How can mosques prepare to re-open in a lockdown?
As mentioned in our previous blog post talking about when and how places of worship can safely re-open, mosques have a lot to consider before they open up their doors again to Muslim worshippers.
Communal prayers are integral for Muslims, and these prayers take place in mosques. And because Friday prayers are especially holy and valued for Muslims, they can attract a huge amount of people in mosques. To the point where there is literally no space between people lined up to pray.
Another important point to make about the re-opening mosques is their washrooms. Due to Muslims needing to go through an ablution process - a ceremonial act of washing parts of the body - before prayers, mosque washrooms can usually find themselves to be quite busy.
And of course, any washroom is going to carry more hygiene risks than other spaces. So, with this coupled with the fact mosque washrooms are shared and busy spaces, the hygiene and health risks are likely to be higher than your typical washroom in a place of worship.
So, what now?
Like most public spaces in this pandemic, a risk assessment will need to be carried out by mosques to work out what measures can be implemented so they can re-open in a safe way.
This risk assessment could include some of the following:
- Restricting the number of visitors at any one time
- Limiting opening hours
- Enforcing physical distancing (by putting up signs, marking places that people can sit or stand)
- Making sure the building and its facilities are regularly cleaned thoroughly
- Closing off parts of the building that aren’t as regularly used
- Asking people to conduct the ablution process at home, so that mosque washrooms are only used when absolutely necessary
- Providing hand sanitiser at multiple points
- Not providing items that are usually high contact points (e.g. prayer books, leaflets, etc)
How can we help?
At Intelligent Facility Solutions, we have a number of products that could really help in the re-opening of mosques.
We launched our ‘To the Pump’ campaign a few weeks ago, and so we’ve pulled together the products from this range that we think would really work for mosques in a post-lockdown world.
We have previously written on alcohol free sanitisers and how they work, and depending on your mosque and the attitudes of your visitors, this sanitiser may be more appropriate for use than the alcohol version.
As well as refills, we also offer hand sanitiser stations, like the one pictured below. These are ideal for placing around other parts of your mosque, especially if you want something more portable than a dispenser that’s screwed onto a wall. It could give mosques the flexibility to provide hand sanitiser depending on which space has the demand at what time.
We’ve also talked about how non-touch appliances may be the future as they significantly minimise contact and the spread of germs, something which will be so important for busy places like a mosque on a Friday.
We provide sensor-operated soap and sanitiser dispensers that require no contact for a user, as there is a motion sensor that will automatically release soap or sanitiser when needed. You can also programme the appliance to release a certain amount of product if you’re finding that too much is being wasted.
Ventilation is key for maintaining a fresh and clean space. So, if your mosque isn’t well ventilated, has limited windows or doors, or just can’t be left open - air sterilisers would be a perfect fit.
These are devices that use technology which creates UV light, ozone, photoplasma, and negatively-charged ions. These are all already in existence in the environment, and are quite powerful methods of disinfection. They are able to eliminate things like odours, bacteria, and viruses, to name just a few.
So, air sterilisers can be great to keeping your mosque as safe and as hygienic as possible.
We recommend: Dryflow® Air Steriliser (10m2)
Just to note: The fixed installation air sterilisers we currently sell on our website are only recommended for washrooms or other transient areas where people only spend a short period at a time.
Most modern hand dryers are non-touch appliances, which is great for high traffic washrooms like the ones found in mosques.
Hand dryers also avoid the problem that comes with paper towels, and that’s potentially overflowing wet paper towels. Wet and damp items are more likely to harbour and carry germs, so that’s definitely something to be avoided when trying to re-open your mosque safely.
However, something else to bear in mind is the need to have these hand dryers spaced out, to maintain social distancing, if the washroom is to be used regularly.
We recommend: Turboforce® Hand Dryer
We also offer face masks, which of course don’t prevent us from getting the virus, but they can help minimise the risk of spreading the infection. They can be especially useful for busier enclosed spaces.
And as mosques are usually a community hub for Muslims, it could be really useful for the community if the mosque had a supply of face masks to provide to those who are unable to get one themselves, or aren’t wearing one when they visit the mosque.
For any other products or any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us!Back to blog