Due to the level of vulnerability of individuals using section 136 suites, furniture, fixtures, and fittings must be optimised to maintain safety standards to provide a secure environment.
Therefore, it’s vital for architects and specifiers to seek ways to ensure there is a reduced risk of self-harm and suicide in 136 suites with anti-ligature products to protect all users that have been detained under the Section 136 of Mental Health Act.
Those that enter a section 136 suite may be vulnerable and their mental health is often unpredictable, this means that unsafe conditions could be life-threatening for this individual.
If you’re involved in the design of specification of a section 136 suite, this blog will run through ligature risks that need to be minimised to provide the utmost safety, read on to find out more…
Minimising Ligatures To Reduce Harm
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.
Another thing to keep in mind is that when individuals seek to self-harm, they don’t look for obvious ligature points.
With standard grilles and casing designs, there are a series of ligature risks. To assure all anti-ligature risks are minimised, you should look at a heating solution 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
- Use anti-pick mastic to seal to wall and cover any potential gaps
With these design characteristics in place, you’ll significantly minimise the potential for service users to tie rope or cord around any ligature points.
Searching For An Anti-Ligature Solution?
It’s not unheard of that Section 136 suites can be subject to vandalism. Once furniture has been destructed, the damaged and sharp objects run risks of being used as weapons to cause harm to themselves or to others.
Contour’s anti-ligature LST radiators and air conditioning guards are available in Zintec protected steel in gauges ranging from 1.5mm to 2mm to provide you with the assurance that your heating solution is strong and robust in avoiding vandalism and injury.
For more high-risk environments, Contour can provide you with a strengthening strut to assist the front of the cover for maximum strength.
Minimising ligature risks in the section 136 suite that you specify can save money and severe injury to service users.
Specifying a heating solution that offers durability, strength, and a lessened risk of self-harm will be a long-term investment for your client.
Click here to request a quote, or if you need any other design guidance for Section 136 suites, don’t hesitate to get in touch today on +44 (0) 1952 290 498.
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 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.