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4 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Bathroom Fixtures

Tired of constantly repairing or replacing your bathroom fixtures? If so, you’re likely not incorporating the right materials. While some metals may boast cheaper prices and flashier styles, they don’t always last long. With these methods helping to guide your next bathroom fixture choices you’ll be able to keep your faucets looking better and lasting longer.

Forged Brass Faucets

One of the longest lasting metal materials used in plumbing, forged brass will keep your pipes from cracking for years to come. Their dense design keeps them from leaking as often as other metal fixtures while also giving off a smooth design. Like with all metal fixtures, please be careful of the amount of lead that can build up in resting water and make sure your material supplier keeps the lead count low.

Nickel Finish

While the majority of faucets in the modern home all come in stainless steel or chrome finishes, a nickel finish offers a unique advantage over the others. With its matte finish you won’t have to worry about constantly removing fingerprints and other minor smudges from the surface, leading to less cleaning with harsh chemicals. In turn, this prolongs the life of the finish by keeping the chemicals from corroding the material over time.

Ceramic Parts

Oftentimes the small, moving parts inside the bathroom features need constant attention or replacement due to wear and tear. Even though steel and plastic can be cheap and efficient, they don’t last long. Ceramic parts are more expensive but are more durable and last longer than their cheap counterparts.

Range of Motion

The majority of home-owners, especially those with children, often replace their faucets due to leaks that spring up due to overturning the moving parts. With todays sleek and smooth designs it can be hard to see where exactly the full range of motion for your faucet is. Including a small detail or design into your faucet that indicates the range of motion can help prevent over-exertion of the system and keep the faucet working longer.

With these tips in mind any aspiring self-plumber or bathroom designer will be able to keep their faucets and fixtures running longer with less time repairing or replacing worn-down parts.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Toilet Partitions

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act? (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a mandate that prohibits discrimination against those who suffer from disabilities. All new commercial facilities and places of public accommodation must be constructed and designed to be useable and accessible by all disabled persons. All structurally practicable facilities constructed must be updated to standard based off the provided Standards for Accessible Design.

The Department of Justice published the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) title III regulations, which included the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (1991 Standards), on July 26, 1991. These regulations adopted revised, enforceable accessibility standards called the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design, “2010 Standards.”.

Will I be fined for violating the ADA standards?

Yes. If your facility does not meet the federal guidelines the laws will be enforced at a federal level. Failure to maintain documented standards can result in fines not exceeding $50,000 for the first violation and not exceeding $100,000 for the following violations.

To ensure all accessibility-compliant toilet partitions, urinal screens and other accessories are installed properly be mindful of architectural requirements and use the provided diagrams.

Toilet partitions and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Restroom partitions are classified as either a standard stall or an alternative stall. A visual representation of these two can be found easily by reviewing figure 30(a) for standard stalls and figure 30(b) for alternative stalls.

The standard stall’s minimum width is 60 inches (1525 mm). Two alternate stalls are permitted for alterations only; one alternate stall is required to be 36 inches (915 mm) wide. The other alternate stall is required to be a minimum of 48 inches (1220 mm) wide. More measurements to follow including the correct location of the grab bars, toilet tissue dispensers, and water closets can be found here in Figure 30. Toilet Stalls.

What else can make my bathroom ADA compliant?

For more information regarding these regulations please visit ADA.gov.

How to Remove Odor From Your Bathrooms

How To Remove Odor From Your Bathrooms

No one likes a smelly restroom. Having an unpleasant smell defeats the purpose of feeling comfortable while resting to do what you need to do or as nature intends. The average visitor will use 4 of, his or her, 5 senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell)  to determine the quality of the bathroom visit. When building any business, the savvy business owner must make sure to consider every last detail. For example, choosing the wrong toilet partition for your office may leave your employees discussing around the water cooler what that permanent stink is coming from the restrooms.

If remodeling or building your bathroom for the first time, the most important thing to consider is maintaining value for years to come. Protection against stress and damages will leave longer-lasting bathroom partitions. All FastPartition bathroom partitions (Solid Plastic, Stainless Steel, and Powder Coated Metal) are made with quality craftsmanship with durability in mind.

Air Fresheners

The standard air freshener is useful and handy to help freshen the smell of your bathroom facilities. Air freshener technology has come a very long way and now you as a business owner can purchase revolutionary automatic air fresheners.

The new air fresheners out today are long lasting and continuously spray the smell you’ve bought.

The standard plug-in air freshener will spray throughout the day, however there is another option which is motion detected – these motion detected air fresheners spray only when someone is walking by.

From the cone-shaped gel capsule air fresheners available at the grocery store to the more industrial adjustable mechanisms, air fresheners are a cost-effective method to get rid of your bathroom odor.

Clean Between the Cracks

Depending on the age of your bathroom, the cause of some of your bad odor could be coming from the caulk and sealant between the tiles. Depending on how your bathroom was configured when built, and as previously stated, the age of your restroom, the smell you might be searching for may be coming from the seal of the joints in your tile.

The only way to replace this material is by using a sharp knife or razor blade to remove and scrape out the original caulk.

Replace Your Stalls

If you are trying to get your bathroom smelling fresh, depending on when your bathroom was constructed or when was the last time it was remodeled, one of the first non-obvious things to consider to replace is your bathroom partitions.

Dirty urinals are bad for business.

Depending on what material your bathroom stalls were made with, you may find over time the smell can absorb into the stalls.

This is the problem for the outdated wooden stalls you do not find on the shelves of FastPartitions. Sniffing out your problem is often not so easy but your bathroom partitions may be the culprit of the stench if your bathroom wasn’t constructed with the long-lasting quality Solid Plastic, Stainless Steel and Powder Coated Metal partitions available with Fast Partitions.

Deodorizers

Applying a coat of deodorizer is often one of the easiest methods to achieve bathroom freshness. The bathroom deodorizer market is immense with products coming in the form of gels, sprays, oils as well as many other methods to take away the odor.

Using a deodorizer is by no means a permanent solution to fix freshness if there are underlying issues smelling up the restroom area.

Combine all of these tools to achieve a fresh smelling bathroom that will leave your bathroom visitors with a sense-ational visit.

How to Make Sure Your Finances Don’t Go Down the Toilet

Make Time For All Your Business’ Miscellaneous Tasks

It may seem counter intuitive to first focus on the miscellaneous tasks, however there are many advantages to having a great process for managing the hundreds of miscellaneous tasks involved with owning a business. By making time for your miscellaneous tasks you’re able to successfully focus on the main goals and ambitions your business is positioned to accomplish in the first place.

HowtoMakeYourFinancesNotGoDowntheToilet

Knocking small tasks out of the way to focus on larger goals will often have a “quick-win” effect on your company’s overall morale.

This is the “nuts & bolts” component of your business. Knocking the small tasks out of way provides stability, safety, and secureness to your business; ironically, our affordable toilet bathroom partitions doors bring these same features – stability, safety and secureness – to your business. Support and manage your business in the right way with business savviness using proper structure, starting from the bathroom partitions.

Avoid Financial Pitfalls from the Start

Finances are often ignored until it’s too late. This is often due to lack of strategy, grounding, and understanding of the business’ goals. This often leads to areas of finance which can cause many business owners to tremor with fear of a chapter 13 bankruptcy or a chapter 11 bankruptcy.

With proper planning, you’ll be able to successfully avoid the aforementioned issues and have a business which is financially focused and goal-oriented. 

Comforting your patrons with some of the best partitions when visiting the restroom can have a significant impact on the overall experience when visiting your business and could possibly prevent an utterly negative experience and loss of business. All in all, this avoidance of financial pitfalls form the start can yield fantastic results.

Choose to Succeed & Achieve Your Goals

Success is not by chance. Those who are successful often choose success and work diligently to achieve said success. When you choose to succeed with your ambitious goals, you’re choosing a path which few truly commit to, so be proud of yourself for sticking to the plan and achieving what others only dream of doing.

With Fast Partitions, you’re able to accelerate your business to new heights and have your facilities matching your ambitious pursuits.

time for small business owners

 

9 Things You Didn’t Know About Commercial Bathrooms

It might be surprising but there is actually a lot that you need know about bathrooms if you’re a small business owner.

Restrooms make an impact

Aside from the from your storefront, your facilities restroom can have an outsized impact on your customer’s perception of your business. If your floors are sticky, your toilet partitions are improperly installed and you’re out of toilet paper it’s going to diminish their experience with your business.

Here’s what you need to keep in mind as you set up your bathroom for success.

 

Bad Bathrooms Are Bad For Business

According to the 2017 Healthy Handwashing Survey from Bradley Corporation: It is businesses who either pay the ultimate price for having unpleasant bathroom conditions, or, reap the rewards and benefits for having an ideal bathroom experiences.

Restrooms are everywhere, but they are not created equally.

Close to 70% of Americans responded to the 2017 Healthy Handwashing Survey saying they’ve had a particularly unpleasant experience in a restroom due to the condition of the facility.


Visitors Will Be Unlikely to Return

According to the survey, more than half of Americans (56%) said they are unlikely to return to a business after experiencing unpleasant restrooms. This does not include the other disheartened visitors who will tell a friend, complain the management, post a negative comment on social media, or leave right away without ever completing their business.

Nearly all Americans (92%) see a direct relationship between the quality of a company’s services or products with the quality of their restrooms. Nearly 90% (88%) of Americans believe that if a restaurant has unclean restrooms, the kitchen is likely also unclean. That’s a really bad correlation for your customers to make about the sanitation and quality of your business!


Take it from Jon Dommisse, director of global marketing and strategic development for Bradley Corp., who said

“Depending on their condition, public restrooms can become significant business liabilities—or ringing endorsements…Most everyone has had a bad restroom experience and, unfortunately, it’s usually something you don’t forget. “

Our Toilet Partitions Leave Visitors and Business Owners Satisfied

When doing business with Fast Partitions: You can forget about the 3rd biggest aggravation in public restrooms according to the 2017 Healthy Healthy Handwashing Survey, “Partition doors do not latch closed”.


We at Fast Partitions are committed to quality, integrity and service — limiting our products to only materials we can proudly stand behind without question. Our high-quality partitions are crafted with some of the most durable materials in the industry  — built to suit a wide range of environments. All of our toilet partitions (Stainless Steel, Solid Plastic, or Powder Coated Metal) are guaranteed to latch close properly.   

Americans Require High Quality Bathrooms

When building a proper bathroom, you must consider all pieces to the puzzle. It’s important to consider the visitors’ experience from start to finish.

For male restrooms, the urinal stall partitions must be recognized as nearly as important as toilet partitions by providing privacy and preventing anxiety inducing situations.

Help Visitors Make The Right Decision About Sanitation

Sometimes even with the best bathroom conditions, it’s people who turn visitors away. More than half of Americans say the presence of other people causes them to adjust their actions in one of two ways: 1) They either make sure to wash their hands, or 2) they’ll wash longer or more thoroughly.

 

Another shocking statistic is how much a written reminder posted in a bathroom can influence behavior. Close to 40% of Americans admit they’re more likely to wash their hands after seeing a sign which requires employees to wash their hands before returning to work.

Top Public Restrooms & High End Bathroom Partitions

Luxury Bathroom With Toilet Partitions

We all know as well as anyone that aesthetics and overall quality and durability are equal power players when constructing a bathroom design.

Many of us have had one too many borderline-traumatic experiences with murky, vandalized, odorous public restrooms and know that all these problems are tied back to what types of materials are used, especially when installing toilet partitions.

In honor of the hard-pressing quest toward a better bathroom, we’ve rounded up America’s best—and most hall of fame-worthy—public restrooms, as determined through Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Contest 2014.

Longwood Gardens—Philadelphia, PA


Talk about being dedicated to the Green Movement. These hidden away bathroom stalls are part of the most visited public garden in the country and are integrated into the longest green wall in all of North America. With special translucent glass installed within each to bring in natural light and reduce the costs of electricity, these one-of-a-kind installations will make you reevaluate your stance on public restrooms once and for all.

American Girl Place—Chicago, IL
Decorated to the hilt with child-sized installations, bright colors and doll holders inside each of the bathroom stalls, the American Girl customer restroom is anything but ordinary and turns something considered not so desirable into something fun.

Bowl Plaza—Lucas, KS
Built as a community effort in the Kansas town, the Bowl Plaza—name to be taken literally—is a public restroom whose structure is shaped like an actual toilet. With a 14-foot mosaic acting as the “lid” and fountain-type structure in front (complete with a drain) acting as the bowl, this restroom takes committing to the aesthetic to an extreme.

El Centro—Washington D.C.
Public restroom are, in many cases, places of social interaction, and this couldn’t be more literal than in the popular Mexican restaurant in D.C.’s Georgetown area. The Prohibition-style décor—there are actual metal washbasins—is only the tip of the iceberg. Where a mirror would normally be behind the sinks sits a window into the opposite bathroom, giving the hand-washing area a watering hole affect, so to speak.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre—St. Louis, Missouri
A combination of stately and sophisticated lounges and an inner bathroom chamber, the ritzy restrooms at the Missouri theatre house combine high end black finished sinks and toilet partitions with black and white tiled floors to give every visitor the impression they’ve stepped back in time.

Mai Kai—Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Tucked away inside a tiki-themed restaurant in Florida, the Mai Kai restrooms shine above most others—literally. The gold-gilded walls and décor give the posh bathrooms the feel of a palace throne room, rather than the porcelain kind. It even comes complete with nightly attendants ready to serve customers at a moment’s notice. It gives a whole new meaning to the term “royal flush.”

Plums Café—Costa Mesa, California
This Pacific Coast café earns its esteem from taking a symbolic approach to its decorating strategy. With the walls and floors symbolizing the waves and sand of the nearby beaches, walking into the public restroom is meant to be like stepping into a bit of a tropical oasis—any bathroom that automatically makes you forget you’re in a bathroom seems to have the right idea in our book.

The Grove—Los Angeles, California


While it might, for all intents and purposes, be a restroom facility, the bathrooms of the major L.A. shopping center are mostly everything but. With floor to ceiling marble and dark wood finishing on cabinets and doors, the sleek aesthetic aligns perfectly with the aesthetic of the center, while other amenities, like six original Picasso and Miro drawings, a microwave, two nursing rooms with a rocking chair, and a children’s playroom—complete with a plasma screen T.V. and chalkboard—make you feel like you’ve walked into a 5-star resort.

Tiki Lounge—Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
With stone encrusted walls and seashell wash basins made of hand-picked materials from Bali, Indonesia, this Amazonian-style bathroom was created by a collection of local artists who spent over 200 hours getting the detailing just right. The best part? The sinks are actual built-in waterfalls.

Trail Restroom—Austin, Texas
The environmentally sustainable bathroom sits at the heart of a nature trail and serves as part restroom facility and part art installation. The simple, geometric design of the materials maximizes on natural lighting and energy, conserving the resources of the park surrounding it and standing an awareness symbol for all who encounter it.

Advantages of a Partitioned Bathroom Over Single-Occupant Bathrooms

Any business owner or commercial property owner will tell you that the bathrooms of any particular building could easily be deemed as one of the most important features in a public place. The simple fact of the matter is, without the proper restroom facilities, everything about a place of business and how it functions can be compromised.

However, there is always one question that business owners have about the restrooms in their building: will single-occupant bathrooms suffice or is a partitioned bathroom with multiple stalls necessary?

Take a look at some of the advantages that come along with a partitioned bathroom over a single-occupant bathroom in a business setting.

Partitioned bathrooms are family friendly

family friendly bathrooms

Consider certain types of visitors, such as the mother or father who shops in your store with their young children or the elderly individual who needs a little help using the restroom in your office.

If you only have a single-occupant restroom, it can make these types of situations uncomfortable for those using the facility. Partitioned bathrooms with multiple stalls and an open waiting area are much more family-friendly in their design.

Partitioned bathrooms better cater to employees customers, patients, or clients

If all you have is one bathroom available, it will mean anyone who pays a visit to the facility when nature calls could be left waiting in line to get in. For your employees, this can slow down production and productivity. With customers, this can mean that they simply leave when they need a restroom because they don’t want to wait.

With a partitioned bathroom with multiple stalls, your restroom has the capacity to cater to several individuals at one time, which is much more logical in a business setting. Furthermore, having multiple stalls can be a life saver should a plumbing issue arise that takes one toilet out of commission for a few hours or a day.

Partitioned bathrooms are easier to make accommodating for handicapped visitors

It is always a must that you be mindful of those with mobility issues at various points in your public building, including the restroom.

If all you have are single-occupant bathrooms, being mindful of those with mobility issues will mean you have to make a space that can cater to both typical customers and those in a wheelchair. With a partitioned bathroom, you can designate one single stall as the accessible one and give it features like a wider entrance and taller toilet.

What types of businesses could benefit most from partitioned bathrooms?

stainless steel toilet partitionsAfter seeing the advantages, it is easy to see that pretty much any public establishment that caters to more than just a handful of people on a daily basis could benefit from making the change from a single-occupant bathroom to a partitioned bathroom with multiple stalls. A few examples of those that would benefit the most include:

Making the change from a single-occupant bathroom in your place of business to a partitioned restroom with multiple stalls is a huge step in the right direction. Make sure you take the time to get familiar with the multiple bathroom partition options available to make the best choice for your business.

How To Choose Toilet Partition Material

Solid Plastic vs. Stainless Steel vs Powder Coated Metal

We only choose quality materials

When building a public or commercial bathroom, the partition material is typically one of the most overlooked elements. At first sight, toilet partitions purpose is only to provide privacy, making the visual appeal the only thing you must consider. By default, the majority of our customers choose stainless steel partitions, but are you confident this is the best bathroom partition material for the job?

 

When evaluating the differences and advantages of potential bathroom partitions, you should also consider each material’s advantages and disadvantages, strength, and durability, upkeep and cleaning, fire and building code considerations.

Strength and Durability

When building a bathroom, you want a durable bathroom partition to maintain value for years to come with any stress thrown at them. This amount includes holding up against scratches, dents or any impacts hazards. The longer the partitions can withstand these damages, the longer they will last.

Stainless steel bathroom partitions sure look great. However, one of the downsides of a stainless steel partition is they are known to dent and scratch easier than other options, such as solid plastic. Stainless steel bathroom partition materials are highly flame and smoke retardant. FastPartitions’ stainless steel partitions keep a high-quality appearance while being crafted by some of the most durable materials in the industry.

When looking specifically for bathroom partitions that will hold up against scratches, our solid plastic or powder coated metal partitions have the superiority over stainless steel bathroom partitions.

Upkeep and Cleaning

Stainless steel partitions are resistant to the damages of chemical cleaners which helps promotes a sanitary bathroom environment for high and low volume traffic. Stainless steel caters well for public restrooms as well as high-end offices or commercial buildings.

Our solid plastic bathroom partitions are perfect for high-volume buildings such as schools. Given their durability and damage-proof materials, FastPartition’s solid plastic partitions are highly resistant to scratching and impact and can sustain hot, cold, wet or dry environments without the risk of becoming odorous or rusty. Solid plastic partitions have a much longer lifespan than their counterparts and come in a variety of colors to match any bathroom scheme.

FastPartition’s powder coated metal not only guarantee variety but quality craftsmanship and durability. Powder coated metal offer an easy installation, and easy reparability for minor scratches and defacements while staying environmentally friendly. Our powder coated metal partitions are mainly fire and rust resistant, ideal for low-traffic environments such as churches, restaurants, and businesses.

Fire Code Considerations

Within the United States, standards pertaining to fire safety and construction are regulated by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC). These considerations are not mandatory until adopted by your specific county, state, city, and federal governmental jurisdictions. While not completely mandatory, adherence to these codes are critical within the United States, many corporations require compliance regardless of governmental policy.

Relating to bathroom partitions, the most relevant and mentionable building codes are the International Fire Code (IFC) and International Building Code (IBC). Others include the NFPA 101, NFPA Fire Code, as well as the Life Safety Code. While specific jurisdictions have changed over the years, which means these standards may not be the exact law for some within the United States, wise architects, and specifiers smartly still adhere to them.

Architects, specifiers and interior designers should always request complete test compliance documents from partition manufacturers for a proper and responsible build.

Building Code Considerations

Without considering anything else, the building code can provide somewhat of a baseline for choosing your suitable bathroom partition material. These considerations will be based on the facility is a heavy-traffic building, a standard-use building, or a prestige building.

Heavy traffic buildings include K-12 schools, recreational facilities, transportation centers, shopping malls, and amusement parks. These buildings’ restrooms see heavy use and often see high vandalism rates, meaning material durability and ease of cleaning are critical considerations.

Standard-use buildings include healthcare centers, hospitals, manufacturing plants, and commercial office facilities. Standard-use buildings will typically see moderate to heavy foot traffic and may see vandalism. Durability, ease of maintenance and cost are especially important when considering bathroom partitions for standard-use buildings.

Prestige buildings are those including class-A offices, major universities, civic centers, and corporate headquarters. Bathrooms in prestige buildings will typically see moderate to low traffic. In prestige buildings, architectural design and material quality can be prioritized.

Surprising Bathroom Design & Safety Considerations

The concept of “desperate times calling for desperate measures” has always been somewhat of a social more throughout history, and has, more modernly, become the theme of the hour in most current events news.

By definition, the popular idiom mandates that when faced with dire circumstances, taking equally dire action is necessary to survive. It also insinuates an improvised reaction to something unexpected and extreme, rather than freezing up and panicking in the face of adversity.

It’s no secret that we belong to an unpredictable and eruptive world culture, but despite how frequently horrific tragedies like mass shootings and terrorist attacks occur at any given point on the globe, it’s impossible to be fully prepared for them at all times and in all conceivable places.

Thinking About Security & Restooms

Sure, it’s been expert-proven that threat assessment and preparation can drastically decrease the element of surprise and, as a direct result, the number of casualties usually involved in these circumstances. But what happens when it’s 2 a.m. on a run-of-the-mill Sunday morning and everyone has their guards down at a venue where the point is to try and escape the stress of reality?

As was tragically proven at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub or even at the Parisian Bataclan last November, most cases of extreme violence and surprise attack can be matched, in the moment, only by instinct and readily available resources–but, as we’ve also seen happen too many times, those resources are usually lackluster at best when faced against assault weapons.

So, in cases like these, what’s a person to do to survive?

Choosing Fight Or Flight

Most research and expert opinions will stress some combination of fleeing, sheltering and/or defending (if it comes down to it) in the event of a mass attack.

“Your options are run, hide or fight,” Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said on an episode of 60 Minutes aired in November 2015 shortly after the deadly Paris attacks, echoing the United States Department of Homeland Security’s 2013 funded message of “Run, Hide, Fight.”

“I always say if you can get out, getting out’s your first option, your best option… If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down, to take the gunman out, it’s the best option for saving lives before police can get there.”

However, in most circumstances where guns are involved, trying to overpower an attacker isn’t a viable option, especially if it’s a one-on-one scenario. Additionally, while fleeing the scene and searching for help is certainly the best option, exits normally become hotspots for fire once the gunman has established him/herself on the premises.

Exits are prone to severe bottlenecking when everyone runs in the same direction at once, making the likelihood of getting wounded while trying to flee the building much greater. This leaves a third–and more common–option, which is to take cover and keep from being seen.

While experts like J. Pete Blair, the executive director of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center at Texas State University and co-author of Active Shooter: Events and Response, warily calls hiding a “passive action,” it is, more often than not, the only available and safe solution.

Anyone who studies the matter will tell you that buying time is the key to successful hiding; you want to give yourself enough time to clear your head and assess the situation and your available options.

Time To Find A Safe Place During An Emergency

This, however, is where the main problem with hiding comes into focus: where, in a normal public setting, is one to hide in order to remain out of sight and buy enough time to either craft a game plan or wait for police intervention? After all, time is of the essence, and when dealing with one or more attackers, there isn’t much of it available. Finding a place that offers the most opportunities for reaction in the least amount of time can be the ticket that stands between a good and bad outcome.

Most places like a nightclub, restaurant or concert venue do not have an array of desks or other heavy objects to hide behind, and concealing oneself underneath something like a table or a bar does not offer enough seclusion to stay out of harm’s way for long. Active shooters commonly look for higher casualties and less effort. The more barricaded you are, the better.

Which is why in cases such as the Paris attack and, more prevalently, during the Orlando shooting, seeking refuge in a public bathroom is a go-to instinct, especially when these are often the only accessible places in which to find a split second of reprieve when exits are being blocked and access to other rooms isn’t an option.

Implementing Safety Tactics

Since there are usually no alternative exits in restrooms, most experts advise against seeking one out and running the risk of being cornered at a dead end. However, toilet partitions can be tools used to an advantage when push comes to shove and desperate times start calling for desperate measures. They’ve even started implementing bathroom safety tactics in places like preschools, instructing young children on how to properly hide in a bathroom during a lockdown procedure in the event they can’t manage to get anywhere else.

Even so, it is important to take this material with a grain of salt. This article is not intended to serve as an ultimate guide to surviving a large scale attack, and should not be read as such. Previous experience and strategic logic have shown that public bathrooms are not the ideal place to run during an attack because there are limited chances for escape and no alternative routes out. But, when resources are limited as they often are, it’s important to know the what the options are for the one resource that’s almost always readily available.

Not all toilet partitions are made equally, and some of the flimsier materials won’t offer the same type of aid the more sturdy installations can afford. The amount of success you’ll have utilizing bathroom stalls as a tool in an emergency comes down to elements of design and manufacturing.

Difference Between Cover & Concealment

In a previous article written to break down the viability of commercial door protection against an active shooter, we highlighted the integral difference between cover and concealment when seeking shelter as described by Shooting Illustrated. Simply put, cover protects, concealment hides. Knowing the difference between the two is eminent in how you proceed after hiding, specifically in bathroom stalls.

Most bathroom stalls will not offer much in the way of protection from a stream of bullets, especially if a high caliber weapon is being used. Partitions are popularly made from some sort of powder coated metal material, which contains a light honeycomb core and is not likely to do much in the way of stopping or severely halting a bullet from any type of weapon. More solid materials like stainless steel may stave off some of the impact, which might be enough to evade major damage or fatal contact, but none will provide a complete block to ammo. Concealment and a few precious moments of added time are what a bathroom stall has the capacity to offer you.

Single Occupancy Vs Toilet Stalls

While single occupancy stalls and full-height doors and walls are becoming much more popular  public restroom designs for privacy concerns, many venues still have and continue to install standard-height powder coated metal partitions to save on cost and increase efficiency. These are more conveniently installed, but are much more accessible to an intruder. This is the type of stall design the Orlando victims sought refuge within. Since there are large gaps from the material to the floor and the ceiling, the more successful hiders are the ones who position themselves so they can’t be seen.

In this scenario, crouching on top of a toilet seat and making yourself as small as possible will make you much harder to detect in the event that the shooter enters the restroom and does a quick scope of the area. Most active shooters prioritize quantity over quality and go for easy victims, meaning the more invisible you can make yourself the less likely they are to seek you out in a crowded environment.

An example of this strategy in action comes from the night of the Pulse nightclub shooting when Orlando, a 52-year-old patron of the club, crammed himself on top of a toilet in a separate, smaller stall so the shooter couldn’t see his feet. He managed to survive the attack. This, of course, can be attributed, to a certain extent, to good fortune, but this tactic, and separating from a more conspicuous crowd of people, was able to buy Orlando extra time until police arrived and pulled him out.

Remembering to crouch on top of the toilet and contort your body to as small a position as possible will allow you to be less of a target if and when bullets start flying haphazardly.

Since typical toilet partition materials are not manufactured in a way to withstand rapid fire, acknowledging that stall unit and partition design and installation have everything to do with helping to prepare an environment for safekeeping is necessary in this conversation.

Overlap With Privacy Concerns

Many of the design elements that help to conceal individuals in the event of a shooting also overlap with much of the design reform happening as a result of the privacy concerns wrought by the transgender bathroom wars. Precautionary privacy measures are certainly beneficial in a public restroom setting for many reasons, violence security now being one of them.

Just as in the realm of privacy concern, single occupancy stalls are certainly the most desirable in the event of an active shooter as there are solid walls and a door with a secure lock involved. While commercial wood doors (which are typically used on bathroom stalls) will rarely stop a bullet from entering, the thickness and sturdiness of the material will ultimately slow the bullets down, making it much more likely that if the individual inside is hit, it will not break the skin. The sturdy lock on the door and virtual inability to see inside the stall without forcing the door open make it infinitely more difficult for a shooter to gauge if there’s anything worth reaching on the other side. In this case, the shooter will most likely turn the other way rather than waste time trying to jimmy the lock or waste ammo shooting aimlessly toward the other side.

Full Height Stalls

Full height stalls and doors in a multiuser bathroom can be just as effective in this capacity, as these still typically have solid doors with solid locks and thick walls that can more effectively sustain bullet fire (though this shouldn’t be relied upon as a tried and true shield). The more enclosed and secure the stall, the more individuals that can successfully hide within the unit without it becoming too conspicuous and attracting the attention of the shooter.

Unlike the instance in Orlando during which a visibly overcrowded handicap stall attracted the interest of the assailant, ultimately leading to more fatalities and a hostage situation, multiple bodies crammed into a fully enshrouded stall doesn’t look or seem any different to an outside viewer than if one person were hiding out. So long as everyone silences cell phones and keeps their mouths shut, this can be an effective–albeit last resort–way to protect a lot of people when other solutions are few and far between. However, in the unlikely event that the shooter does start randomly firing at stall doors, a more crammed stall increases the likelihood that serious or fatal injury will occur to the individuals standing closest to the doors.

When full height or single occupant stalls with commercial doors and locks are not an option, there are ways to upgrade standard partitions to increase the overall privacy and, therefore, the visible accessibility into the stalls. Partition distributors often offer elite grade panels and hardware that increase the height of side and door panels while also making the gaps between the door and side panel virtually nonexistent. The security of a full-length door and walls is no longer as strong, but the significant increase in stall height and decrease in visibility into the stall make it much more difficult for a shooter to gauge whether or not someone is hiding on top of a toilet seat.