Pivot type anti-barricade doors
The centre hung pivot system had been used for many decades in all types of buildings and comprised of a top bracket and a bottom strap on the door which located with a floor mounted spindle plate, this held the door and allowed movement in either direction.
For installation the contractor would screw the bottom spindle plate to the floor and then sit the door on top so the bottom strap on the door was located, the top of the door was then moved into position and by turning a screw the top pivot could be wound out and lock into the top of the door.
Pivot hung doors had been widely used in all scenarios where a double acting door was required from domestic homes through to general hospitals and public buildings so were a known solution that general contractors were accustomed to and were readily available, in essence the pivot system provided a simple and cost-effective double action solution but when implemented in mental health hospital environments had serious flaws.
Ligature risk – due to the pivot system being site installed and relying on a single metal pin into the top of the door this would often result in the pin being accessible as a potential ligature tie-off point.
Pivot pins broke - under force which doors receive in mental health hospital environments the pivot pins would break out of the side of the door which led to unsightly metal re-enforcing plates being fitted or the door replaced altogether leading to critical mental health bedrooms being out of action while the repairs were carried.
Lack of patient privacy – due to the scalloped back edge of the door to allow double action there would be a sight line into the patient bedroom from the corridor which was a privacy and dignity issue and not acceptable to hospital inspectors.
Floor mounted components – the bottom spindle plate of the pivot system was floor mounted which gave contractors issues when underfloor heating was used and also caused project co-ordination issues with different trades setting the spindle plates and then the carpentry teams hanging the doors only to find the two did not line up.
Anti-ligature door closer issues – the only option available if a door closer was required was to recessed a double action door closer into the top of the door, this was hidden when the door was closed so went some way to providing an anti-ligature solution but as soon as the door was opened the fixed overhead arm was present as a serious ligature risk.