If there’s one aspect that can instantly downgrade the experience of any public bathroom or commercial washroom, it’s vandalism.
Vandalism isn’t a topic that any facilities manager wants to think about. However, any type of criminal damage can have serious negative implications for a washroom facility.
As well as being an inconvenience to your patrons if the damage renders the facility unusable, vandalism can also be costly to repair. Even lighter acts of vandalism have the potential to tarnish the reputation of the building or business as a whole, which is why measures need to be taken to reduce the likelihood of vandalism occurring.
Here at Inspired Washrooms, we design and install beautiful washrooms for our commercial clients across the UK.
Whether you’re an existing client, or if you own a washroom or public bathroom and want to maintain its condition so that the user experience is comparable with the day it was installed, here are our top tips on how to reduce vandalism within public toilets to tell you more.
Why does Public Restroom Vandalism Happen?
Getting into the mindset of why someone would want to damage your bathroom or washroom facility can help to understand why the problem happens, and in some cases prevent it altogether.
Public bathrooms can be installed in a number of environments, including within buildings such as healthcare facilities, shops, hotels, restaurants and schools, as well as stand-alone facilities in outdoor environments including public parks or tourist locations.
Research has shown that some of the top causes of vandalism include the wish to draw attention, to highlight a particular ideology, due to personal frustration or misguided playfulness.
While it’s not possible to target all causes of vandalism, in environments such as schools where washrooms are commonly installed, considering the motives behind such behaviours from a pastoral angle may help eliminate the occurrence of various types of damage and anti-social behaviour.
Common Types Of Vandalism Found Within Public Bathrooms
- Burn damage inflicted by a cigarette lighter
- Graffiti (including tagging)
- Damage to sanitaryware (i.e toilets, sinks, vanity units)
- Damage to pipework
- Deliberate blocking of toilets
- Theft of taps, hand dryers and general conveniences
Appoint A Facilities Manager
Any public bathroom or washroom should have a dedicated person that oversees the facility at regular intervals during the day. In public bathrooms that require payment to enter, a member of staff may be stationed at the entrance. However, it’s also important to ensure that someone is regularly inspecting the condition of the actual facilities too.
Facilities managers may be able to prevent or stop acts of vandalism that are currently in process. It’s also going to be easier to remedy any damage when it is first noticed, rather than the damage being left in place for some time. If the sanitaryware itself is damaged due to vandalism, then it’s essential this is rectified in the first instance. A facilities manager can arrange any repairs or even file a police report on the building owner’s behalf.
Consider The Potential For Vandalism At The Design Stage
While public bathroom or washroom design usually consists of planning the layout and even the colour scheme of the space, attention also needs to be paid to the materials used, considering how easy it would be for someone to inflict damage. Also, how easy it would be to repair a certain feature if it was damaged, along with the cost of doing so.
If you are concerned about the potential for vandalism, then speak to your bathroom or washroom installer. For example, here at Inspired Washrooms, during the consultation, we work to establish the needs of the client based on the organisation type and the location of the washroom itself. Depending on where your facility is based, we can look at anti-vandal solutions in terms of the materials and finishes used.
Most public bathroom or washroom owners may not be aware that it is in fact legal to install CCTV in a bathroom area, so long as the cameras do not directly face the cubicles. In addition, the operator must let patrons know CCTV is in operation using clear signage so that it remains legal to film.
While the idea of installing CCTV in a bathroom might not work for every facility, for public bathrooms, especially larger or busier facilities, it is an option to consider. Having CCTV recording can also be essential in terms of general crime reduction too.
Of course, if CCTV is going to be installed then it also needs to be monitored, especially in terms of vandalism if the perpetrators are to be caught in the act. In addition, the CCTV system will need to be maintained over time, ensuring areas such as sinks or wall spaces where vandalism is most likely to take place within the permitted filming areas are adequately covered.
For any public bathroom where there is only one toilet, it is common to see access to the toilet restricted, unless the user is given a code or a key.
The logic behind restricting access is that it is clear to monitor the last person who used the facility, and so if damage does take place, it’s much easier to identify the culprit. In addition, vandalism may be less likely to occur because access is restricted.
Within accessible toilets in particular, it’s essential that the specific configurations of these types of washrooms are kept in good working order, which is all the more reason to restrict access to the general public.
Washroom Features That Combat Vandalism
- Back to wall toilets
- Vandal-resistant sensor taps
- Concealed trap urinals
- Anti-vandal recessed hand wash and dryer units
- Vandal-resistant showerheads
- Wall hung toilet pans (concealed pipework)
Commercial Washroom Installation UK
Are you looking to install a washroom with anti-vandal materials or technology? Inspired Washrooms is a leading installer of commercial washrooms in the UK. Based in Long Eaton, Derbyshire we serve areas across the East Midlands including Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.
However, we also design and install washrooms further afield across the UK. So wherever you’re based, we’re here to help make sure your public bathroom or washroom remains safe and operative through the use of anti-vandal measures.
Interested in starting a project with us? Download our Inspired Washrooms Brochure to view our full range of products and services.
For help and advice with anything we’ve mentioned above, please get in touch on 0115 671 3850 and our friendly team will get back to you.