A number of components comprise infection protection, including hand hygiene, vaccinations, and proper cleaning, disinfection and sterilization.

Building service contractors and in-house professionals have direct control over cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing, and an educational role in occupant hand hygiene.

Healthcare and medical facilities require the highest levels of sterilization and disinfection, as serious infections are present at any given time and place in those buildings. Thorough cleaning is the first step before any disinfecting or sterilizing can be done; its necessary components are friction and pressured fluid, which remove soil and debris from items. Proper disinfection of surfaces then eliminates pathogenic microorganisms on objects. Sterilization destroys all forms of microbial life, and applies mainly to instruments and devices that come into direct contact with patients.

Encouraging occupants to wash and dry hands correctly — using a good amount of soap, warm water, appropriate duration, drying using a paper towel, and proper disposal of that towel — is another proactive way to help prevent the spread of infection.