Section 136 Suites: Achieving A Calm Environment

The mental wellbeing of individuals entering a Section 136 Suite is often unpredictable, and therefore due to the vulnerability of these individuals – a suite must be a calm environment because unsafe conditions could be life-threatening to individuals.

For this reason, architects and specifiers must seek ways to ensure all ligature risks are minimised.

If you’re involved in the design or specification of a section 136 suite, this blog will run through how you can achieve a calm environment…


Minimising Ligatures Risks In Section 136 Suites

When individuals seek to self-harm, they don’t look for apparent ligature points. In fact, it’s commonly believed that suicide risk comes from ligature points that are above head height.

However, studies have found that suicides can, unfortunately, happen where ligature points have been below the head or even at waist height.

Also, It’s not unheard of that section 136 suites can be subject to vandalism. Once the furniture has been destructed, the damaged and sharp objects can be used as weapons to cause harm to themselves or others.

For these reasons, its essential to search for a heating solution whether that’s an LST radiator or an air conditioning guard that’s anti-ligature that follow these characteristics:

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

With these design characteristics in place, you’ll significantly minimise ligature risks and the potential for vandalism to create a calm environment.

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Section 136 Suites: Reducing The Risks Of Stash Points

Stash points may not be a serious area of concern because individuals are searched before they enter a suite and, in most cases, they’ll only be staying for a short period of time.

Though, despite the level of search that takes place, contraband such as drugs, mobile phones, and weapons are items that can be found in stash points.

This is because it’s not unusual for a conventional section 136 suite to have uncovered pipework running along the perimeter of the room. This causes a range of opportunities for individuals to stash contraband.

With Contour’s pipe boxing, the exposed pipework is fully compressed by a 2mm Zintec steel casing, making it highly effective at stopping individuals within section 136 suites from stashing contraband around the pipework.


Hygiene Considerations For Section 136 Suites

It’s imperative to specify for a heating solution that promotes a hygienic environment to keep all service users comfortable because section 136 suites are designed to provide a ‘place of safety’.

Hygiene is especially important for environments that may be subjected to dirty protests where urine, vomit, blood, and faeces are smeared over walls, ceilings, and floors, and is a frequent act of vandalism in many custodial settings.

When an individual decides to urinate or defecate without the use of appropriate facilities, it can pose a significant health risk to other’s who are exposed to it.

Tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis C are just some of the risks to staff and other service users during a dirty protest. It’s therefore essential that appropriate cleaning practices are carried out safely and effectively.

Having LST radiators or air conditioning guards with hinges will allow them to drop down, providing easy access for operatives to clean properly to get rid of the dust and dirt that builds up over time – providing section 136 suites with safer environments.

Contour’s LST radiators and air conditioning guards allow for easy access for cleaning with drop-down features to clean inside and around the heating solution to maximise the hygiene in a section 136 suite.


Heating solutions that minimise ligature threats, reduce the risk of stash points and are hygienic all contribute to calm environments that Section 136 suits must be to provide comfortable settings.

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.

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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 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.