An entire book could be written on the number and nature of occupational hazards that surround institutional fixtures, from furniture to plumbing, even extending to what inmates and occupants have access to during the course of a day.
One manufacturer, Acorn Engineering, is doing its part to help improve safety and increase the quality of life for those living and working in institutional settings. Many of Acorn Engineering’s plumbing products, specifically, are ligature resistant.
What Is a Ligature Resistant Fixture?
A ligature resistant fixture is, broadly, a fixture, such as a faucet or a showerhead, that resists a ligature.
What is a ligature? It is a device, often improvised, that serves to bind two objects. A ligature could be a rope, a chain, a cord, or even a twisted-up sheet or towel. Basically, anything that can be used in the capacity of a rope can be considered a ligature.
Ligature-resistant fixtures are those that are resistant to having things “tied” or bound to them in any way. Oftentimes, ligature-resistant fixtures lack sharp corners or angles, and do not have any holes that a ligature could be passed through. By and large, they are rounded and lack sharp features.
Basically, the function of ligature-resistant fixtures is to prevent anything from being attached to them. Since all institutions have plumbing of some sort and occupants interact with these fixtures, in some settings it is imperative that fixtures such as toilets, showerheads, and faucets be ligature resistant.
The question remains – why?
Why Does It Matter?
The main hazard in institutional settings, primarily those for rehabilitation, comes from the behavioral risks that those there pose to themselves.
The unfortunate truth is that every year, people around the country (and the world) take their lives by suicide, often by asphyxiation or hanging.
Fixtures like doorknobs and sinks serve as an unfortunate attachment point for ligatures used for these purposes. Eliminating all such features in an institutional setting can help mitigate this risk.
Even more, unfortunately, there are no hard figures on the number of lives that are lost this way each year. However, there are many troubling statistics.
For example, a 2018 publication from the National Center for Health Statistics indicated that suicides increased every year from 2000 to 2016. What’s more troubling is that a separate report found that a majority of these suicides were carried out through suffocation or hanging.
Institutional procedures, intervention, and supervision can go a long way towards mitigating the risks that patients and inmates pose to themselves, but the final safeguard to prevent such an unfortunate occurrence comes in the form of ligature-resistant fixtures, such as furnishings and plumbing fixtures.
Acorn Engineering Is Making a Difference
One company, Acorn Engineering, is going above and beyond to create plumbing fixtures that are specifically designed to prevent the attachment of ligatures.
Their product portfolio includes but is not limited to:
● Lav-Toilet Combys
● Lavatories, including security lavatories with rounded corners
● Showers and showerheads
● Drinking fountains and bottle fillers
As well as a variety of ligature resistant plumbing accessories, such as”
● Soap dishes
● Toilet paper holders
Ligature-resistant Acorn Engineering plumbing products are developed with “universal design principles” in mind, prioritizing building aesthetics, mental health, safety, and accessibility.
Where Can You Find Acorn Engineering Plumbing Products
Ligature-resistant Acorn Engineering plumbing products are some of the highest quality fixtures on the market. If you’re looking for a wide selection of repair parts at great prices, visit Quality Plumbing Supply at QualityPlumbingSupply.com.
If you have any questions about their products or are looking for a specific part, please feel free to reach out to them at [email protected].