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Mar 11 2011

Anti-Ligature Levers

Category: Locks & KeysLori @ 2:10 pm Comments (11)

Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States, with over 31,000 people taking their life annually.  1,500 suicides occur annually in hospitals (1); it is also the leading cause of death while incarcerated (2). Ligature strangulation (hanging) is the primary means used to end one’s life in these environments.

When I posted about Schlage’s anti-ligature knob many of you asked about a lever version, and Schlage has now introduced an anti-ligature lever option for the L9000 mortise lock.  The Schlage SL1 lever, SK1 knob, anti-ligature cylinder ring and thumbturn can be used along with Ives anti-ligature hinges to minimize the risks of self-inflicted injury on doors in health care and detention occupancies.

Things you should know…

  • Anti-ligature trim is designed with minimal seams, angled surfaces, and concealed or recessed fasteners.
  • Schlage anti-ligature trim is available in 630 satin stainless steel or 630AM satin stainless anti-microbial finishes.
  • The SL1 lever has a built-in clutch that allows it to swing down when excessive force is applied and then be reset by returning the lever to the normal position.
  • The lever and thumbturn meet the requirements for the ADA and other accessibility standards.
  • Schlage anti-ligature trim meets the requirements for the Buy American Act (BAA).
  • Templating for the door prep does not change, and conversion kits are available to convert existing Schlage mortise locks to anti-ligature trim.
  • Most functions are available – order by specifying L9000 series locks with either SL1 (levers) or SK1 (knobs) in the handle field, and XL12-482 (levers) or XL11-000 (knobs) in the option field.
  • Available for 1-3/4″ thick doors with sectional trim only (no escutcheon trim).
  • The SL1 anti-ligature levers will begin shipping in May 2011; the SK1 knob and thumbturn/cylinder are available now.

Whole Building Design Guide, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences
Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities: Edition 4.1, by David Sine and James Hunt
Common Mistakes in Designing Psychiatric Facilities, American Institute of Architects (AIA)
The epidemiology and prevention of suicide by hanging: a systematic review, International Journal of Epidemiology

References:  1 – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 – US Dept of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, Mortality in Local Jails 2000-2007.



11 Responses to “Anti-Ligature Levers”

  1. Ken Adkisson says:

    Hi, Lori. Thanks again for your work on this website.
    Question: On the SL1 anti-ligature…if the lever is forced downward and not reset to the horizontal position, will that allow the lever to act as a hook for…you know…a lime of some type hooked on the downward pointing lever and over the top of the door to the inside with a noose on the end. I’m guessing this was tested but i was try to understand how the lever, if forced downward would not act as a hook. Maybe you or someone else can help my feeble mind picture this.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Ken –

      I haven’t seen a sample of the lever yet but when I do I’ll check it out and see what happens when you put something around it when it’s in the vertical position. There is no hardware that’s completely suicide-proof…someone could loop a line around anything and shut the door. That’s why products like the Door Switch are becoming a more common part of the package. I’ll let you know how it goes when we receive our sample in May.

  2. Chuck Park says:

    I work for a very large NY metro area medical center which has a full service psychiatric hospital. All of the patient accessible areas now have anti-ligature hardware, and the entire building will have A-L hardware eventually.
    Its good to see another A-L option.

    • Lori says:

      Hi Chuck –

      Thanks for the comment…let me know if you want to try a sample of the lever once it’s available in May and I’ll have our Metro-NYC office get in touch with you.

    • Monica Nunez says:

      I agree with Lori, unfortunately no hardware is completely suicide proof because even the door can be used as a ligature point. The Door Switch or Top Door Alarm are definitely of great assistance considering that the lever design could be defeated via transverse attachment of shoe laces/cords/etc presenting opportunities for self harm.

      Chuck, I’m not sure if you’ve had the opportunity to read Jim Hunt’s “Design Guide for the Built Environment of Behavioral Health Facilities” (listed in the resources section of this article) but he does a fantastic job showing all hardware options available.

  3. Uriah says:

    I recently saw the SL1 at the ASHE trade show in Seattle. On the sample that was there, when you locked the door using the interior turnpiece the exterior lever became rigid. It did not move up or down. How is this considered ligature resistant? Especially considering Town Steel and Stanley have options that remain free moving in the up and down directions even when the door is locked.

    I will also add that Stanley has an Over-The-Door Alarm called the SEDA (Stanley Emergency Door Alarm). I believe they were the first to offer this technology and seem to be leading the way in offering several solutions into the behavioral health market.

  4. German says:

    What is the most common type of lock in psyche facilities? I believe its the push/pull lock , but can anyone tell me for sure and a good research reference point.

  5. Ron says:

    Can anyone tell me were to purchase only the SL1 handles, I already have the Schlage L9000 series locks with the Glynn Johnson push pull handles

    • Lori says:

      Hi Ron –

      You can check with the local Allegion office – I’m not sure where in NY you’re located, so here is the info for both:

      SSC – Great Lakes
      1169 Pittsford Victor Rd Bldg 3, Ste 250
      Pittsford, NY 14534
      Phone: 585-248-1520
      Fax: 585-381-1509

      SSC – Metro New York
      299 Cherry Hill Rd
      Parsippany, NJ 07054
      Phone: 973-299-3100
      Fax: 914-747-4040

      – Lori

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