Last Updated: June 26, 2020. We are updating this guide as new information comes in.
JUNE UPDATE: Check out our post here with more details on how to rent safely. The post covers the same information that is in this post but extends some of it with info from more recent studies.
These past few days have been stressful for everyone, so we wanted to put together a guide of best practices for rental houses and gear owners renting out their gear. We understand that closing down may not be an option. For those of you who remain open for business, we want you to stay safe.
We compiled this list based on the latest information we could find. We spoke to dozens of rental houses to see what they’re doing, and we found a handful of common best practices.
1) Scheduled rentals only. No walk-ins.
This ensures you are able to control and minimize interpersonal interactions and gatherings within your physical location. It helps keep your customers and your employees safe.
2) Minimize your workforce.
If you are a shop, try to keep the amount of employees working to the absolute bare minimum. Wear a mask and gloves. If you feel sick, do NOT work.
3) Clean AND disinfect your workspace.
Wipe down surfaces, your workspace (keyboard, computer, mouse), door handles, bathrooms, and any hard surface using a bleach solution*, alcohol solution**, or EPA approved cleaning product***.
*Bleach solution: 1/3 cup bleach per gallon of water
**Alcohol solutions: At least 70% alcohol
***Link to EPA list of approved disinfectants
4) Clean AND disinfect all gear coming back
Wipe down all returned gear thoroughly. Wear gloves. To be safe, when wiping down gear the contact time should be 10 minutes* (the length of time the surface should remain wet). Be careful around electronics. As you wipe down gear let your cleaning product remain on the surface for 10 minutes* before coming back and and wiping it off.
*Different disinfectants have different contact time recommendations, but none of the products on the list have a recommendation time longer than 10 minutes. Check out the list from the CDC here.
Cleaning update: This link from our friends at Peta Pixel is very informative on cleaning gear.
5) Clean and disinfect the CASE as well.
Follow the same protocol as you do when wiping down gear. Wipe down the exterior of the case and the handle.
6) Consider holding the returned gear in storage for 24-72 hours before renting out again
There is no definitive source on how long the virus survives on surfaces, but the current estimate is 24 – 72 hours on hard surfaces if you do not clean and disinfect them.
“Research has shown that coronaviruses can be inactivated within a minute by disinfecting surfaces with 62-71% alcohol, or 0.5% hydrogen peroxide bleach or household bleach containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite.”
Holding gear for an extended period could be an extra safety precaution.
It has been shown that the virus spreads most easily through human-to-human contact and through droplets in the air (e.g. a cough or sneeze). Avoiding unnecessary contact and frequently washing your hands are the most important steps you can take to prevent the spread of the disease.
Be safe out there.