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Taking Measurements

Find out about use zones, plus easily estimate your square footage with our calculator.

What Does Use Zone Mean?

In order to ensure our playgrounds are properly designed to minimize safety risks, we meet or exceed applicable standards for playground safety use zones. The safety use zone is the minimum free space around a play structure required to meet Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and American Society for Testing and Materials International (ASTM) standards. Use zone measurements vary depending upon the type, elevation and intended use of the equipment.

Here are some helpful tips for use zones:

CLIMBERS
  • The use zone should extend a minimum of 6 feet in all directions from the perimeter of the climber.
  • The use zone of a climber may overlap with neighboring equipment if the other piece of equipment allows for overlapping use zones, and:
    • There is at least 6 feet between equipment when adjacent play surfaces are no more than 30 inches high;
      - OR -
    • There is at least 9 feet between equipment when adjacent designated play surfaces are more than 30 inches high.

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SLIDES
  • Toddler
    • In limited access environments:
      • The use zone should be at least 3 feet around the perimeter of the slide.
      • The area at the end of the slide should not overlap with the use zone for any other equipment.
    • In public areas with unlimited access:
      • For a stand-alone slide, the use zone should be at least 6 feet around the perimeter.
      • For slides that are part of a composite structures (two or more play structures attached or adjacent), the minimum use zone between the access components and the side of the slide chute should be 3 feet.
      • The use zone at the end of the slide should be at least 6 feet from the end of the slide and not overlap with the use zone for any other equipment.
  • Preschool and School
    • The use zone in front of the access and to the sides of a slide should extend a minimum of 6 feet from the perimeter of the equipment. This recommendation does not apply to embankment slides or slides that are part of a composite structure.
    • The use zone in front of the exit of a slide should never overlap the use zone of any other equipment; however, two or more slide use zones may overlap if their sliding paths are parallel.
    • For slides less than or equal to 6 feet high, the use zone in front of the exit should be at least 6 feet.
    • For slides greater than 6 feet high, the use zone in front of the exit should be at least as long as the slide is high, up to a maximum of 8 feet.

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SWINGS
  • Moving equipment, like swings and merry-go-rounds, should be placed toward a corner or at the play area's edge.
  • Single-Axis Swings (Belt & Full Bucket)
    • The use zone in front of and behind the swing should be greater than to the sides of the swing since children may deliberately attempt to exit from a single-axis swing while it is in motion.
    • The use zone for a belt swing should extend to the font and rear of a single-axis swing a minimum distance of twice the vertical distance from the pivot point to the top of the protective surface beneath it.
    • The use zone for a full bucket swing should extend to the front and rear a minimum of twice the vertical distance from the top of the occupant's sitting surface to the pivot point.
    • The use zone in front of and behind swings should never overlap with any other use zone.
    • The use zone to the sides of a single-axis swing should extend a minimum of 6 feet from the perimeter of the swing. This 6-foot zone may overlap that of an adjacent swing structure or other playground equipment structure.
  • Multi-Axis (Tire) Swings
    • Tire swings are usually suspended in a horizontal orientation using three suspension chains or cables connected to a single swivel mechanism that permits both rotation and swinging motion in any axis.
    • A multi-axis tire swing should not be suspended from a structure having other swings in the same bay.
    • Attaching multi-axis swings to composite structures is not recommended.

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Calculate Your Square Footage

Find out your structure's available square footage here. The majority of our commercial structures have a safety use zone. This zone includes the space that the structure occupies and the buffer space surrounding the area. Measurements will be listed as XX' L x XX' W (e.g. 22' L x 24' W). Multiplying length by width will generate your square footage.


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