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Now is a Great Time to Inspect Your Playground
January 16, 2015 | Comments

Winter is a great time to inspect your playground


There is more to the safety and maintenance of your park than the condition and warranty of your commercial play structures. If you are responsible for a playground with public access, you are required to inspect, monitor and evaluate the condition of your park for safety concerns on an annual basis. 
 
When budgeting for general maintenance, there are a number of considerations and questions to ask.  Is there anyone on your team that is qualified or capable of conducting a thorough annual playground inspection? What kind of problems or red flags should you be looking for when reviewing your playground condition, and how do you address them if you determine equipment, surfacing, or furnishings require replacement? 
 
Ready to get started? We have put together a check list of items compliments of our partner company, American Playground Construction, who specialize in comprehensive park and playground inspection and maintenance services.  


Inspection of Playground Surfacing

The amount of maintenance and long term durability of playground surfacing is dependent on weather conditions and the initial type of safety surfacing installed. While natural playground surfacing options (such as Engineered Wood Fiber) offer an organic appeal and economical advantage, other types of surfacing such as Rubber Mulch offer years of maintenance free safety performance and durability. 
 
  • Inspect surfacing to ensure it is free of sharp debris, tripping hazards, pest or insect infestation or animal droppings.
  • Ensure that surfacing has not been compressed and remains at least 12 inches deep beneath structures up to eight feet in fall height (minimum guideline).   Check high traffic areas for compaction (bottom of slides, at the base of ladders and other popular structural components).
  • Check surfacing border for splintering, decay (if wood) or cracks that might present a risk for abrasion or trip and fall injuries.

Playground Structure Inspection

Over time and repeated use, some commercial play structures can present with wear and tear which typically require replacement or repair. 
 
  • Check the surface of slides for cracks or sharp edges.
  • Check upper and lower decks for damage to avoid potential trip and fall injuries.
  • Inspect moveable components such as wheels, or play panels for abrasive surfaces.
  • Evaluate seats of swings for removal and replacement.

Park and Playground Furnishings

All elements of the park–from seating and tables, to waste and recycling receptacles, water fountains, and sport equipment–should be evaluated for safety at least once annually.
  • Ensure that Ash Urns are enclosed and not compromised.  Broken ash urns can present a fire hazard in your park or playground as well as a burn risk for children.
  • Verify park fountains, and consult with a municipal water testing service to ensure that water provided in your park remains potable and healthy for consumption.
  • Inspect bicycle racks for damage or dents that may impact their safe use.
  • Evaluate the integrity and condition of fabric shade structures as well as buildings and steel frame buildings for weather damage, vandalism or other safety considerations.
 
We team with American Playground Construction on a regular basis for the installation of our quality play structures on many of our commercial playground projects. Visit their website for more information, or to schedule an appointment to discuss your playground safety inspection needs and costs. 

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