Creating Safe Spaces: Essential Features of Products for Mental Healthcare Facilities 


As therapeutic spaces for individuals in need of extended care, mental healthcare facility designs are meant to promote the safety and recovery of their service users. 


 To achieve that, you’ll need careful attention to the design goals and considerations of a mental healthcare facility. Certain mental health products, such as specialised TV cabinets and heating systems, are essential components that contribute to the overall well-being of the service users. 


 We have explored how facility design supports recovery and influences patients' mental well-being. In this blog, we will focus on safety features you should find in mental health products to mitigate the risk of self-harm and establish a secure environment for residents. 


Self-Harm Prevention and Minimising Safety Risks 


The primary objective of incorporating safety features and self-harm resistance designs in mental healthcare facilities is to eliminate any potential risks of self-harm and create a safe space for everyone in the facility. This approach not only ensures the protection of patients but also acknowledges the well-being of healthcare staff, allowing them to concentrate on providing high-quality care without undue concern for potential hazards. 

 specialist safe heating design for mental healthcare facilities

Essential Safety Design Features in Mental Health Products 

Anti-Ligature Grilles 


While heating systems are integral to maintaining a comfortable environment in mental healthcare facilities, conventional radiators that are not purposefully designed for mental healthcare settings can inadvertently become ligature points that pose a risk for self-harm among patients. Specialised radiator covers equipped with anti-ligature grilles can eliminate such risks.  


anti-ligature grilles

The anti-ligature grilles should adhere to specific standards, such as the IP3X, outlined in the BSEN 60529. Grilles featuring 2mm holes at 4mm centres in a triangulated pattern can effectively prevent the insertion of objects larger than 2.5mm in diameter, such as cords, wires, and shoelaces, significantly mitigating the potential for ligature-related risks. 


Sloping Top Design 


It's always recommended to choose radiator covers with a sloped top design as a proactive step to mitigate self-harm. This design discourages individuals from using them as climbing aids, preventing unauthorised access to elevated areas and minimising the potential for injurious falls. This simple yet strategic design modification can have a significant impact on patient safety, effectively reducing the likelihood of self-harm incidents. 


Full Frame Design with Anti-Pick Mastic Sealing 


It's important to keep gaps and joints minimum in the design of your choice of mental health products and heating system components, especially in highly secure mental health settings, as even a small 2mm gap can become a potential stash point.   


This can be achieved through a full frame design and anti-pick mastic sealing. It could deter patients from tampering with these vulnerable points, which could otherwise be exploited for creating stash points or concealment of contraband, to maintain the safety of both the service users and your staff.  

 specialist safe heating design for mental healthcare facilities

Bespoke Sizing  


Another strategic approach to reducing gaps and joints, particularly relevant to heating systems, is bespoke sizing. Customising the dimensions of heating system elements ensures a snug fit, leaving no room for the concealment of medications or any prohibited items. That eradicates the possibility of stash points and significantly enhances overall security measures. 


Elimination of Weaponised Loose Parts 


Any mental health products with exposed wall and floor fixing points present a critical security concern, as they can be dismantled and potentially wielded as weapons by service users. This poses a risk of self-harm or harm to others within the facility, including staff and fellow residents.  


Incorporating secure locks and internal fixings prevents such attempts, helps to uphold the integrity of the space and contributes significantly to maintaining a secure and safe environment within the facility. 


Anti-Microbial & Ease of Cleaning 


Maintaining a clean and hygienic environment is fundamental to curbing the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) within your facility. Incorporating anti-microbial features into essential components like heating system design, alongside the integration of easy cleaning designs prevents the buildup of bacteria. This is particularly useful when handling "dirty protests" and preventing hygiene problems caused by deferred maintenance.  

 easy access radiator


Antimicrobial additives, such as silver-based technologies, will work continuously to inhibit microbial growth once added to the coating. The antimicrobial property offers an additional layer of protection to reduce the risk of service users contracting infectious diseases.   


Importance Of Safety Design Features 


A healing environment for mental healthcare patients hinges on safety and security. Elements like material selection, fixture placement, and design features all collectively contribute to this foundation. The inclusion of anti-ligature grilles, slope top designs, full frame structures, bespoke sizing, secure locks, and antimicrobial properties will enhance patient well-being and relieve healthcare staff of potential hazards. 


Specialised Safe Heating For Mental Health Facilities: DeepClean Extra 


DeepClean Extra is a specialist range of heating solutions designed and engineered to minimise the risk of self-harm and for installation in secure environments, such as mental health facilities, prisons, SEN Schools, custody and remand units. 


 Removing potential tamper opportunities and ligature points in locations such as these, are key considerations. The anti-ligature design incorporates IP3X-rated grilles tested by a UKAS-accredited laboratory and certified to protect against the ingress of objects greater than 2.5mm in diameter. Anti-ligature TRV kits are also available to allow service users to take control of their heating to increase comfort levels. 


Get in touch today and book a free consultation with one of our heating experts to discuss anti-ligature heating solutions for your facilities.     

specialist safe heating design for mental healthcare facilities