Architects and specifiers are continually seeking ways to reduce the risk of self-harm and suicide in custodial settings, and a Section 136 Suite is no different, as Contour explains here…
Due to the level of vulnerability of the individuals using 136 suites, it is vital that furniture, fixtures, fittings and appliances are optimised to maintain safety standards and to provide a comfortable, secure and safe environment.
Therefore, it is necessary 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 piece contains anti-ligature solutions to ensure the utmost safety in these specialist environments.
It is 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 is essential to ensure 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:
– for small grilles, IP3X rated grilles are recommended
– no large gaps between product and wall – (if wall secured)
– minimal gaps or joints
– no sharp edges
– bullnose, rounded corners
– security locks and fixings
With these design characteristics, you will 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.
You need to keep in mind that, when individuals are looking to self-harm, they probably do not search for obvious ligature points.
So, it is 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.
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.
Contour can be contacted at;
Tel: 01952 290 498
Email: [email protected]
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