When retrofitting a mortise lock to ligature resistant knobs or levers, the mortise lock must be equipped with the same style of hardware. For example, a mortise lock designed for levers has a stronger return spring force to insure that the levers will return to a horizontal position after each use. Installing knobs on this type of mortise lock can result in knobs being difficult to turn in order to retract the latch. If ligature resistant levers are installed in a mortise lock which was designed for knobs, the levers may eventually droop and possibly hold the latch in a retracted position.
When retrofitting ligature resistant levers to existing mortise locks, consider lever rotation. To be effective, a mortise lock must allow enough rotation to at least disengage any cordlike object when the lever is rotated. A lever-equipped ligature resistant lock must also have some kind of clutching mechanism on the locking side of the door. If a cordlike object is attached to the locked lever, the disengaging clutch mechanism will allow the lever to rotate and disengage the cordlike object.
When customers request ligature resistant products, work closely with your local locksmith distributor or/and consult product manufacturer representatives to verify that the ligature resistant hardware you will be installing is the best available solution for your specific customer requirements.
Most manufacturers offer specific ANSI/BHMA Grade 1 products for specific applications. For example, Sargent Lock offers a series of Behavioral Health Trim for their 8200 Mortise Locks. Included in this series are the BHW trim that integrates lever and the escutcheon; the BHL lever trim that offers an overlapping rose; and the rounded ALP paddle trim (also available in bored lock). Each of these products was designed for different risk levels in a behavioral health facility with the BHW appropriate for use in high risk areas.
Marks USA offers LifeSaver cylindrical locksets with ligature resistant knobs, levers and paddlesets, and mortise locks with knob or paddleset. Marks’ knob equipped mortise locks can be retrofit with ligature resistant hardware.
Corbin Russwin offers Behavioral Health Trim for its ML2000 and ML20900 Mortise Lock options. This series offers an integrated lever and escutcheon, the BHSS; a sloped surface lever and rose, the BLSS; and paddle trim. The integrated lever and escutcheon trim (BHSS) is accepted for use in high risk areas. The four-position paddle trim is also available with the HP3000 Series Tubular Lock.
Schlage offers mortise locks with ligature resistant knobs, levers, thumbturns and cylinder rings. An integrated clutch allows ligature resistant levers to rotate in event of excessive force. Best Access Systems offers mortise locks and non-keyed tubular locksets with ligature resistant hardware. Town Steel produces ligature resistant Grade 1 mortise locks, Grade 1 and 2 cylindrical locks and Grade 1 mortise deadlocks. Mortise locks are available with the Trim-Arch; a handle operates by pushing down.
Town Steel’s ligature resistant Rejuvenator system can upgrade specific mortise lock brands to accept a ligature resistant knob. A patented mounting plate retrofits onto various lock manufacturers’ knob-style mortise lock cases. Contact Town Steel for specifics.
For inward swinging doors, ligature resistant hinges deter a cordlike object from remaining attached to the exposed portion of the hinge. Select Products Limited offers a ligature resistant steeple for their geared, full surface continuous hinge. The wedge-shaped steeple is attached to the header above the continuous hinge. Ives, McKinney and other butt hinge manufacturers offer hinges with the knuckle trimmed at an angle to resist ligature.
While ligature resistant door hardware vastly decreases the risk of an incarcerated individual using door hardware as an anchor point, they are certainly not fool-proof. A paragraph in Sargent Lock spec sheets for its behavioral health products sums it up by noting that ”although these products are better designed for behavioral health applications than traditional trim, they do not eliminate the risk that an object can be affixed to, or around them.”
For more information on the companies discussed in this article, contact your local distributor or:
Best Access System: www.bestaccess.com
Corbin Russwin: www.corbinrusswin.com
Marks USA: www.marksusa.com
SARGENT Manufacturing: www.sargentlock.com
Offer different styles, finishes and products to give your customers a choice they can't find at the big box stores.
Commercial and institutional locksmiths will be needed to install mechanical locks and master key systems for many years to come.