PB’s The Safe Temp targets coronavirus with protective devices for businesses
As businesses try to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, they must follow strict guidelines to ensure safety for employees and customers. In response to a need for protective products, Dan Borelli and John Heinkel, founders of scooter removal company ScootScoop, launched The Safe Temp, a Pacific Beach-based business that offers temperature measurement and ultraviolet light sanitizing tools for businesses.
The idea started while ScootScoop was on hiatus during coronavirus stay-at-home orders. Borelli, who said he likes to keep up with the latest technology from China and other countries, researched products being used in Wuhan, China, to sanitize and try to prevent the spread of the virus, which was originally identified in Wuhan.
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“We thought, ‘Well, there’s a lot of people who are going to be selling gloves and masks and all that kind of great stuff, but there is ... more-technical stuff that I think needs to be brought to market,” Borelli said.
The partners started working on their new business around May 1 and launched around May 15.
Safe Temp products
The Safe Temp offers three protective products that can be used by restaurants, gyms, retail stores and other businesses, as well as individuals.
The temperature check box is a remote sensor that can be mounted on a door frame, set on a reception desk or handheld to detect a person’s body surface temperature. Checking the temperature of each person who enters is a rule for many establishments. When mounted on a door frame, the box essentially acts the way a metal detector does at an airport: Walk through to get an instant reading. It is designed to read temperatures with an accuracy range of plus or minus 0.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
“The speed is what’s phenomenal,” Borelli said. “Instead of standing there trying to scan somebody’s forehead or their wrist and it takes you … three seconds or four seconds for a reading, I can scan three to four people in that [time] on this machine.”
After someone passes the Safe Temp box, an automated voice will say either “Your temperature is normal” or “Your temperature is abnormal” (quickly followed by “Please check again”). The box can be customized with voice settings in different languages, and temperatures can be read in Celsius or Fahrenheit. The device is equipped with an anti-high temperature false alarm, which can be triggered by direct sunlight.
The box, voice system and visual technology that produces either a green or red light to demonstrate safe and unsafe temperatures was manufactured by Chinese manufacturer SUNPN. The sensor in the Safe Temp box is described as “medical grade” by the manufacturer and won the Best Innovations award at the Global Sensors 2019 Expo. It is manufactured by Melexis and imported from Belgium.
“The first place that’s bought on here in PB was El Prez,” Borelli said. Before that, the bar and restaurant on Mission Boulevard was temporarily shut down by the county health department after reopening in May due to a lack of compliance with public health guidelines after images surfaced of crowds not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines.
The Safe Temp also sells UV light sanitizer. Small and lightweight enough to fit in a purse, the device uses ultraviolet technology to kill microbes on contact. It is intended to be used on surfaces that have already been manually cleaned.
Before the coronavirus, there wasn’t high demand from consumers for products such as a UV sanitation light, and the Safe Temp temperature box didn’t even exist until recent weeks when the manufacturer designed the box with the Melexis sensor inside, according to Safe Temp spokesman Tony Felice. As a result, the Safe Temp box and the UV light sanitizer are not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration but are in the process.
Additionally, The Safe Temp will be importing an FDA-approved UV sanitation light from a different manufacturer that has gone through the process, though the technology is essentially the same.
The temperature gun is another available product. The handheld, battery-operated device provides non-contact measurement by directing the gun toward guests’ foreheads. It’s FDA-approved and used worldwide by hospitals and other health care facilities. Felice said the gun is not as fast as the box sensor and is best suited for businesses with slower traffic.
Wholesale prices are available for businesses that want to buy in bulk, and businesses in San Diego get free shipping. For more information, visit thesafetemp.com.
Grant for protective purchases?
A California state fund is providing up to a $10,000 grant toward coronavirus safety expenses, which may mean that businesses can be reimbursed for buying protective products such as The Safe Temp’s. To learn more, visit bit.ly/castatefunds.