Ask the Expert: Restroom Environment

How Do We Discourage Restroom Vandalism?

Restrooms in educational settings are notorious for attracting vandalism and graffiti. Fortunately, there are proactive options for avoiding these problems and extending the life of restroom fixtures.

As the first line of defense, restrooms that are carefully planned, well-lit and frequently maintained promote a positive physical environment that helps foster student pride and respect. Discussing with students the value of school property and the importance of safe and clean restroom environments can provide another dose of prevention. While vandalism attempts happen in even the best-kept restrooms, frequent cleaning checks are essential. The sooner a problem is discovered and rectified, the better for deterring additional attempts.

Touchless restroom fixtures can also help discourage vandals. Capacitive sensing used with hands-free faucets are virtually vandal-free and maintenance-free since the mechanicals are concealed inside a sealed control box.

Hands-free design also incorporates an automatic shut off that controls product usage, thereby reducing every day wear and tear. This wards off vandals who try leaving a faucet running, over-dispensing soap or wasting costly paper towels to clog sinks and toilets.

Speaking of the hand washing area, yesterday’s china lavs, which can be chipped, broken and torn off of walls, can invite foul play. Newer lavatory systems made of solid surface material are much more resilient and resist stains, burns, chemicals and impact.

Partitions — common graffiti targets — made of solid plastic [post-consumer recycled HDPE] are worth consideration. In higher-quality partitions the color goes all the way through, meaning they never need painting and scratches can be easily repaired.

This article originally appeared in the August 2015 issue of School Planning & Management.

About the Author

Will Haas is a product manager for Bradley Corporation. He can be reached at 800/BRADLEY or www.bradleycorp.com.

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