Contour: Section 136 Suites – Achieving A Calm Environment

  • 4 Jun 2021

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

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

If you have an involvement in the design or specification of a section 136 suite, Contour run through how you can achieve a calm environment below…


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 suicides can 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. Upon the destruction of the furniture, damaged and sharp objects can be used as weapons to cause harm to themselves or others.

Therefore, it’s essential to search for an LST radiator or air conditioning guard that’s anti-ligature and follows these characteristics…

 – Has small grilles (IP3X rated grilles is the recommendation)
 – (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.

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. In most cases, they’ll only be staying for a short period of time.

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

This is because a conventional section 136 suite can 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, This makes 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. This is 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 subject to dirty protests. This is where urine, vomit, blood, and faeces are smeared over walls, ceilings, and floors. 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 service users during a dirty protest. It’s therefore vital 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.

Click here to request a quote. If you need any other design guidance for Section 136 suites, phone 01952 290 498.

Contour can be contacted at;
The Mansions
43 Broadway
TF11 8BB
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]

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