There is no clear answer to this question, and the guidelines will very much depend on the Local Authority of the given area. Some authorities specify LST radiators irrespective of use, whilst others will have age limits or other determining factors.
Understandably, this has led to an element of confusion surrounding the issue of safer heating in education. This blog aims to explore the requirement for LST radiators in primary schools further, for those involved in the design, specification or refurbishment of an educational setting.
Modern mainstream schools are adapted to meet the needs of a range of individuals. They cater for a varying severity of educational need, and this should be considered when specifying furniture, fixtures and fittings. Some children will exhibit signs of unpredictable behaviour which puts themselves and their peers at risk. When you consider that standard panel radiators could reach a surface temperature of 70-80°C, we need to be asking schools: can you afford to take this risk? LSTs are arguably the safest radiator for an educational setting, given that they’re designed not to exceed 43°C, further highlighting that the specification process of an educational setting should be driven by the safety of the end user.
The ‘Blame’ and ‘Claim’ Culture
We often hear the term, ‘wherever there’s a blame, there’s a claim, and unfortunately, schools are often targeted as a receiver of such treatment. It’s not uncommon to read newspaper reports blaming schools for mistreatment or neglect of children in their care. Whilst we’re not dismissing certain claims, we advise specifiers to have a heightened sense of awareness around this. Any opportunity to avoid damaging claims on schools should be taken seriously, which is why an LST radiator is a sensible solution.
Design Considerations For LST Radiators
Modern LSTs don’t just protect users against surface temperature burns; they have a range of design characteristics which make them a suitable choice for primary schools, for example:
• Rounded Corners
• Versatile TRV options
• Easy to clean
Additional Design Considerations for LST Radiators
The following characteristics don’t represent all LST models on the market. However, Contour has been keen to reflect further concerns that school settings may have. These additional design considerations are:
• Pencil-proof grilles
• BioCote antimicrobial protection
• Bespoke design and fitting
• Rotarad rotating valve kits
No Nationally Agreed Criteria
There’s certainly a lack of clarity around the issue of LST radiators in primary schools. With no recognised standard, or nationally agreed criteria, schools that don’t use LST radiators are at risk of being sued for lack of care and attention. In the care and nursing sector, a private home was recently fined £30,000 for using radiator guards that didn’t prevent a resident from suffering fatal burns. Sadly, we fear that it may take a tragedy similar to this for authorities to change the criteria surrounding the use of LSTs in primary schools.
We hope this post has cleared up any queries you have about the specification of LSTs in primary school settings. Be sure to get in touch with an expert today to talk about your next educational project.
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