Why are paper towel dispensers locked? - page 2

I'm at work now, and I just don't understand why the paper towel dispensers are locked, so you can't unjam the paper towels. Yet, we have all this expensive equipment lying around, meds, etc. Why are... Read More

  1. by   Spidey's mom
    Because people steal them . . . . just the other day I had a couple who were rifling through the drawers in the triage room and they took sanitary pads. People just steal to steal . . . we also have had to start locking up baby formula.

    Just because paper towels don't cost as much as a pulse ox doesn't mean you shouldn't do something about theft. Ask the housekeepers how much fun it is to thoroughly clean a room and then have to come back and refill a towel dispenser or put more tp in the bathroom or toss a package of chux or sanitary pads under the sink . . .

    steph
  2. by   muffie
    maybe there are cameras located inside the dispensers !!!!!
    monitoring your handwashing practices...
  3. by   mvanz9999
    Yeah, what Stevielynn said.

    I don't know how many of you are aware, but the paper towels are locked EVERYWHERE. They are locked in the bathrooms in our building and we are a marketing services firm.

    The average person is a pig. They'll steal, vandalize, break, ruin stuff just to do it. Last night I was at a charity fundraiser and we were giving away "goodie bags" to all attendees. I went in the men's bathroom, and someone had dump one of those bags into the toilet and then jammed a couple of water bottles in there.

    Why would a person do that? Here's a bag full of free stuff, and then they jam the toilets up with it. It makes no sense whatsoever.
  4. by   banditrn
    Well, those roll around laptops and bloodpressure machines usually have a little internal alarm that shows up in security somewhere if you try to remove them from the building.

    Now, I could see someone swiping the toilet paper - but not the crappy paper towels!
  5. by   big-chicken
    The companies that make these products have to design them so they can be used in public rest rooms, school rest rooms, etc. People notoriously vandalize public rest rooms with graffitti, jam paper towels into toilets and flush them to cause a flood, and generally break everything in site. This is the reason why you find locks on paper towel dispensors, toilet paper dispensors, soap dispensors, etc. Visit a public school that is less than 10 years old, cost $100M to build and check out the restrooms. You will be disgusted at the condition you find them in. Students routinely trash them. The schools cannot install video equipment cause it's a bathroom, and they can't have a teacher or monitor in there 8 hrs/day.

    Next time you are in a public rest room, check out the screws they use to assemble the stalls. They use screws that require a special wrench/driver. You can't use a regular/phillips screwdriver on them. Most are actually designed so they can be tightened, but not loosened. This prevents morons from dissasembling the stalls while they are using the facility. It's pretty sad when you have to do this to prevent the public from destroying property.

    Where I work, we attach the key to the dispensors with a piece of string so it is always right there to access the dispensors. I'm sure you can buy dispensors that don't lock, but institutions like hospitals don't use them.

    Big-Chicken
  6. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from big-chicken
    The companies that make these products have to design them so they can be used in public rest rooms, school rest rooms, etc. People notoriously vandalize public rest rooms with graffitti, jam paper towels into toilets and flush them to cause a flood, and generally break everything in site. This is the reason why you find locks on paper towel dispensors, toilet paper dispensors, soap dispensors, etc. Visit a public school that is less than 10 years old, cost $100M to build and check out the restrooms. You will be disgusted at the condition you find them in. Students routinely trash them. The schools cannot install video equipment cause it's a bathroom, and they can't have a teacher or monitor in there 8 hrs/day.

    Next time you are in a public rest room, check out the screws they use to assemble the stalls. They use screws that require a special wrench/driver. You can't use a regular/phillips screwdriver on them. Most are actually designed so they can be tightened, but not loosened. This prevents morons from dissasembling the stalls while they are using the facility. It's pretty sad when you have to do this to prevent the public from destroying property.

    Where I work, we attach the key to the dispensors with a piece of string so it is always right there to access the dispensors. I'm sure you can buy dispensors that don't lock, but institutions like hospitals don't use them.

    Big-Chicken
    I agree . . . also, notice the newer stalls in bathrooms that are made so that morons can't write stupid things on them.

    You have to be pro-active . . . . it is a shame but necessary.

    steph
  7. by   norcalRNstudent
    I've been working my way through nursing school as a waitress, and let me tell you, people will steal anything that is not nailed down. We have lost numerous salt & peppers, candles, Xmas decorations, remote controlls, glassware, menus, and, my personal favorite, the "please wait to be seated" sign. What on earth is someone doing with that? So, P.I.T.A., yes, but, sadly, understandable.:chuckle
  8. by   clee1
    Quote from norcalRNstudent
    .... my personal favorite, the "please wait to be seated" sign. What on earth is someone doing with that?
    Sorry.... that was me.:imbar
  9. by   bethin
    Quote from critterlover
    well, the average person has more use for the papertowels than the pulse-ox, right?

    when i was in college, i lived in the dorms for a year. friends of a girl that lived down the hall used to come to "visit" so they could help themselves to the tp and paper towels in our community bathroom.

    i'm sure it really is a problem, esp in the public bathrooms in the hospital.

    i'm wondering, though, if that just isn't how those things are made (paper towel dispensers)? can you close the door and get it to stay closed if the lock isn't turned?
    one time my roommate and i went to the br at 3am and stole all the tp and paper towels. it was hilarious in the morning! people were sitting down to do their business and didn't have tp and were asking the next person for tp.

    we took the tp to the br with us. well, some of it. the rest we duct taped to a neighbors door. then we used about 5 rolls of duct tape and taped every which way across the door. sorry, i was 18 and stupid.

    anyway, i pick the lock with a paper clip. i've done it enough times that it's simple. just don't get caught.
    Last edit by bethin on Jan 26, '07 : Reason: spelling
  10. by   Lovely_RN
    A lot of people have fuzzy logic, to them stealing paper towels isn't really stealing. That same person would not steal something that they consider expensive because to them that would be stealing because it costs a lot. It's like office workers who will take home pens, packets of post-it notes, a ream of computer paper etc because they feel like it's inexpensive stuff so no big deal but they would never steal a computer from work. This is why most office supply cabinets are locked up and only the officer manager has the key to it because the little thefts eventually add up to big bucks.
  11. by   Megs7617
    many times i've seen housekeeping jam the dispensers so full that there is literally a stack hanging out of the bottom of the dispenser...so theoretically, if someone wanted to steal paper towels badly enough, couldnt they just stand there and pull them out? I've seen them come out in stacks lol kinda defeats the purpose of the locks...

    :chuckle
  12. by   moongirl
    so that when you have a reaaaalllly bad day, you cant take allll the paper towels out in one big line and use it for a rope to escape out of a window
  13. by   CaLLaCoDe
    Paper towels at my hospital are old school and luckily unlocked. But the mops are locked up!
    Had a patient once who had gotten up out of bed in a TCU unit with streaks of feces on his back down his leg etc...ambulating in the hall...the room was a mess with feces all over the bathroom floor. After getting him back to bed and cleanded up called housekeeping repeatedly for help and she did not show up till around 45 minutes later!
    Odd thing was that the neighbor in the bed next to this patient kept asking for food to eat even though the room stank...GROSS!

    fftopic: fftopic: fftopic:
    Last edit by CaLLaCoDe on Jan 27, '07

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