TWO Leamington friends are hoping their new enterprise will help boost local business efforts to re-emerge from the challenges of lockdown.
Carl Barlow, from Cubbington, established Fog surface sanitisation company this month after adapting his private jet and helicopter valeting business which was suddenly grounded by COVID-19.
Headed up by ex-RAF engineer Barry Sant, the pair, forecast Fog will help lift a cloud in the aftermath of the pandemic, also pledging to employ other financial ‘victims’ of lockdown in the process.
Carl, who launched Rise&Shine for the aviation sector 20 years ago, said: “Due to the virus, aviation has been very badly hit so my business needed to look to other fields to generate more income. As we were already providing a fogging sanitisation service to aircraft – and as we were starting to receive requests to fog jet centres and non-aviation vehicles, we realised there is a need for this outside the aviation industry as well.”
He added: “We are truly focused on employing within the local area, to people who lost their jobs due to the virus.
“And everything from vehicle graphics to clothing merchandise to print has been locally sourced to assist as many businesses as possible.”
The Fog machines are designed to thoroughly sanitise all surfaces in any space, by dispensing non-toxic and eco-friendly disinfectant in a super fine mist of protective particles.
And customers are warned not to be alarmed by the appearance of the ‘foggers.’
“We turn up looking like Ghostbusters! We only wear the full personal protective equipment because we’re working with it all the time and are following the product manufacturers’ recommendations. The product is completely safe due its non-toxic and eco-friendly properties,” said Barry Sant, who was recently reunited with his childhood friend after seeing an appeal on social media.”
The ex-RAF and civil aviation engineer is able to call upon his 24 years working in the aircraft maintenance when heading up the new operation.
Depending on which cleaning agent is used, it can provide protection against pathogens and viruses for up to eight, 10 or 30 days after each procedure.
He said: “A motor creates a high- pressure air output to produce a very fine fog to enable the efficient application of various disinfectant solutions to a variety of hard and soft surfaces that are active within five minutes.
“It can be used anywhere that you have customers, staff or the general public – pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, public transport, vehicles, gyms, shops etc. and is already used in hospitals and other healthcare settings as one of the products is certified as a class 2A medical device. All products are food safe and one is even Halal certified, in accordance with Islamic law.”
He added: “People have their own care and maintenance and cleaning regimes to complement the initial disinfection, such as further sanitisation of the common touch points like door handles and light switches.
“There’s no reason why people can’t do the fogging themselves, with the correct equipment and PPE and disinfectant, but most people want to leave it to someone who has got knowledge and experience in carrying out the procedure and not have to worry about the initial outlay of buying all the expensive equipment.
“Also, every time there’s a procedure carried out they receive the official certification which businesses need to produce.”
As demand in Fog’s services grows, the entrepreneurs predict a new shift towards the long term importance of surface hygiene post COVID.
Barry said: “I’d like to see the business grow and eventually become national because the issue with the COVID virus isn’t going away in the short or medium term. We’re all in for a long ride with this.
“The elephant in the room is obviously COVID-19 but when you go to shops on the bus, for instance, you’re also being exposed to many other micro-organisms/viruses etc. – they’re just not in the news all the time. You’ve got the potential to pick them up at any point at any time from anywhere so a regime that can initially have been put in place due to the coronavirus, could have a longevity because of the nature of what it actually does.
He added: “This is all very much a steep learning curve and educational process, not only for the businesses carrying out this nature of the work, but also for business owners and members of the public. We can help them find a way through.”
Visit www.foggingnow.com for further details.