Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led many to increase precautions in regards to cleaning and disinfecting. People are washing their hands and using sanitizer more than ever, but it’s important to remember your household and business surfaces, including your security and smart home devices, as well.
Although there are similarities, cleaning and disinfecting are two different things. Cleaning removes contaminants from a surface while disinfecting kills pathogens. The Center for Disease Control has recommended you do both, even if no one in your home is sick. Person-to-person transmission poses a much higher risk than transmitting via surfaces, but the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces at least once daily, just to be safe. You should especially be doing both daily if anyone or anything has entered or left your home or business.
While you may remember surfaces like doorknobs, countertops, faucets and remote controls, it is important to remember your security devices as well.
Precaution should be used with many electronic devices, including security panels, thermostats and door-lock keypads, as spraying liquids directly onto a keypad or security panel could allow the liquid to get inside damaging electrical circuits. Whether cleaning or disinfecting, you should be very careful not to let water accumulate on the surface of your device.
You should clean surfaces first, removing any dust, debris or contaminants. This can be done by wiping the surfaces down with a damp wrung-out hand towel (use soapy water and ring out the hand towel to nearly dry). You may also use a cleaning spray if you would prefer spraying the wipe or towel first and not the panel. Once you have cleaned each surface, it is important to use a surface-appropriate disinfectant. 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes and Clorox/Lysol disinfectant wipes are appropriate to use while disinfecting both your panel and door-lock keypads.
When cleaning these devices, pay extra attention to your cell phones and key fobs. We touch and hold these objects throughout the day, and it’s easy to forget how contaminated they can become. Many use their cell phones to arm and disarm their security system, in addition to daily talking and texting. Apple recently announced you can now use disinfecting wipes, such as Lysol or Clorox wipes on your Apple devices. If you are uncertain about using a disinfecting wipe on your electronics, there are alternatives to consider as well. There are numerous kits and cleaning wipes designed specifically for cleaning your mobile devices. As with all electronic devices, take special care to not allow moisture to accumulate or seep into crevices or openings.
If you are able to splurge, there are also UV phone baths available. These devices, which are roughly the size of a hardback book, feature UV lights in both the lid and base. Once you place your phone inside, it immerses your phone in germ-killing UV lights. These devices can also be used to safely clean your keys, key fob and credit cards.
If you are uncertain whether your choice of disinfectant protects against COVID-19, you may visit EPA’s recommended disinfectants against SARS & COVID 19 for a comprehensive list of products approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for use.
Many security panels have a built-in cleaning mode you can activate under your menu settings to ensure you do not trigger a false alarm while cleaning. Please read your panel’s manual if you are unsure of how to activate this feature. Alert 360 features most of its product instruction manuals on our products page; you may click Alert 360 product manuals to access this page. If you need further assistance with this process, you may always reach us at 888-642-4567.
Your security devices and smart home equipment can also help with social distancing. If you have a doorbell camera, this is a great opportunity to utilize your wireless features to check on food or package delivery without opening your door. You also have the option of viewing your doorbell camera from your wireless devices while having a two-way voice conversation with whoever is at your door without ever having to violate social distancing recommendations.
With more people ordering every-day necessities online now, there has been an unexpected uptick in porch theft. With a doorbell camera, you can set up motion detection. This notifies you of any movement on your doorbell camera, allowing you to claim your package quickly before anyone else has the chance to. It also can provide you wide-angled, high-definition video evidence, should someone steal a package before you’re able to obtain it.
You should also utilize this time to learn more about your system and all its available functions. If you have an interactive service powered by Alarm.com, be sure to login with your username and password, and explore all the available perks your service provides.
Please know COVID-19 will not prevent Alert 360 from continuing to provide you with our industry-leading customer service. Your safety is of the utmost importance, and we are always here to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
We have coast to coast office locations. If you would like a free security review or quote, click here!
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About Alert 360
Founded in 1973 in Tulsa, Okla., Alert 360 is the nation’s fifth-largest provider of monitored security and smart home solutions to homes and businesses in the United States. Alert 360 operates it’s own monitoring and customer service centers in Tulsa, Oklahoma and Irving Texas. Alert 360 has branch offices in 17 metropolitan cities as well as 100’s of authorized dealers serving customers coast to coast. The company has achieved the Five Diamond alarm monitoring designation from the The Monitoring Association and has been named a 2016 Inc. 5000 “Fastest-Growing Privately Held Company in America” and a “Best Places to Work in Oklahoma” in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. In 2019, Alert 360 was voted as the top winner for “Best Home Security” by The Journal Record Reader Rankings poll.