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About us

How Our Company Came to Be

While our founder, Lonna Speer, was working at the local jail, a bulky gown was used to clothe their suicidal inmates. She learned that the only way that facilities could get such a garment was to make their own, so inmates on suicide watch were often kept completely naked. Mrs. Speer resolved to make a special garment to solve this problem and became the first anti-suicide smock manufacturer. Her design has continually improved since the first smock in 1989 and more than 1,000 prisons and jails have put them into use. 

Our Philosophy

Our goal at Ferguson Safety Products is to make the hard job of managing inmates and patients easier, safer, and cheaper. We take the time to test and review every facet of the design of our products. The materials we use in every product are researched thoroughly to make sure it is the right thing for the most effective safety product available. 

We rely greatly on comments and suggestions from correctional mental health, medical and security professionals to guide us. Your comments tell us what you need in order to do your job and we take them all quite seriously.

We are an old fashioned company in that we believe in providing you with strong, durable, long-lasting products. We are determined to maintain the high standards called for of the first company to produce garments and bedding for suicidal inmates. Our main product line is known for its incredible lifespan. It is not unusual for us to contact customers that have not purchased from us for over five years and find that this is because our products are still serving them well. We held off releasing our mattress for suicidal inmates until we could be sure we’d developed a cover fabric that was the strongest in the world and would not crack or peel for more than 20 years.

We’re also old fashioned when it comes to customer service.When you call us during business hours you can expect a human to answer the phone. When we make mistakes, we knock ourselves out to make things right. 

Our Office

We are located in the historic Old Sash Mill at 303 Potrero Street in Santa Cruz, California. Santa Cruz is situated about 70 miles south of San Francisco, on the Monterey Bay. It has long been a tourist town, a retreat from inland heat, and famed for its boardwalk and surfing spots. Our office is on land that was once the Santa Cruz Mission's pasture land - Potrero is the Spanish word for pasture. Our building was a factory that converted the giant redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains into window sashes for the rebuilding of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake and fire. 

In the Media

There have been a variety of articles printed about us.

Here are a few: 


Santa Cruz Sentinel Insert

We also are a distributor of green construction and energy conservation products. Please visit our other division at

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