When considering the right air conditioning unit for a mental health environment, several factors are at play.
Firstly, a safe environment is essential where the element of ‘risk’ is minimised or reduced. Behaviours in mental health facilities are often unpredictable, which could lead to dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening situations. So, it’s important to design a space with minimal risk.
Secondly, aesthetic is key. Research suggests that the design of mental health settings can reduce stress and aggression amongst service users. Therefore, creating an environment that’s calm and relaxed is advised.
In this blog we’ll discuss how air conditioning guards are useful for mental health units…
Key Features That Are Useful
Service users in mental health units need a sense of belonging and designs about the design can enhance or restrict these feelings. The environment they’re in can increase or reduce feelings of physical security, promote/reduce mobility and impact the patients’ health.
Therefore, the key features are anti-ligature, edges and corners, strength, grilles and having no gaps or joints.
Anti-Ligature Air Conditioning Guards
Having an anti-ligature air conditioning guard will minimise the risk of an individual attaching anything to the guard that could inflict harm to themselves or anyone else.
When choosing an air conditioning guard, consider where there may be any ligature points.
No Sharp Edges And Bullnose Corners
Although this may be obvious, it’s definitely useful to keep in mind. An air conditioning guard with any sharp element could be used for self-harm or as a weapon to hurt other service users. It also can damage the air conditioning unit underneath.
Bullnose corners are corners that are rounded, an air conditioning guard with this feature will provide a smooth edge. This is useful to reduce ligature and accidental injury when passing.
Strong And Robust
We recommend a strong guard to protect a potentially expensive air conditioning unit. Zintec protected steel in various gauges from 1.5mm up to 2mm ensures the guards are solid and tough.
Something we’ve done in the past in a mental health unit is provide a strengthening strut to maximise the strength of the guard.
Large grilles can pose ligature risks and can be used to place weapons to hurt other individuals. We recommend IP3X grilles to ensure the grilles are anti-ligature and nothing can be attached into them.
No Gaps Or Joints
A fully sealed air conditioning guard with no gaps or joints is useful to fully protect the air conditioning guard and all service users at mental health units.
For individuals who are looking to damage appliances, you should look to avoid any opportunities for objects to be placed or wedged in any joins within the design.
Our air conditioning guards at Contour are fully bespoke, anti-ligature, sealed, strong and can protect expensive air conditioning units to maximise their life span and to keep all service users safe in a mental health unit.
These features will provide patients with a comfortable environment that minimises harm and injuries.
When working within sensitive and caring environments, we believe that you can’t afford to compromise on any key features. If you’d like to discuss how to achieve an environment with safety and quality in mind, we’d love to hear from you.