How to Make Your Kitchen Installation Safer During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
When the lockdown was imposed earlier in the year, thousands of home renovation jobs were put on indefinite hold, including many kitchen installations. Now that the restrictions have been eased slightly, work is getting back underway. However, the virus remains a viable threat, and it is the responsibility of everyone to act sensibly to minimise the risk to themselves and others.
Acting responsibly extends to your interaction with your kitchen installation team. Thankfully, you can take some simple steps to ensure work in your home is carried out safely.
Let’s take a look at these steps now.
Step 1. With local lockdowns in place in various areas across the UK, you must be aware of any specific restrictions that apply to the area where you live. There are some significant fines for breaking lockdown rules, so for the sake of safety as well as your finances, have a quick check on your local council or government website to confirm the work can go ahead. Responsible employers should have checked this, but for your peace of mind, it’s best to check too.
Step 2. Regularly clean any routinely touched surfaces, such as doorbells, door handles, bannisters, and taps. These areas are exactly where the virus can be passed from person to person via touching the same surfaces. Keeping inside doors open where possible to remove the need to touch the handles is also advised.
Step 3. An extension of step 2, pay particular attention to the bathroom surfaces, especially if there is one toilet in your home. Ensure the surfaces in the bathroom, including door handles, toilet handle and seat and taps, are cleaned regularly. If you have two bathrooms, it may be best to assign one bathroom for use by the installation team and one for use by your family. Even so, regular cleaning of both is still advised.
Step 4. During a kitchen installation, issues will pop up that need to be resolved by the team, asking you some questions. When this occurs, only those who need to be present for the discussion should be present. For example, the installation team leader and one person from your household should resolve the issue. Importantly, always maintain a minimum of 2m distance between each other. If possible, you could have the discussion outside while maintaining social distancing.
Step 5. Before your installation work starting, establish a plan for the safe and timely disposal of waste. Ideally, this will involve a separate bin for workers.
Step 6. Always ensure there is at least a 2m distance between your household members and members of the installation team. This cannot be achieved for practical reasons; a 1m space is permitted if you take measures to reduce risk, such as wearing a facemask.
Step 7. If you or someone in your household is self-isolating due to showing symptoms, or if someone in your home is shielding. It is critically important that your kitchen installation work be postponed until the required period of isolating or protecting is complete. While this may be frustrating, your family's health and safety and your install team must be prioritised.
Step 8. Those who have not been told to shield but are nonetheless clinically vulnerable, such as those over 70, must prevent any face-to-face contact between those vulnerable family members and the installation team. Clear communication will be required on your part to make sure your family members and the install team are all fully aware of the situation and know to avoid each other.
Step 9. Although being polite is a hard impulse to resist, unfortunately, you cannot offer your install team any tea, coffee, juice or biscuits at this time. They will be aware of this and wave them to bring their refreshments with them and only consume them outside your home.
Step 10. Let your install team know in advance your home's busy areas and when they will be most active. For example, if you have three teenagers all coming home from school at 4 pm and they will be passing through the hallway to their rooms, make sure the install team knows this, so they aren’t carrying your new kitchen sink through the hall at the same time. Clear communication ahead of time will be vital in avoiding any such possible meetings.
By following these ten simple steps, your new kitchen should be installed with the minimum of hassle while keeping you, your family and your install team safe at all times.