Contour Heating

Section 136 Suites with Contour

  • 25 Jan 2021

This article sees Contour explain what a 136 suite is, why someone would choose this service and the design requirements for one…

What Is A 136 Suite?

The 136 suite provides safety for individuals who have been arrested under Section 136 of the Mental Health Act by the police following concerns that they are suffering from a mental disorder.

Once these individuals are in the suite, they’re assessed to establish whether they need treatment.

Qualified mental health staff ensure that the needs of the detained person are fully met. 

They work to ensure that the protection and dignity of the individual are preserved until a decision can be made by the assessing team as to which treatment is best for the individual.

Key Features In A 136 Suite

These environments need to provide a sense of safety and calmness in its design because the layout of a room could enhance or restrict feelings of serenity.

The environment they’re in can increase or reduce feelings of physical security, promote/reduce mobility and impact the patients’ mental health.

Why Would Someone Choose This Service?

A 136 suite treat all service users and carers with the upmost dignity and respect during what can be a distressing period.

In the suites, a detained person is seen quickly to avoid needless delays to the assessment process.

The suite is a comfortable environment and has a separate area for carers to relax in.

Contour Heating Solutions For 136 Suites

136 suites are environments that will need to provide security and protection against suicide. 

Therefore, all fittings and fixtures in this suite will need to be anti-ligature to provide the utmost safety for individuals.

An anti-ligature solution is one that prevents anyone from attaching anything to it that could inflict harm to themselves or anyone else (see below).

Minimising Sharp Objects

LST radiators and air conditioning guards can be vandalised to the point where it has sharp objects that can be used to cause self-harm. In these environments, strong and robust heating is essential to avoid vandalism.

Strong And Robust

Contour’s LST radiators and air conditioning guards can be manufactured with 2-3mm Zintec Steel for a solid guard, if required, additional strengthening struts can be added too.

Small Grilles

Grilles in a radiator or air conditioning guard must be small so that there isn’t the risk of something being tied to cause harm. 

Contour’s LST radiators and air conditioning guards can be made with IP3X grilles to ensure the grilles are anti-ligature and nothing can be attached in between.

No Gaps Or Joints

A fully-sealed air conditioning guard or LST radiator with no gaps or joints can provide security for individuals at a 136 suite.

Contour ensure there’s no gaps or joints within anti-ligature heating solutions to avoid opportunities for objects to be placed or wedged in.

No Sharp Edges And Bullnose Corners

Although this might sound obvious, it’s useful to keep in mind. An air conditioning guard or LST radiator with any sharp elements could be used for self-harm or as a weapon.

Bullnose corners are corners that are rounded, an air conditioning guard or LST radiators with this feature will provide a smooth edge. This is useful to reduce ligature and accidental injury when passing.

Anti-Ligature Solutions For A 136 Suite

It’s important to understand the state of mind that users are likely to be in when they’re detained and placed in a Section 136 suite. 

Aggression, fear and confusion will most likely be driving the behaviours of these individuals, which is why anti-ligature products are a key consideration. 

Radiators and air conditioning (AC) guards within 136 suites should be designed to be extremely difficult for an individual to use the appliance as a ligature risk.

It’s easy to assume that ligature risks take place above head-height. Whilst this is true, studies show around 50% of hanging suicides are not fully suspended—ligature points below head level are commonly used.

These points may come from less obvious places, like a radiator or an AC unit. 

We recommend there to be no gaps or joints within heating solutions and for grilles to be IP3X to avoid anything being tied between them.

Having bull-nosed, rounded corners and no sharp edges need to also be considered to avoid harm to individuals and other service users.

Built To Withstand Vandalism

Vandalism is something that is a common occurrence of prisoners and this is no different in 136 suites. These acts of vandalism can lead to individuals using furniture to break ‘weak points’ in walls.

Heating solutions can also be then vandalised to create sharp points that can be used for self-harm or to cause injury to others.

Therefore, it’s important to search for a radiator guard or AC unit that’s strong and robust to withstand such damage.

Zintec steel material is a strong solution to protect heating from vandalism, damage, and corrosion.

Heating Efficiency In Section 136 Suites

Various traditional radiators operate on a pipe coil system, which has several downsides from a design and efficiency perspective.

Often obtrusive and unattractive, pipe coil systems use far more water due to its wide diameter pipe, in comparison to an anti-ligature radiator-which operates on a much smaller section of pipework,  taking up less space.

Anti-ligature radiators can work to reduce the need for radiators to operate for lengthy periods and therefore, can heat up quicker.

Optimise Hygiene Levels

As we all have increasingly become more aware of the hygiene practices we follow, we can understand the importance of cleanliness in any given environment.

Due to 136 suites having high patient turnover with individuals only staying for short periods, suites need to be regularly cleaned to reduce the spread of infection.

Therefore, radiators and air conditioning guards must have easy access for cleaning and maintenance to ensure hygiene is maintained for each service user.


A 136 suite’s main purpose is to offer safety and security to individuals that are arrested under the Section 136 of the Mental Health Act.

Many design features need to be considered to provide this level of safety and this included the heating solutions too.

Contour can supply and manufacture anti-ligature LST radiators and air conditioning guards to meet the security levels of a 136 suite.

Contour’s anti-ligature solutions are designed with IP3X grilles to ensure there are no ligature risks.

With bull-nosed corners, rounded edges, no sharp points, and being made with Zintec steel the radiators and AC units are solid and robust to avoid harm to all service users.

With Contour, hygiene is carried-out with easy access for cleaning and maintenance. Covers can drop-down effortlessly. To drive hygiene further, BioCote® anti-microbial protection is introduced at the manufacturing stage.

This unique, patented additive provides an effective, safe and long-lasting solution to combatting a wide range of dangerous bacteria, including MRSA and E.coli.

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

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