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.
When designing a living environment for PICUs, many factors are at play.
Firstly, you have the challenge of creating a safe environment where the element of risk is greatly reduced. Behaviours in PICUs are often unpredictable, which could lead to dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening situations.
Secondly, aesthetics is important. Research suggests that the design of high-secure mental health settings can reduce stress and aggression amongst service users. When designing a PICU, attention must be placed on creating a calm, pleasant atmosphere.
Today we’ll be exploring what makes the best radiator covers for PICUs. Read on to find out more…
Anti-Ligature Radiators Covers For High-Secure Mental Health Hospitals
An anti-ligature product reduces the risk of an individual attaching anything to it that could inflict harm to themselves or anyone else.
When choosing a radiator cover, we recommend that you always be conscious of whether there are any or potential ligature points.
Here are anti-ligature features you’ll need to consider:
No Sharp Edges
This one seems a little obvious, but it’s worth running your hand along with the whole cover, including the bottom, back, and sides.
Any sharp element could be used to self-harm individuals or other service users in PICUs. Moreover, sharp/jagged edges could be used to inflict further damage to the cover.
Sharp parts of a radiator cover can also be created by grilles that are placed over the ‘fold’ of the radiator cover. When someone aggressively runs their skin along a fold that contains grilles, it could act as a self-harming tool.
Bullnose Corners And Robust Edges
This goes hand in hand with having no sharp edges, but rounded edges and bullnose corners are excellent features to look out for when looking for a radiator cover for a PICU.
For PICUs we recommend 1.5 – 3mm thick Zintec steel because these high-secure mental health environments can be notorious for being vandalised.
This will provide you with the quality and longevity that is required in mental health environments. A product that is less likely to get damaged is something worth noting. 1.5mm metal might not seem like a lot, but when compared to a 1.2mm casing, the difference is substantial.
Small grilles are necessary to ensure grilles aren’t large enough for individuals to tie something around to inflict harm. It’s important that you search for radiator covers that have small grilles.
We recommend you select a full-framed design with minimal gaps on joints. 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.
Whilst we understand that it’s virtually impossible to create zero gaps between the cover and wall-particularly when larger radiator covers are required - you should always seek ways to reduce frame to wall gaps as much as possible.
Look to see if installers use ‘anti-pick mastic’. Anti-pick is specifically designed for providing a fingerpick resistant seal, accommodating small movement for areas where a normal sealant is not hard enough.
Considering Aesthetics In PICUs?
It goes without saying that the safety of a radiator cover outweighs the aesthetics…
However, a radiator cover that is both safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing makes for an effective all-around product.
A calm, visually pleasing environment can positively impact service users’ mental wellbeing. Therefore, appliances such as radiator covers should be designed to fit in with the environment’s overall aesthetic.
When selecting the best radiator covers for your environment, we recommend that you don’t compromise on the aesthetics. Choose an option that is bespoke to your needs.
Click here to download Contour’s colour psychology eBook.
Explore a range of colour options. Discuss a range of sizing options.
There are a lot of considerations when choosing the best radiator covers for PICUs. When working within sensitive and caring environments, we believe that you can’t afford to compromise on any key features.
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
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