When purchasing commercial door hardware for psychiatric institutions, detention centers, and other buildings where the life safety of the detainee is the primary concern, anti-ligature locks are a must. Anti-ligature locks can be effective and safe, preventing people from using the lock to inflict harm on themselves. These locks are an essential piece of institution and detention center hardware.
What is Anti-Ligature?
The word ligature refers to something that is used for tying or binding, such as a shoe lace or cord. When it comes to institutional door hardware and other places where the risk for self-injury is high, you need a door lock with the least ligature points as possible, preventing the detainee from being able to tie something to the lock and harm him or herself using the hardware. These locks are a strong preventative measure from the most common type of suicide with ligature; asphyxiation. Standard door locks typically have notches or protrusions that allow somebody to attach cords or lines to the lockset, thus causing potential self-injury. Anti-ligature locks are the most effective way to prevent this and other potentially fatal actions.
Anti-ligature Lock Safety and Design
When it comes to institutional or detention center hardware, the safety of both the staff and the detainee are very important. Anti-ligature locks are carefully crafted to reduce and substantially eliminate any ligature points that might result in self-harm or worse, fatality. The knob and lever both have a cone shape or tapered type handle which is easy to grip, but very difficult to try and attach any laces, lines, or cords. The handle is also recessed into the rose, which further reduces ligature points. These locks are designed to withstand high abuse by typically having a stainless steel construction, minimal internal parts, and locking mechanisms to prevent the handle from being removed and used as a weapon. Some locks even have a blocking plate to protect in cases where the handle might be removed and the internal components used as ligature points or otherwise. When it comes to institutional facility doors and life safety, these locks are a great way to accomplish the safety and security necessary.
Anti-Ligature Lock Types
Anti-ligature door locks are typically grade 1, heavy-duty, available in two main application types; cylindrical and mortise with two handle styles; lever and knob. There are a multitude of functions to select from, such as, passage, bathroom, privacy, office, storeroom, and classroom, but many others are also available. The cylinder types most commonly available are Schlage standard keyed cylinders or Interchangeable core/cylinders to accept an interchangeable core. However, other keyways can be sometimes be matched if necessary. Anti-ligature locks are growing in popularity and quickly becoming the standard in psychiatric and detention settings. You can now find these ligature resistant locks readily available from manufacturers such as, Marks, Townsteel, Sargent, Corbin Russwin, Stanley-Best, Schlage and others.