Guest Column - March 2005
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Unlocking the Secrets of Locker Designs and Toilet-Partition Selections

By Karen Meyer

There's no doubt there are multiple vendors offering multiple products for almost anything you need for your facility. Restroom and lockers rooms are no exception. But how do you sift through the masses to determine what's truly best for your facility's particular needs?

First, start by looking at the big picture. Do a situation analysis before beginning to shop for suppliers and perhaps develop a simple priority list.

Color and design

Does your facility have an existing design style you'd like to tie into for an overall unified look? Then choose products with multiple color options and flexibility to mix and match for the ultimate designer look. Facilities seeking to achieve natural-setting appeal may want specific products that emulate stone or marble. Environments encouraging stress reduction may choose softer color palettes for restrooms and lockers. Studies prove that color plays a key role in achieving balance, harmony and relaxing environments for work, home or play.

Is security a high priority?

This is sometimes predicated on your physical location, but crime can occur anywhere. If you suffer from unusually high incidences of vandalism and theft, protecting assets in all areas is protocol. In open public areas, lockers with full-door-length latching mechanisms could be a simple solution.

In more vulnerable locker room areas, security is even more important. Wearables may not be prime targets, but valuables are. For those storing jewelry and other personal valuables, providing locked storage units inside lockers shows that you care about your patrons' personal property. The tried-and-true combination locks offer protection but require users to remember numbers. Newer coin-operated lockers may be a better fit. No need to remember anything except pocket change.

An equally important area for security is restrooms. Typical restrooms don't allow security cameras due to privacy issues. Escaping surveillance, restrooms are unprotected targets. Installing durable, vandal-resistant products and partitions ensures less maintenance and longer product life. New to the partition market this year is a solid-plastic, raised-dot surface that prohibits writing or carving, making for a better graffiti deterrent.