Kennon SSPD Door 2.0
Kennon’s an aerospace company. We got our start back in the 1980s making Sun Shades and canopy covers for personal aircraft, and we grew from there. Today, we’re best known as a defense contractor, making protective covers for the most sensitive, high-precision aircraft systems on the planet. The natural question is, how’d we get into making anti-ligature doors for behavioral health facilities?
The common thread through all that we sew is that we protect high-value assets, and life is the most valuable. In 2009, the Veterans Administration told us about the threats to patient safety in their mental health facilities. They wondered if we would work with them to design an ensuite, anti-ligature, suicide-proof door. We jumped in because it felt like a natural extension of our mission. Fast forward to now, and we take pride in knowing our original Soft Suicide Prevention Door (SSPD) became the industry standard and have protected thousands and thousands of lives.
Just as healthcare design has changed, the original SSPD has evolved over the past 13 years, but we recognized the need for a complete redesign three years ago. We aimed to improve the design and aesthetic, increase customization, provide patient privacy and dignity without introducing a source of harm, and achieve a higher fire prevention rating per new industry requirements.
It’s probably no surprise that in a company with an engineering nucleus, form followed function when it came to designing our suicide resistant doors. We approached the project with our years of product learning and a need for fire resistance. We made an extensive effort to identify a foam core with the strength, durability, weight, cost, and availability that would allow the door to achieve NFPA-286 certification.
Once we cleared that hurdle, we turned our attention to form. Product testing and engagement with customers and partners showed us how clients use the door, where and how people open it, the appropriate breakaway strength, and how repeated use might fatigue the components. We knew that for bathroom door use, it needs to be durable, washable, and We learned what size door openings existed and what was needed to install the door. We also learned more about biophilic design and how our doors might aid healing, specifically the images we print.
Though we began with NFPA-286 certification and meeting Life Safety Code 101 as our objectives, in the end, we created an anti-ligature door that is thinner, lighter, safer, and better looking.