a part to play to help inhibit the spread of infection.
For facilities managers working within care home settings, they will seek the reassurance from manufacturers that the products they are specifying meet the required standards and that they are able to supply the test certificates to prove it. Scolmore Group is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of wiring accessories, and has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and development of electrical products for a range of sectors, including the healthcare sector.
The company supplies a comprehensive range of antimicrobial switches and sockets which come under the Mode, Mode Part M and Polar product ranges and they are all manufactured using Urea Formaldehyde, which has similar inherent properties to antimicrobial additives that inhibit the growth of infectious diseases. The manufacturing process for these switches and sockets ensures that 99.9 per cent of harmful bacteria, (including MRSA), will not survive on the surface. Even if these become scratched or damaged, the active ingredients will continue to help prevent the spread of healthcare associated infections, making it ideal for use in the care home environment where control of infection is critical.
All the switches and sockets have all been independently tested for their anti-microbial properties. The results from the laboratory showed that the products tested achieved a bacterium kill rate of 99.99% when tested 24 hours after they had been exposed to MRSA, E-Coli, Salmonella and Klebsiella Pneumoniae. These independent tests show that Scolmore’s products achieved a 99.99% kill off rate across all four types of the strains of bacteria causing concern in health environments.
The standard used to qualify Scolmore’s products is ISO 22196. The standard ISO 22916 test method is designed to test the ability of plastics and other similar materials to kill or prevent the growth of microorganisms, over a 24 hour period of contact. ISO 22196 is one of the most commonly requested antimicrobial surface test methods for evaluating the antimicrobial activity of antibacterial treated plastic products.
Facilities managers will have the additional reassurance that all Scolmore BS1363 products – in particular socket outlets – are third party approved and bear the BSI Kitemark logo. With such a vast range of antimicrobial electrical accessories to call on from one supplier, there is a guarantee of consistency of quality and compliance across the whole range of products used.
Scolmore’s Mode range is a collection of smooth profiled, contemporary, white wiring accessories and is the company’s best-selling wiring accessories collection to date. A key selling point for the range is that provides a high quality, flexible and modern solution for wide range of wiring requirements.
Mode Part M is a range of visually contrasting wiring accessories, in anthracite grey, that comply with current Building Regulations Part M.
Polar is a premium range of bright white electrical accessories, which was developed to meet the demand for a different accessory colour. As with Mode, the Polar range is modular in design and allows installers of the products unprecedented flexibility in creating dedicated wiring solutions.
Included in the Mode range is the innovative and award-winning Locating Plug Socket, designed to assist people with impaired vision or poor hand to eye coordination to more easily insert a plug into a socket. The contoured shape of the front plate guides the earth pin into position, and it is this plug guide which gives the product a greater focus on usability and means its use can be extended to situations where a socket isn’t easily accessible.
The locating plug socket is available in one and two-gang options, with the two-gang version featuring outboard rockers to further assist with distinguishing between switches, making it less likely to switch the wrong one.
Also available in the Mode range is a 3-pin safety shutter socket. It features a safety shutter that cannot be operated using only one terminal – it requires correct insertion of all three pins of a standard UK plug.
All products within the ranges are covered by a ‘No Quibble Guarantee’ against any fault in materials or manufacture experienced at any time within 20 years of the date of supply.
Products from the Mode, Mode Part M and Polar ranges have been specified and installed across a huge range of applications including care homes, hospitals, schools, hotels, offices and leisure complexes.
The most recent example has seen the Mode antimicrobial range chosen to provide the solution for the newly expanded Same Day Emergency Care Unit at Conquest Hospital in St Leonards, which was opened earlier this year.
Find out more on their website here: www.scolmore.com