Monday, 13 April 2020

UV-C Sterilising Holiday Cottage

Our rental holiday cottage is closed at the moment due to the Government legislation to reduce the spread of Covid-19 infection. So no bookings are being accepted by Sykes. We've been planning for when bookings are once again allowed. Holiday makers will no doubt be nervous about using premises that will have been used by strangers just a few hours before. We'll be planning on having a minimum of a one day gap between bookings. This will give us the chance to give the property a good wipe down with  good disinfectants. We're also purchasing an Ultraviolet lamp (UV-C) to help sanitise the property. 

We've had one on order from China for some weeks now and a package arrived a few days ago. Unfortunately they sent the wrong device, a small USB 5 watt lamp, which is not suitable for sterilizing rooms. We've reordered an even more powerful lamp. This one will be 60w and should be able to treat each room in less than an hour, though we'll need to ventilate the rooms for a few hours to vent the ozone produced by the lamp.  We've already purchased some UV-C safety goggles as this light can severely damage unprotected eyes.

Edit: 26 April 2020

The re-ordered bulb has arrived and is undergoing trials (it turns out to be a fake, see below). It has multiple small UV-C LED chips on it's surface giving a total of 60W (230 VAC) of light.The cost including shipping was less than £30. In terms of electric lighting it is very bright and powerful, given that normally we might have only 4 x 5 watt LED bulbs lighting a room. The UV-C lamp we've obtained has a remote control switch which makes it a lot easier to use safely, but we always wear protective goggles if power is connected to the unit even if the lamp itself is "switched off".  It is a very easy way to sterilise keyboards and mobile phones without causing damage.

Combining UV-C lamp with wiping down key surfaces with disinfectant, we should be able to make our cottage safe for new guests within a couple of hours. According to the manual it only needs 15 minutes exposure in a room, but we take 2 or 3 sessions with the lamp located in different positions to avoid shadows.

Edit: 20 May 2020

It turns out the 60W UV-C light is a fake and produces no UV-C light. The classic Chinese supplier using Ebay to distribute goods. We're still investigating, so more on this later.

Edit 26 June 2020

We found a genuine UV-C lamp with a UK supplier. Details here.

Edit 6th July 2020
We now have a proper UV-C meter to check exposure levels. Details here.

Edit 25th July 2020
We've located and ordered some UV-C dosimeter labels to help us check the correct ultraviolet treatment has been delivered to the rooms.

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