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Tips for safer people flow in apartment buildings

In residential buildings around the world, behaviours that were once perfectly normal – pressing the button of an elevator, talking to neighbours in the hallway, shaking hands – are suddenly considered potentially risky. Below are a few pointers to help apartment dwellers find new, safer habits to navigate their buildings.

June 3, 2020

Many of us have been spending a lot of time at home over the past weeks and months. As restrictions ease and more and more people start moving outside their homes, the tenants of residential buildings need to rethink how they move through common spaces and adapt new safety practices. Being considerate of others and practicing good hygiene go a long way towards keeping everyone safe.

The regular and thorough cleaning of shared surfaces is, of course, important, but there are actions each of us can take to limit the spread of germs as we journey in our buildings.

1. Don't enter full elevators - take your time and wait for the next one. Better yet, take the stairs!

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Taking the stairs offers more room to spread out, even if you are moving from floor to floor at the same time as someone else. Take this as an opportunity to get those extra steps in for your daily exercise if you are physically able.

If you need to take the elevator, be mindful of how many people are already in the car and be sure you are able to keep a safe distance if you do enter.

2. Avoid touching surfaces when out and about. Teach your kids to do the same!

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It’s not easy to break the habit of reaching out to press a button or touching shared surfaces like doorknobs or handrails. But now is the time to keep your hands to yourself. If you really must touch a surface, cover your hands with gloves or with a cloth or (disposable) tissue. If you do use your bare hands, wash them with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based disinfectant as soon as you can.

3. Be considerate. Give priority use of the elevator to those who need it most.

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This is a stressful time, not just for you, but for everyone. Be courteous of people in different circumstances and let the elderly, people with limited mobility, small children, pregnant women and people carrying deliveries use the elevator first. Remember that we are all in this together and looking out for one another improves our collective sense of wellbeing.

4. Give yourself some space. Physical distancing is the way forward.

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It’s not rude to keep your distance. In fact, people even expect it now. You can still wave and say hi, be neighborly and friendly, all while standing at least 1-2 meters away from one another.

Be especially mindful when entering or exiting an elevator. Give enough space to those exiting before entering and even turn your face away from others when passing to limit virus transmission through respiratory droplets.

5. Noticed something wrong? Reach out to KONE.

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It is more important now than ever to get people to their destinations smoothly and to reduce crowding and bottlenecks. Our KONE’s Customer Care Centre is staffed with professionally trained responders who speak your language and know your equipment and your situation. Contact them (or ask your facility manager to do so) if you notice anything unusual with the elevators in your building.

6. Stay safe. Keep your hands clean and don't let this situation get your spirits down.

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Adopting preventive habits in common areas with lots of shared surfaces is particularly important. Practices such as wearing a mask, and washing or sanitising your hands before and after entering shared spaces, are small acts that can make a big difference.

Together we’ll get through this.

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