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Anti Ligature Door Handles Explained

December 15th, 2023

Last updated: June 25th, 2024

In certain commercial premises such as healthcare facilities, hospitals, and mental health wards, it is crucial that some extra steps are taken to try to ensure patient and staff safety. Some of the most crucial pieces of equipment you may come across are anti ligature door handles.

What are anti ligature door handles and what do they do? How do they play a role in helping to keep people safe?

Anti Ligature Door Handles Explained

Anti-ligature refers to design features and products that are specifically created to minimise any risk of harm or self-harm by eliminating potential ligature points. Ligature points are locations where a person could attach a cord, rope, or other materials to create a ligature for the purpose of harm.

In settings like mental health facilities, prisons, hospitals, and other institutions where individuals may be at risk of self-harm, it’s crucial to implement anti-ligature measures to create a safer environment. This involves designing spaces and selecting furniture and fixtures in a way that reduces the opportunities for individuals to create ligatures.

Anti-ligature features can include:

Smooth and Rounded Surfaces. Designing fixtures and furniture with smooth and rounded edges can reduce the risk of tying a ligature.

Breakaway Components. Certain items may be designed to break away under pressure, preventing the creation of a stable ligature.

Tamper-Resistant Fixtures. Using fixtures and fittings that are difficult to tamper with can help prevent individuals from creating ligatures.

Reduced Ligature Points. Minimising or eliminating potential ligature points in architectural design and product selection.

Specialised Ligature-Resistant Products. Some manufacturers produce specialised products, such as ligature-resistant door hardware, curtain tracks, and shower fixtures.

Implementing anti-ligature measures is part of a broader approach to creating safer environments for vulnerable individuals who may be at risk of self-harm. It is especially important in facilities where people with mental health issues or other conditions requiring supervision are present.

Where Can Anti-Ligature Door Handles Be Installed?

Anti-ligature door handles can be installed on pretty much any type of door, but some have been designed with the specific purpose of being installed on fire doors and more robust security doors.

These door handles are commonly installed in settings where individuals may be at risk, such as psychiatric hospitals, mental health facilities, detention centres, and correctional institutions. Here are some types of areas where anti-ligature doors are commonly installed:

  • Patient rooms in mental health facilities often have anti-ligature doors to create a safer environment for individuals at risk of self-harm.
  • Doors in common areas like corridors, dayrooms, and communal spaces within mental health facilities may also be equipped with anti-ligature features.
  • Correctional facilities, where individuals are detained, may have anti-ligature doors installed to reduce the risk of self-harm among inmates.
  • Doors in secure hospital units, where patients may have severe mental health conditions, can be fitted with anti-ligature features to enhance safety.
  • Facilities that provide specialised treatment for individuals with behavioural health issues or other conditions that may pose a risk of self-harm may install anti-ligature doors.
  • In some cases, educational institutions dealing with students who have behavioural health challenges may consider the installation of anti-ligature doors in specific areas.

Installation is usually not complex, but it is crucial that it is done correctly to ensure that the safety features are working. This is a task that can be carried out by a maintenance professional within a business or a handyman if required. Unlike other door handles, it may be wise to spend some time periodically checking anti-ligature door handles to try to make sure all of the features are working and that they have not been tampered with.

What’s the Difference Between Anti-Ligature Door Handles and Ligature-Resistant Door Handles?

There is no real difference between the two. anti-ligature and ligature-resistant both mean very similar things and the two terms can sometimes be used interchangeably.

it is important to know that there is no way to completely take the risk out of door handles but there are ways to mitigate, and both anti-ligature and ligature-resistant handles do exactly this.


These kinds of products can play a hugely important role in keeping people safe, and in certain business types they are very important. Consider whether or not you need these types of handles based on the kind of people using your business premises, and your business risk assessments.

Working across Yorkshire, we cover North YorkshireWest YorkshireEast Yorkshire and South Yorkshire and offer a fast, efficient response time to all breakdowns and repairs, and can offer advice and installation of safety equipment, including anti-ligature doors. Contact us today for all plannedreactive maintenance or emergency call out. Call 01423 226578 or get in touch to see how Robinsons Facilities Services can help.

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