Whilst designed to be extremely robust, anti-ligature products are also intuitive and easy to use, ensuring quick operation for staff in complex or challenging situations. With a range of hardware available, Jamie Johnson, Senior Category Manager at IronmongeryDirect, looks at some key fixtures to consider.
When choosing anti-ligature door hardware, it is important to select products that are crafted from materials such as stainless steel for added strength and durability. As fire safety is paramount in any multi-occupancy building, anti-ligature door hardware must also comply with fire door regulations.
Door closers are an essential part of fire safety to prevent smoke and fire from spreading. However, in psychiatric health and secure accommodation facilities it is vital that they are fully concealed so that they can’t be used as a ligature point. They can also be installed at a low height, thereby reducing the risk of the closer being used as a suspension device.
The Ryobi Transom Door Closer is a robust but discreet alternative to the traditional overhead door closer. Fully concealed within the door, it retains the aesthetic look of the door and also prevents vandalism of the closer. With easy and accurate latching and closing speed adjustment, it’s suitable for single and double action doors.
Enduro Ball Bearing Anti Ligature Tip Hinges are a good option for heavy duty fire doors of up to 120kg. CE marked to conform with health, safety, and environmental protection standards, they also comply with British Standard EN 1935 for hinges on fire-resistant doors, providing they are used with the relevant intumescent pads. The anti-ligature knuckles ensure that the hinge knuckle projection cannot be used as a ligature point.
An Anti-Ligature Lever Door Handle is a crucial component when trying to ensure safety and security. The lever door handle is on a curved rose, which is set at a 45-degree angle. When pressure is applied it falls to 90 degrees (vertical), causing ligatures to slip off. The lever also bolts through the door so that no fixings are visible on the inside of the door. For maximum protection, an Anti-Ligature Escutcheon should also be installed, which is smoothly curved to deter the attachment of ligatures.
For larger doors equipped with door closing devices, the Anti-Ligature Pad Handle has a large diameter which gives sufficient grip to pull the door closed, but is angled top and bottom to prevent the introduction of ligatures.
As coins are generally allowed in mental health facilities, a standard turn and release doorknob is not suitable for bathrooms in these buildings. Therefore, a product like the Anti-Ligature Barricade Turn & Release should be considered. This operates on a specialist key that is held and used by staff and the clutch knob can also prevent barricading.
For bathrooms where towels or garments will need to be hung up, an Anti-Ligature Single Coat Hook is essential. The ‘hook’ is fixed in a ball joint, which is held in place by a spring-loaded ball bearing. It will take the weight of a normal towel, but additional weight will cause it to collapse, releasing any ligature.
Anti-ligature products are a top priority when building or retrofitting mental health facilities or secure units to mitigate risk. Understanding the scope of hardware available will enable you to choose the best solution and achieve the highest levels of safety and security.
Whilst there is no official British Standard for anti-ligature products, they should be tested to comply with the DHF Technical Specification TS001:2013. Products that are compliant with the BS 8300 Equality Act should also be considered in order to meet the needs of disabled people.