The importance of odour management
The sense of smell is one of the body’s front-line defence mechanisms, designed to set off alarm bells if an unpleasant smell is detected. A bad smell is a warning of a bad experience to come.
“People’s trust in the cleanliness and safety of a building can be negatively impacted if it smells bad, as they will wonder why, and suspect that it is not hygienic,” says P-Wave sales and marketing manager, Mark Wintle. With many retail premises having been closed for the past four months, he says the air quality in some retail destinations is likely to be poorer as cleaning has been carried out less frequently during the lockdown period.
The biggest culprit of bad smells, he says, is the washroom facilities. According to The World Health Organisation, Coronavirus can spread in an infected person’s urine. This is called ‘viral shedding’, which means that if traces of contaminated urine become aerosolised and inhaled while using a urinal, the disease can infect others in the washroom.
To tackle this, P-Wave, which specialises in creating washroom deodorisers, developed a new angle on splash prevention, marking what Wintle says is ‘a major step forward in urinal deodorising technology’ with the launch of a new highly-fragranced urinal screen.
He also suggests that it is worth installing bio-enzymatic cleaning solutions in cisterns: “They release billions of beneficial bacterial to consume bio-materials that cause odours, keeping the bowl clean, blue and fresh, while also reducing water consumption by displacing water that would normally be present.”
Cleaning practices should not put all their focus on toilets, says Wintle, as improving the air quality and freshness throughout will ease the anxious minds of shoppers.
“Cleanliness and hygiene are the most important aspects of managing premises, but with the heightened awareness created by Covid-19, facilities managers need to action every option available to ensure safety and reassure employees and visitors,” he explains.
For small areas where consistent fragrance is important, such as near bins or by in washrooms, he says that Passive air fresheners are ideal. For bigger areas, he advises discrete wall or ceiling mounted active air freshener systems, which can comprehensively freshen up to 16m3, and feature an intelligent fan which powers down when the lights go off to conserve the battery. And for less frequented areas, he suggests motion-activated solutions to reduce ‘fragrance overload’.
“When specifying air freshening solutions, facilities managers should also have the environment on mind and only choose and install products and consumables that are 100% recyclable,” says Wintle.
“As shopping centres reopen, there’s no doubt that first impressions are hugely important and restore confidence. Facilities managers need to do all they can to ensure that visitors and shop workers trust that premises are hygienic, safe and clean.”