Selecting Radiators for High Secure Mental Health Units

Psychiatric intensive care units (PICU) are dedicated wards for adult inmates to provide inpatient mental health care assessment and full treatment to individuals who are experiencing severe mental disorders.

PICUs are designed to look after patients who cannot be managed on open psychiatric wards due to the level of risk the patient poses to themselves or others.

With this in mind, architects and specifiers must seek ways to ensure a PICU is as secure and comfortable as possible.

Read on to find out more about selecting radiators in PICU’s…


Anti-Ligature Radiators That Offer Durability For High-Secure Mental Health Hospitals

Selecting Radiators for High Secure Mental Health Units


Due to the high risk of vandalism, self-harm, and inflicted injuries to others – specifiers should consider a radiator that offers the durability and ligature mitigation to withstand the demands of these environments.

When vandalism occurs, users can destruct a heating solution – or any fixture - until there are sharp objects or exposed ligatures, causing a significant risk to staff and Service Users alike.

High-Secure Mental Health Environments Have Changed

It’s important to understand that over the past few years, high-secure mental health facilities have changed, with many now offering more freedom to Service Users. This has involved giving Users more access to personal belongings and more control over their comfort.

Whilst this added independence may improve morale in such a facility, it does create more opportunities for Users to carry out acts of vandalism and self-harm.

Bottom line: what was once considered an appropriately robust radiator or guard may need evaluating to ensure it meets the challenges that modern-day PICUs face.

As service users are bringing more belongings into high-secure mental health units, they are finding more ways to vandalise furniture to inflict self-harm or injury to others.

Behaviour in a PICU can be unpredictable and, therefore, can lead to potentially unsafe situations. To protect all service users, you should search for an anti-ligature radiator that is made from 1.5-2mm Zintec steel, and for maximum defence, you can search for a 3mm Zintec steel solution.

It’s important to consider that strengthening struts can be added to increase durability too.


Anti-Ligature Radiators In PICU’s

Selecting Radiators for High Secure Mental Health Units

Architects and specifiers are constantly searching for ways to reduce the risk of self-harm and suicide in custodial settings, and it’s especially important for PICU’s.

Due to the unpredictable nature of the individuals in PICU’s, it’s key that furniture, fixtures, fittings and appliances are optimised to maintain safety standards and to provide a comfortable, secure, and safe environment.

It’s often believed 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 guarantee all ligature risks are minimised, 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

As service users gather their belongings, risks increase in storing contraband in stash points. With anti-ligature radiators, the risk of stash points will be significantly reduced to further protect all users.


To ensure security in PICU’s as a specifier or an architect – you must search for an anti-ligature radiator that is built to withstand vandalism and has minimised ligature risks.

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 to provide additional depth and protection.

For anti-ligature features, Contour’s radiators can be anti-ligature with safe edges and IP3x grilles to reduce injuries.

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