When you think of public safety personnel - police, firefighters, EMS responders, for example -you usually associate them with uniforms and specific equipment. What you don't see is how this equipment is maintained and the importance of an ultrasonic cleaner
as a maintenance tool.
An ultrasonic cleaner is far superior to manual soaking and scrubbing equipment used by public safety personnel. It is accomplished in an ultrasonic cleaning tank filled with a biodegradable cleaning solution that can be specially formulated for specific cleaning processes. The unit has an ultrasonic generator to power ultrasonic transducers bonded to the bottom of the tank. These transmit ultrasonic energy into the solution, creating billions of tiny bubbles that implode with tremendous force when they come in contact with equipment suspended in the solution. The process, called cavitation, quickly removes all contaminants from all surfaces, yet does not damage the products being cleaned. The bubbles reach minute cracks, threads and small holes virtually impossible to clean manually.
Manufacturers of ultrasonic cleaners and concentrated ultrasonic cleaning solutions provide instructions on the proper use of their equipment.
Some Public Safety Applications for an Ultrasonic Cleaner
Handcuffs used in an arrest to control a suspect can pick up a significant 'bioburden' of dead and living skin tissue, oils and hair as well as other contamination. To protect the health of the officer (as well as the next suspect) handcuffs should be cleaned immediately in an ultrasonic bath to remove these contaminants. An ultrasonic handcuff cleaner easily fits on a table top. Cuffs are placed in a mesh basket, lowered into the solution for approximately 10 minutes, rinsed, dried and treated with a rust preventative.
Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) used by firefighters also must be cleaned after use to remove smoke stains, oils, perspiration and other combustion residue and contamination in line with OSHA regulations. Again, an ultrasonic cleaner is the perfect cleaning tool because it removes all traces of contamination without damaging the soft seals that fit on the face of the responder. Following the cleaning process, SCBA equipment should be disinfected before being used again. Cylinder valves, nozzles and other critical SCBA components also must be thoroughly cleaned after use to help insure the safety of personnel.
Similar steps apply to the cleaning of gas masks.
Weapons used by police officers and SWAT teams must function perfectly, and a thorough cleaning process is an important part of weapons maintenance. Tabletop ultrasonic cleaners are ideal for handguns, which prior to cleaning are disassembled and placed in the cleaning basket for a cleaning process much like that employed for handcuffs. Larger ultrasonic tanks are used for weapons such as rifles. After the cleaning process, components are rinsed in water and shaken or air dried. They then can be placed in an ultrasonic lubricating bath that, like cleaning, reaches all surfaces of the weapon.
Protecting the life and health of public safety personnel is of paramount importance for federal, state and local authorities. Clean, properly functioning equipment is a critical part of this process. Ultrasonic cleaning is by far the fastest and most efficient way to clean any equipment that is not damaged by water.
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