Symmons Blog

Raise Your Hand: A Case for Touchless Faucets in Schools

Right now, schools all over the world are taking steps to make things safer for kids. Much of this wave of change has been fueled by the pandemic, which has sparked a need for educators to look at solutions not only to mitigate viral transmission right now, but also long-term solutions to reduce bacterial and viral transmission in the future, too.

Touchless faucets are a big part of this transformation in schools. These days, it seems that everywhere you look, school administrators are either making the switch to touchless faucets, or at the very least, making plans to switch over.
There are a lot of great reasons to make the switch, not just to increase sanitation, but for other benefits as well.

Hygiene

Touchless faucets are invaluable if for no other reason than to reduce the spread of germs—because one doesn’t have to touch them to use them! With that, it’s a lot easier for staff to sanitize touchless faucets. They tend to be more streamlined without handles, meaning there are fewer nooks and crannies where germs can hide from sanitizer.

Preventing Handwashing Aversion

Depending on which polls you look at, handwashing isn’t a universal thing among adults—and kids can be expected to have even lower compliance rates. For instance, a recent survey of handwashing survey of adults 14 and older found that 86% washed their hands after using a public bathroom, meaning there were 14% who didn’t.

Part of the reason why? Because people don’t want to touch potentially contaminated surfaces. Restroom door handles, stall doors, and faucets are the top surfaces that people avoid touching in public restrooms. The same survey that found faucets among the topmost avoided surfaces in bathrooms also found that touchless fixtures were among the topmost wanted improvements.

Thus, it goes to follow that in public schools, where kids may not want to touch the faucets, their peers have been using, touchless faucets are a solution to help prevent an aversion to handwashing.

Water Conservation

In addition to hygiene, water conservation is another big issue for schools. Touchless faucets have the capacity to reduce water usage because they automatically shut off when not in use. That aspect helps save water no matter where they are used, but schools stand to reap even greater benefits since kids are more likely to use up lots of water by splashing or even because they’re more likely to rush off to class while leaving conventional faucets running.

Vandalism Reduction

Kids will be kids, and unfortunately, vandalism is something that happens in schools. Conventional faucets have more breakable parts; handles that can be broken or removed, drain levers, and so forth. Sensor faucets typically feature a smooth design that doesn’t offer as many avenues for vandalism, which helps keep busy maintenance staff a little less busy during the school year.

Funding for Touchless Faucets and Other School Improvements

Right now, there are federal funds available to schools to make a variety of upgrades—including touchless faucets. This all comes as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021—specifically the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER). In fact, many schools have taken advantage of these funds specifically for touchless faucets and other sanitary upgrades.

As stipulated in the ESSER, schools may use the funds for “repairing and improving school facilities to reduce the risk of virus transmission and exposure to environmental health hazards.” Sensor faucets happen to fit neatly into this categorization.

If your school needs to make upgrades, sensor faucets from Symmons are a wise investment. They offer all the advantages discussed—plus the durability you need in tough environments like school restrooms. Symmons ActivSense touchless faucets and soap dispensers are also backed by one of the best warranties in the business—a full 10 years of coverage for commercial applications—for added peace of mind.

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