Architects and specifiers are continually seeking ways to reduce the risk of self-harm and suicide in custodial settings, and a 136 suite is no different.
Due to the level of vulnerability of the individuals using 136 suites, it’s crucial that furniture, fixtures, fittings and appliances are optimised to maintain safety standards and to provide a comfortable, secure and safe environment.
It’s therefore important to specify products with anti-ligature features to protect all users from the inevitable risks associated with those who have been detained under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.
The mental health of an individual coming into a section 136 suite is often unpredictable, leading to potentially unsafe and sometimes even life-threatening situations.
So, if you’re involved in the design or specification of a Section 136 Suite, this blog will run through anti-ligature solutions to ensure the utmost safety in these specialist environments. Read on to find out more…
Anti-Ligature Features To Minimise Harm
It’s often assumed 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.
Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that all LST radiators or air conditioning units are anti-ligature because they can be floor mounted, flat panelled, or even above head height and ceiling mounted.
To guarantee 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
With these design characteristics, you’ll greatly reduce the potential for service users to tie rope or cord around any ligature points that would be easily accessed with standard grille and casing designs.
Heating Solutions That Can Be Strong And Robust In A Section 136 Suite
You need to keep in mind that, when individuals are looking to self-harm, they probably don’t search for obvious ligature points.
So, it’s not uncommon for furniture in a 136 suite to be subjected to vandalism. Once the furniture has been destructed, they can use the damaged and sharp objects as a weapon to injure themselves or others.
Contour’s LST radiators and air conditioning units 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.
You don’t need us to tell you that inefficient or incorrect specification can cost your client dearly, both in monetary terms and as a result of potential injury, or worse. Therefore, specifying a heating solution that offers strength, longevity and reduced risk of self-harm will be a long-term investment for all parties involved.
At Contour, heating solutions can be made to be bespoke, robust and anti-ligature, providing optimum levels of hygiene.
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.
Contact us at:
The Mansions, 43 Broadway Shifnal
Shropshire TF11 8BB United Kingdom
+44 1952 290 498
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