Why Do You Need Anti-Ligature Radiators For PICUs?

Why Do You Need Anti-Ligature Radiators For PICUs?

Posted by Richard Holland on 12 May 2021 16:27:16 BST

Why Do You Need Anti-Ligature Radiators For PICUs
A Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) is used when adults immediate risk to their self or others is so great that they cannot be safely managed in a general adolescent unit or a high dependency unit.

A PICU aims to provide a safe and therapeutic intervention with a level of security that is directly linked to the level of risk.

Behaviour within PICU can be unpredictable, this can affect the facilities that you specify and could make the difference between an unsafe PICU and a correctional facility that promotes rehabilitation and reformation.

Read on to find out why you’ll need anti-ligature radiators for PICUs…


How High-Secure Health Hospitals Have Changed

Over the past few years, high-secure mental health facilities have changed, with many now offering more freedom to Service Users. This means patients have more access to their personal belongings and more control over their comforts.

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


Managing Behaviour In High Secure Mental Health Units

In PICUs it’s essential that institutions push positive reinforcement because this can impact the behaviour that’s exhibited by patients.

Contour’s anti-ligature solutions deliver several benefits that enable PICU staff to positively manage patient behaviours.

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Meeting the demands within PICUs

Due to the high risk of damage, self-harm, and inflicted injuries to others. 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.

Therefore, specifiers should consider a radiator that offers the durability and ligature mitigation to withstand the demands of these environments.


Anti-Ligature Radiators In PICUs

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.


It’s important to consider that not all suicide risk comes from ligature points above head-height, studies have found that suicides can occur when ligature points are below the head or even at waist height.

Therefore, it’s necessary to select a radiator that’s anti-ligature to keep all individuals secure and comfortable.

To assure that all ligature risks are lessened, 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.



As a specifier or architect, you must search for an anti-ligature radiator that is built to withstand vandalism and has reduced ligature risks.

For safety, 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.

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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, 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

Topics: PICU