Are LST Radiators Appropriate For High Secure Mental Health Units?

Are LST Radiators Appropriate For High Secure Mental Health Units?

Posted by Robin Mansell on 07 April 2021 17:03:11 BST
Robin Mansell
Find me on:

Are LST Radiators Appropriate For High Secure Mental Health Units
Psychiatric intensive care units (PICU) are intended to look after patients who cannot be managed on open psychiatric wards due to the level of risk the Service User poses to themselves or others.

There are levels of risks because PICUs are dedicated wards for adult inmates to deliver inpatient mental health care assessment and full treatment to individuals who are experiencing severe mental disorders.

If you’re an architect or a specifier, you have the job to keep PICUs as safe and secure as possible. For heating solutions, you may be thinking about an LST radiator, but is it the best solution? Read on to find out…


So, Are LST Radiators The Best Solution For PICUs

The simple answer is no. It can be thought that because LST radiators are low-surface radiators they’re safe, which, in many cases is true.

However, when working in high-security mental health settings, you will need to consider a radiator that has anti-ligature features to mitigate any acts of vandalism and self-harm, which could lead to serious injury to Service Users and staff alike.


Anti-Ligature Radiators For High-Secure Mental Health Hospitals

It’s commonly thought that suicide risk comes from ligature points that are above head-height. However, studies have found that suicides can, unfortunately, occur where ligature points have been below the head or even at waist height.

For this reason, it’s necessary to select a radiator that is anti-ligature to keep all individuals safe and secure.

To ensure that all ligature risks are reduced, you should search for an anti-ligature radiator that follows these certain characteristics:

  • Small grilles, we recommend IP3X rated grilles
  • (If wall secured) No large gaps between product and wall
  • Minimal gaps or joints
  • No sharp edges
  • Bullnose, rounded corners
  • Security locks and fixings


A Durable Heating Solution For High-Secure Mental Health Environments

What was once considered a suitable and robust radiator or guard may need to be evaluated to ensure they meet the challenges that PICU’s face today.

To understand these challenges, we must recognise how PICUs have changed over the past few years. PICUs now offer more freedom to service users - with access to personal belongings and control over their comfort.

Whilst this enhanced independence may advance morale in a high-secure mental health facility, it does create more opportunities for users to carry out acts of vandalism and self-harm.

To protect all service users at PICUs, you should search for an anti-ligature radiator that is made from 1.5-2mm Zintec steel, and for maximum protection, you can search for a 3mm Zintec steel solution.

Also note that strengthening struts can be added to increase durability too.



To ensure maximum security you’ll need to search for a heating solution that fits in well with today’s modern-day PICU to keep all service users safe.

An anti-ligature heating solution that is built to withstand vandalism and has minimised ligature risks may be the solution for you.

For protection, Contour anti-ligature radiators are made in Zintec protected steel in various gauges from 1.5mm-3mm to offer a strong, durable heating solution.

If your environment is a PICU where extra strength may be needed, Contour can provide a strengthening strut for additional depth and protection.

Complete with safe edges and IP3x grilles, our anti-ligature radiators have been specifically designed to help reduce the opportunities for service users to tie rope or cord around – or through – an exposed ligature.

To ensure peace of mind, all radiators are protected with a 5-year warranty against defects in workmanship and materials for 5 years from the purchase date.

New call-to-action


About Us

Contour produces a range of innovative, safe surface temperature systems for healthcare, education, mental health, commercial and secure sectors, working in close partnership and collaborating with architects, M&E engineers, NHS Trusts, local authorities, design consultants and contractors to deliver outstanding safe heating solutions.

Contour is the exclusive partner of BioCote® anti-microbial technology for LST and anti-ligature radiators.  BioCote® additives reduce bacteria by up to 99.9%. Contour combines an extensive range of colour-paints is with BioCote® for a durable, high-quality finish.

Contour’s heating solutions offer secure, single-person quick access to radiator guard interiors for regular deep cleaning and maintenance.  Each year, Contour save the NHS millions of pounds in cleaning costs, therefore delivering cleaner, safer environments.  Contour is redefining the marketplace and therefore many regards us as a design and innovation leader within the industry.

Contour has a quality-first philosophy. Our customer-focused team possess a ‘can-do attitude, they take pride in developing solutions for your heating requirements.

Contact us at:

The Mansions, 43 Broadway Shifnal

Shropshire TF11 8BB United Kingdom

+44 1952 290 498

Twitter: @Contour_Heating

LinkedIn: Contour Heating Products Ltd