The Two-Way Radio Blog
2-Way Radio Kleen ™. The kit is designed to help shield professional two-way radio users from inadvertently being exposed to potentially harmful pathogens like COVID-19. 2-Way Radio Kleen will protect workers from 99.9 percent of all bacteria, germs, and viruses that can collect on radio equipment before being passed along to the radio user or other crew members.
According to Ben Burns, Founder and CEO of Discount Two-Way Radio, 2-Way Radio Kleen was designed to not only help protect American workers from germs, but also help reinforce proper radio cleaning techniques and sanitary best practices often neglected in industries that use two-way radios.
“It is becoming clear that practicing social distancing, constant hand washing, and liberal use of disinfecting wipes are here to stay. So, we started thinking about how we can help reinforce this same message for our customers who use two-way radios on a daily basis. After talking with our customers and conducting extensive product research, we determined that a self-contained two-way radio cleaning kit was the perfect solution,” said Mr. Burns.
He also explained that the 2-Way Radio Kleen includes the following 37 items that were specifically designed to sanitize, disinfect, and protect the radio user and every external component of the radio itself, including the metal housing, plastic programming knobs, and rubber antenna:
- 4 oz. bottle of specially formulated cleaning solution that cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects two-way radio equipment from all viruses including influenza A (swine flu), H1N1 (bird flu), and COVID-19.
- 4 radio cleaning wipes
- 4 Moist Wet Cleaning Wipes
- 8 Precision Wipe Tissues
- 8 Non-Sterile Cotton swabs with wooden handles
- 1 antiseptic brush
- 8 Large Nitrile Protective Gloves
2-Way Radio Kleen will retail for $29.95, while individual bottles of the cleaning solution can be purchased for $9.95.
Mr. Burns explained that the cleaning kit was especially designed to clean both soft surfaces (like rubber antennas) as well as hard surfaces (like two-way radio chassis). In addition, the disinfecting solution has a neutral PH formula which will not dull or scratch high-gloss surfaces as display screens.
“At a time when reducing disease, bacteria and viruses is more important than ever, Discount Two-Way Radio’s 2-Way Radio Kleen Two-Way Radio cleaning Kit is playing an important role in helping protect some of our country’s hardest working people through easy to apply cleaning tools. It’s everything you need for cleaning one radio or an entire fleet,” said Burns.
There is no doubt that titanic shifts taking place in the $2.17 trillion behemoth industry called Manufacturing. Politics and pandemics aside, one of the major changes directly affecting the United States Manufacturing industry is technology. Early forays into Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), and Robotics Process Automation (RPA) are just the tip of the iceberg. Other technological advances like Configure Price Quote software and Direct to Consumer (D2C) marketing will be at the tip of everyone’s tongues in no time. However, despite these gargantuan leaps in technological overhauls, there is still one important manufacturing tool that technology can never replace: the two-way radio. In fact, more and more manufacturing professionals are incorporating two-way radio technology into their operations because radios continue to improve both productivity and safety throughout every phase of today’s manufacturing processing.
Discount Two-Way Radio Featured in Manufacturing Outlook Magazine
Recently, Discount Two-Way Radio was asked to contribute an article on how two-way radios create a safer, more productive, and efficient manufacturing work environment. You can read the article here.
The Evolution of Two-Way Radios
Two-way radios have evolved significantly over the past 100 years but continue to be an indispensable tool for today’s manufacturing industry. From resolving plant-floor problems like a shortage of material on a production line to sudden changes in warehouse operations and transportation yards where gate assignments need to be switched on the fly, reliable two-way radio coverage is critical to maintain operational efficiency and being better prepared to respond rapidly to the unexpected.
Most of today’s professional grade two-way radios use digital technology rather than analog. Digital circuitry opens up a much more robust collection of features that can be very valuable to the manufacturing industry. One of these features is the built-in digital algorithm that can automatically differentiate the human voice and background noise allowing it to cancel undesirable background noise for clearer, cleaner sound quality.
Another evolution in two-way radio equipment is that they can incorporate software applications that can integrate into existing computer networks and phone systems. As a result, digital two-way radios have the potential for incorporating a multitude of additional functions, including GPS, text messaging, and other forms of communication technologies and information sharing applications.
Core Benefits of Two-Way Radio Technology for Manufacturing Industry
Safety – Accidents can happen when communication fails. A misunderstanding in instructions; a delay in reporting a hazardous situation; a call for assistance that fails to connect can all add up to trouble.
Without professional communication tools, accidents can happen just because someone misunderstands an instruction. Two-way radios provide crystal clear audio in noisy manufacturing environments and can be equipped with hands free accessories and emergency features. Think about how noisy a plant can get, where shouted instructions get lost in the sound of machinery. Quality two-way radios, especially when equipped with headphones, can make the difference between the safe completion of a task and a dangerous accident.
Safety During the Historic COVID-19 Pandemic
the age of deadly and highly contagious corona viruses, two-way radios also
help create personal separation among factory workers while never losing the ability to instantly
communicate through "Push To Talk" technology. Make sure you read our safety guide on how to keep your two-way radios sanitized.
Efficiency – Two-way radios are the perfect tool for maximizing efficiency in any manufacturing setting. In fact, studies have found that two-way radios are so effective for manufacturing facilities that the equipment pays for itself in just a couple of months because of the amount of time they save. Unplanned down time caused by equipment malfunctions, spills, or other disruptions can cause a domino effect that will impact your operation’s output.
It doesn’t take much to stop operations unexpectedly, and that can be costly. Sometimes all it takes to figure out a quick solution and keep things moving is communication between two or more areas. Knowing where your people are in relation to where the problem has occurred can save time and money. Two-way radios can instantly connect multiple people which reduces response times when problems appear and improve results across the entire production line.
Productivity – Never before have manufacturers had to work so hard to do more in less time. Margins are under constant pressure, and in many cases plant managers are having to do more and more with less. Using two-way radios as a communication tool allows workers to instantly communicate with others and help them find quick solutions to problems that may occur. A recent survey by of manufacturing productivity said that 46% of manufacturing workers say that two-way radios reduces downtime by as much as 20%! In fact, there is virtually no area of a plant where using two-way radios doesn’t improve throughput and productivity.
Durability - Professional quality two-way radios are designed to withstand the abuse of hard-working manufacturing plants. They can withstand being dropped on concrete, in water, or even in dust. There is no way cellular phones can withstand this kind of treatment. Consumer radios by contrast are usually built for infrequent use: weekend hunting trips, multiple car caravans, camping trips, amusement park visits, etc. They are lightweight with a thin plastic casing. Commercial radios are designed to be used for hours every day and are constructed with heavy-duty commercial housing. Many are built to military specifications and are waterproof with significant transmitting power.
Two-Way Radios In A Crisis Situation
Two-Way Radios are incredibly valuable tools for manufacturing facilities, but they are also one of the most important tools for crisis management as well. This is especially true for anyone who works in an isolated or remote area, or who works in potentially dangerous environments. In many situations, a cell phone won’t have the immediacy, dependability, or reliability in a crisis. There are three specific features of two-way radios that can greatly improve survivability in a true crisis situation. These include:
- The Man Down Feature
- The Lone Worker Feature
- Emergency Alert Button
The Man Down safety feature detects when there is a lack of movement or if the radio suddenly tilts horizontally, typical signs an accident or emergency is taking place. This application has to be programmed into the two-way radio and is designed to identify when a worker has fallen. When the radio senses lack of movement or a sudden horizontal tilt, a timer is activated which will initiate a “chirp” following a couple of seconds to notify other radio users that there could be an emergency. If the worker is fine but just accidentally tilted the radio, he/she can disable the alert without an emergency signal being sent.
However, if a full minute passes and the worker has not turned off the notification, an alarm will sound to other radios announcing that something is wrong and that the radio operator is unresponsive.
Unlike the Man Down safety feature, the Lone Worker feature is triggered when a worker fails to interact with the radio for a specific period of time. For example, let’s say a worker doesn’t touch the radio for 10 minutes, a pre-warning signal will sound reminding the worker to reset the timer by pressing a button or adjusting a knob. If the worker doesn’t interact with the radio in the next couple of minutes, an emergency notification will be sent to other predesignated radio operators.
One of the simplest and most effective features for averting a crisis is called the Emergency Alert Button. Strategically located on the top of the radio for quick and easy access, the Emergency Alert Button triggers an alarm by pressing one button. Immediately, the radio sends out a voice and/or radio identity to notify specific individuals of an impending emergency. This drastically reduces response times and significantly contributes to a safer environment.
Hospital communication systems need professional grade two-way radios for a number of reasons, but especially during disasters or health crisis like the COVID-19 virus scare. After all, when it comes to cring for human lives, efficiency, timeliness, and safety are the keys to giving patients the best care possible, and two-way radios help hospital professionals accomplish all of these objectives with simple push-to-talk technology.
Download you free Hospital Disaster Preparedness Self-Assessment Tool Here
But who is responsible for including 2-way radios in the list of tools hospitals should have? Well, in most hospital across the country there is an Emergency Preparedness Department (EPD). According to the Department of Homeland Security, this department should be run by one person, often referred to as the “Chairman”, and a committee that helps guide and provides recommendations. The Chairman is responsible for the overall management of the EPD, and should possess certain knowledge and skills, such as:
- An operational understanding of emergency management and the Incident Management System (IMS)
- Detailed knowledge of their healthcare facility’s emergency response operations,
- Familiarity with facility safety operations and available emergency response tools
- Familiarity with community emergency response system
Healthcare facilities should include the following specialties in the Emergency Preparedness Department:
- Burn services
- Clinical pharmacology/toxicology
- Critical care services (medical and nursing)
- Emergency medicine and nursing
- Internal medicine
- Infection control/infectious disease
- Lab/blood bank/pathology (including morgue)
- Medical director
- Nursing supervisor
- Post-anesthesia care unit (PACU)
- Radiology (including radiation safety)
- Residents and students
- Trauma services
Obviously, running an Emergency Preparedness Department is incredibly challenging because of the scope of its responsibility, and the number of people involved. That’s why when it comes to managing any healthcare facility or Emergency Preparedness Department, two-way radios should be included into any communications system. No matter what department or what issue is being addressed, two-way radios help workers to communicate instantly when it matters most.
5 Reasons Hospitals Need Two-Way Radios
If you are the Chairman of the Emergency Response Department or are an active member, here are 5 reasons why two-way radio communication help all hospitals and their emergency preparedness departments, and why they should be considered as essential tools for all healthcare operations.
- Improved real-time communication
Real-time communication among staff members can improve service within medical facilities. It provides a reliable experience for patients and visitors where hospital workers can respond swiftly.
- Increased productivity – mobile efficiency
Hospital facilities are complicated structures, occupied not only by doctors and nurses but also cooks, security guards, and volunteers. In many instances, these departments must work together or communicate with each other. Utilizing two-way radios allows hospital departments to seamlessly communicate with each other without having to drop whatever they are doing. Radios offer staff a mobile, efficient option for responding to other members. No more wasting time searching an address book or spending time reading text messages. Workers have a direct, push-to-talk option for answering calls.
- Quick response to emergencies
By using professional-grade two-way radios, emergency incidents can be addressed in literally seconds. If professional grade two-way radios are used, any first-responder will always have the right information, improving the outcome of crisis scenarios.
- Enhanced safety and security
Heavy duty two-way radios are critical for a safe and secure surrounding. Patients, staff, and visitors need to feel safe within and around medical facilities. Heavy-duty radios provide high-performance communication, which is reliable when dealing with security matters.
- Facility maintenance and disaster preparedness
To ensure that everything runs smoothly, it is important to have the facility maintained, with proper preparation in case disaster strikes. Collaboration is necessary during the maintenance process, where each party must respond accordingly. What better way to do this than to integrate two-way communication devices?
When the novel coronavirus started wreaking havoc across the globe, the Facilities Management Department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine contacted Discount Two-Way Radio to help get the university’s two-way radio communications systems in top notch condition in anticipation of the impending pandemic.
“The Director of Facilities for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine selected Discount Two-Way Radio to repair their radios after a highly selective vendor process,” said Ben Burns, Discount Two-Way Radio CEO and Founder. “We pride ourselves on providing customer’s the fastest repair turn-around time in the industry, but we set a new record after getting the school’s radios back to them in three days,” said Burns.
Making It on the News
The repair feat was large enough that several media outlets across the country picked up the story and published it for others to see. Some of these outlets included:
Keeping Johns Hopkins Running Smoothly
The School of Medicine’s Facilities Management Department is responsible for ensuring the all of the school and medical equipment are safe and are able to support the institution’s mission of providing the best in patient care, education and research in the world. Specifically, the School of Medicine’s Facilities Department operates and maintains the campuses facilities and medical equipment, including everything relating to building and ground operations, electrical services, power plant, and business services. With a campus that covers 140 acres, the most efficient and reliable way to communicate is with two-way radio technology.
“Radios are an important tool for our maintenance department. We rely on them to communicate with our other maintenance team members. I’ve got 38 crew members that are responsible for the entire School of Medicine’s facility which includes 23 separate buildings. Unfortunately, my guys ride the radios pretty hard and put them away wet, but guys did a good job for us,” said Steve Jacobs, Assistant Director of Facilities.
Discount Two-Way Radio CEO Ben Burns explained that truly professional Facilities Managers know that using cell phones is just a ticket to disaster, especially when you’re talking about a critically important facility like Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
"They oversee literally every piece of moving equipment on that campus, and if they need something, especially during these days, they need it right away. Cell phones can’t compete with two-way radios from many perspectives including reach, reliability, functionality, durability, and price,” said Ben Burns, CEO and Founder of Discount Two-Way Radio.
Free Shipping and Expedited Repair Service
According to Burns, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine took advantage of Discount Two-Way Radio’s free shipping policy for all repairs. They shipped them out and they landed in the company’s state-of-the-art repair facility where factory trained technicians used the latest technology to repair the fleet of radios.
“When a customer sends in their radios for repair, first we double check the radios to make sure everything is working correctly. We attach the batteries, inspect the antennas, and run expert diagnostics to determine exactly what’s is wrong with the radios,” said Burns.
After running a complete diagnostic analysis on the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine radios, Discount Two-Way Radio discovered several issues that needed to be repaired.
“Two of the radios were fine, but the others needed some help, including internal components, broken track pads, broken speakers, and broken channel knobs. But we successfully repaired the radios and got them back to school in tip-top condition within just three days. They were ecstatic at how quickly we responded and were very impressed at the caliber of our repair work,” explained Burns.
A SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM DISCOUNT TWO-WAY RADIO
Discount Two-Way Radio is praying for the health and safety of all of our more than 65,000 customers. Because our customers work in industries like ...
- Health Care
- Emergency Services
- Food Distribution
... to name just a few, we know these folks are some of the hardest working Americans anywhere on the continent.
On March 4 California Governor, Gavin Newsom issued an executive order “safer-at-home” which forced many businesses like indoor malls, shopping centers, and non-essential retail businesses to close. However, many of our customers are considered “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” and need to continue to do their job in order to help protect communities and ensure continuity of functions critical to public health and safety and well as economic and national security.
Many of these industries rely on Discount Two-Way Radio for their communications equipment and our services. Discount Two-Way Radio helps these essential industries fulfill critical jobs more safely and more efficiently. Because of this, we are also deemed essential by virtue, and will continue to provide two-way radio equipment throughout these unprecedented times. We will be here for our customers. Our operations are normal, and we will be here for you when you need us.
Obviously, we understand that this COVID-19 situation is fluid with each day bringing new information. However, we have also put into place all CDC recommended practices to protect our workers and those we encounter.
Thank you for your continued support.
Ben Burns, CEO and Founder
Anyone working in the construction, education, warehousing, logistics, or janitorial industries should know how to keep their two-way radios sanitized, especially during the COVID-19 era. After all, while we are inundated by reminders of social distancing, hand washing, liberal use of hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes and other good hygiene habits one of the most important items that many hard working Americans should be aware of is how to clean and sanitize professional grade two-way radios. According to recent report from the Journal of Hospital Infection, coronavirus bacteria and other germs can live on surfaces like glass, metal or plastic for anywhere from two hours to nine days,
Discount Two-Way Radio understands our customer’s concerns and have put together some very simple but highly effective sanitizing do’s and don’ts for cleaning your two-way radios.
The DO’s for Sanitizing Two-Way Radios
- Make sure the radio is turned off and unplug any accessory or attachments.
- Remove any protective cover or holster protecting the exterior screen or casing.
- Mix approximately one tablespoon of mild dishwashing soap together with about one gallon of warm water to achieve a .5 percent solution.
- Apply the soapy mixture with a stiff but nonmetallic brush, making sure to dislodge any grime or dirt that may have become caked on the radio’s housing.
- Clean antennas and screens by dipping a soft, microfiber cloth into the solution until the material is damp but not wet.
- Two-way radio keypads are usually the worst because this is where all the germs and gunk accumulate! You can also use a damp microfiber terry cloth to wipe away the dust and dirt, and then dry it with canned air, and make sure you do not allow any moisture to become entrapped in connectors, speaker crevice’s, and controls.
- If your radio has an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can rinse your radio by holding it under a faucet.
- If your radio does not have an IP rating of 67 or greater, you can use a soft, lint free cloth to dry the radio.
- For additional sanitation protection, you can use a product like Clorox wipes or over-the-counter rubbing alcohol with no more than (0 percent isopropyl alcohol. Pour the alcohol directly onto a rag first and wipe the radio down with the rag and let the radio air dry.
- If there is a risk that the radio and attached accessories were exposed to pathogens or carcinogens, several cleaners have proven to be very effective in neutralizing these threats on two-way radios. For maximum effect, make sure the radio first receives a detailed cleaning as described above. Then for pathogen decontamination ( as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) apply Zep DZ-7 which is a virucide that kills a broad spectrum of bacteria. For carcinogen decontamination (like metal oxide dust, lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, chromium, arsenic, silver, selenium, cobalt, and other toxic metals, wipe down the radio with either Hygenall FieldWipes or Enspire Fire Wipes per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Ultraviolet Rays Clean as Well
Believe it or not, another strategy to disinfect your two-way radio with almost no effort is to use ultraviolet light cleansers. Called Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation, treatment is an established and effective way to disinfect two-way radios as well according to the United States National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
The DON’TS of Sanitizing Two-Way Radios
- Don’t use alcohol to clean your radio’s screen. Use instead use a very soft, damp cloth.
- Don’t submerge the radio in the detergent solution.
- Don’t attach a dirty cover or holster to a sanitized radio. Take the time to clean your cover and holster with the same sanitizing techniques outlined above as well.
- Don’t let any water or moisture into charging area, speakers, controls, programming buttons, or accessory jack.
- Industry: Construction
- Customer: Great Lakes Construction Company
- Products: RDR2500 Portable Radios
- Problem: The company was using one channel for the entire company, making the radio communication crowded and unproductive. Also, they were using an expensive repeater system that they were told they needed to make their radios work
- Solution: We advised them to get rid of the poorly designed repeater system and provide each job its own fleet of two-way radios. This limited the radio traffic to only communications that relate to that specific job.Overview:
Boating can be a great way to relax, however without proper equipment like professional quality two-way radios specifically designed for marine use, a simple boating trip can turn into a stressful and potentially dangerous experience.
MarineMax needed to find two-way radio equipment that could withstand the harsh saltwater environment. Not only did they find a reliable radio for their operation, but a service department at Discount Two-Way Radio that could bring their damaged radios back to life.
Industry: Marine Offshore Supply and Support
Customer: Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC
Products: RDR4300 Intrinsically Safe Two-Way Radios
Problem: When a new Purchasing Agent was assigned the task of finding Intrinsically Safe two-way radios, he contacted Discount Two-Way Radio.
Solution: We advised Harvey Gulf to explore the RDR4300 series of IS radios. We even sent them several to sample before they purchased. The company was amazed at how good the radios worked, how inexpensive they were compared to Motorola, and what great service they received from Discount Two-Way Radio.