Page 105 - Security Today, September/October 2021
P. 105

"Ventilation system upgrades can increase the
flow of clean air and reduce the presence of
contaminants inside buildings."
built-in UVC lamps as well as filters adds another layer of protection, and this strategy can be more effective than just using a filter alone.
Change air filters regularly. The air filters inside ventilation systems must be replaced periodically as recommended by the manufacturer. As the filters become dirty, they also become less effective. Changing them regularly requires a lot of discipline, not to mention money and staff time. However, failure to do so could lead to HVAC system inef- ficiency and put building occupants at risk from SARS-CoV-2 and other contaminants.
Establish a reliable supply chain for air filters and other supplies. During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, supplies such as air filters and personal protective equipment (PPE) can be hard to come by. The pandemic has shown that relying on a single supplier can leave schools and colleges vulnerable when there is a shortage of materials. Especially when demand is high, it’s best to have access to a large and diverse pool of suppliers and manufacturers. This strategy
not only helps with ensuring access to supplies; it also helps institu- tions procure materials at the lowest possible cost.
In New York City, school custodians are changing the air filters inside building HVAC systems every three months. With more than 1,700 public schools, this requires several thousands of filters at a time when supplies are scarce. Working with SDI, the city school system was able to source replacement filters from multiple suppliers. The district now keeps a store of filters in a separate warehouse just for this purpose.
A Multifaceted Approach
The threat from COVID-19 has drawn attention to the need for better ventilation and air filtration in schools and colleges as part of a mul- tifaceted approach to health and safety.
By applying these nine strategies, campus facility managers and other leaders can reduce the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and other airborne illnesses and create a safer environment for stu- dents and employees.
Kelly Kleinfelder is the CIO and senior vice president of information technology at SDI Inc.
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