When designing a living environment for psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) many factors are at play, as Contour explain here…
Firstly, you have the challenge of creating a safe environment that greatly reduces the element of risk. Behaviours in PICUs are often unpredictable, which could lead to dangerous and sometimes even life-threatening situations.
Secondly, aesthetics is important. Research suggests the design of high-secure mental health settings can reduce stress and aggression amongst service users. When designing a PICU, place attention on creating a calm, pleasant atmosphere.
Contour explores what makes the best radiator covers for PICUs…
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, Contour recommends you always be conscious of whether there are any or potential ligature points.
Here are anti-ligature features you’ll need to consider:
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 inflict further damage to the cover.
Grilles over the ‘fold’ of the radiator cover can create sharp parts. When someone aggressively runs their skin along a fold that contains grilles, it could act as a self-harming tool.
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, Contour recommends 1.5 – 3mm thick Zintec steel, because these high-secure mental health environments can be notorious for falling victim to vandalism.
This will provide you with the necessary quality and longevity for mental health environments. A product that is less likely to incur damage is something worth noting. 1.5mm metal might not seem like a lot, but in comparison 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 to look for radiator covers that have small grilles.
Contour recommends you select a full-framed design with minimal gaps on joints.
Whilst 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 provides a fingerpick resistant seal, accommodating small movement for areas where a normal sealant is not hard enough.
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, Contour recommends 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, Contour believes you can’t afford to compromise on any key features.
If you’d like to discuss how to achieve an environment with safety and quality in mind, Contour looks forward to hearing from you.
Contour can be contacted at;
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]
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