If you're the owner of a park, staying up to date on the equipment in it is essential for the safety of everyone who visits it. Not only is it essential for people's safety but making sure that you have up to date equipment can help to increase the number of people who visit it as well. In addition, you'll need to make sure that your park equipment is up to date to ensure that it meets state and local regulations.
Parents generally don't want their children to play on equipment that looks old and weathered, which is because this could be a safety concern in some cases. Equipment that looks new is more likely to be appealing to parents, which means that you should ensure that all of the playground equipment at your park is up to date!
Code Requirements for Park Equipment
The code requirements for park equipment vary significantly from one region of the country to another, which means that you need to be familiar with your local laws and regulations. Not only should you do your research to make sure that your park equipment meets code, but you also should consult with a lawyer to ensure that your equipment is up to par with local laws.
If your equipment does not meet code, you may receive a notice to alter or remove it. In addition, you're likely to face fines as a result of having equipment that is not in compliance with local codes. To ensure that the legal advice on your area's regulations is accurate, it's important to make sure that the lawyer you hire is from your area.
While there are many differences in the regulations for park equipment between different areas, many aspects of the code are the same. Furthermore, there are organizations at the national level that create guidelines to improve the safety of park equipment throughout the US. Here are some examples of things that you need to keep in mind to ensure that your park equipment meets code and is free of hazards:
It's important to make sure that the netting on playgrounds does not have gaps with a perimeter in the range of 17 to 28 inches, which is due to the risk of strangulation that can be caused by such netting. Furthermore, it's important to ensure that the netting remains taut, which will ensure that it does not change in size and begin to pose a strangulation risk.
Falls on playgrounds can cause serious injuries, and the best way to prevent these injuries is to install a railing on the upper levels of a playground. In addition, it's important to keep in mind that injuries can happen even if someone only falls from a relatively short distance. As a result, even low upper levels of playgrounds should have a railing.
While there are many examples of shock-absorbing surfaces, some cost-effective ones to consider are sand, wood chips, and pea stone. These surfaces are highly effective at reducing injury from falls that can potentially happen to children on the playground.
However, if you choose wood chips, it's important to make sure that they're not CCA-treated. You also can use shredded or recycled rubber mulch. This can provide an exceptionally soft surface that will absorb the shock of falls and prevent injury.
The lead in some older paints can be hazardous to young children who may ingest paint chips, which can cause the lead to build up in the body over time. In order to remove lead paint, it's essential to hire a crew that will follow the proper safety precautions to prevent inhalation of paint particles that contain lead.
Sharp areas on your park's playground could be dangerous for children. Make sure that you routinely examine the equipment to ensure that there's nothing sharp sticking out. Also, ensure that there's nothing that poses an impalement risk, which means that you should check to make sure no objects are sticking out that get progressively thinner the further you get from the base.
It's important to make sure that you have a sign that designates the age ranges of children who can use your playground. Make sure that there are signs to indicate the weight limit of playground equipment to prevent a collapse and ensure that you have signs that indicate the minimum required age for children to use your equipment. Furthermore, it's essential to include a requirement for parental supervision on the sign(s) at your park.
Make sure that you set up your equipment according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Don't try to improvise and set up the equipment using a different setup than what it says on the instruction, which is because the equipment is typically designed to only be used one way.
How-to Keep Equipment in Good Condition
If there's anything broken on your equipment, fixing it right away can prevent injury. In order to confirm that you're aware if the equipment is broken, it's essential to check on the equipment at your park on a regular basis. Also, ensure that you regularly check phone messages, text, and email to see if anyone has reported any problems with the equipment. Furthermore, you should ensure that people who visit your park have a way to get in touch with you if there are any problems that they need to report.
Not only is rust unsightly, but it also weakens metallic surfaces of your park's playground. Luckily, stainless steel products are less likely to rust, and you'll never encounter the issue with rust if you choose aluminum for slides and other metal playground equipment. This is also important to take into account if you have metal picnic tables and benches.
Pressure treated wood contains chemicals that can be harmful to one's health over time. Luckily, manufacturers are required by law to disclose if the wood is pressure treated. If you have wooden materials on your playground, it's best to ensure the strength of the wood by choosing a type of wood that's naturally durable as opposed to getting pressure-treated wood. In addition, you should avoid using pressure-treated wood for benches of tables.
Make sure that there isn't any equipment that a limb could be trapped under and cause a crushing injury. For instance, ensure that seesaws are designed to not fully reach the ground, and ensure that the space at the bottom point of the seesaw is far enough off the ground that a limb could not be caught under it.
There are several ways that head entrapment can occur. Any bars on fencing or elsewhere in a playground can result in entrapment, which can be prevented by either ensuring that bars are too far apart for a child's head to fit through or making the distance between the bars too narrow for this to occur. Also, partially bound openings should be greater than 55 degrees to prevent head entrapment.
If you have wooden surfaces on your playground, it's essential to make sure that these surfaces have been properly finished to prevent splinters. Furthermore, this will improve the appearance of the wood surfaces on your park's playground. Not only does this apply to playgrounds, but it also applies to tables and benches that are made of wood.
Low-lying objects that one can trip over should be removed from the playground. In addition, it's important to avoid placing equipment that could present a tripping hazard in the park.
This is especially true regarding picnic tables and chairs, which is going to be important on hot summer days. In fact, placing your picnic tables and chairs in the shade will greatly improve your park's level of attendance during the summer and prevent wear and tear on equipment.
How Do You Update Park Equipment?
To update your park equipment, you'll need to have a team to assist you in the installation. In addition, you'll need to do online research to determine that the equipment you're installing is truly up to date and ensure that it will remain up to date for a considerable time. Often, old equipment can be sold. You'll be able to sell the equipment to other park owners in many cases, but it's also possible to sell playground equipment to new schools.
Where Can You Find Park Equipment?
Some online vendors will ship park equipment to you in parts, and there are a variety of sources for this. However, it's important to ensure that you choose a reputable vendor. Therefore, you should read reviews of any online products that you're considering, which will help you to determine if the company is reputable.
If you're looking to buy equipment used, it's essential to ensure that it's in good condition. Therefore, you should look at any used park equipment that you're planning to purchase in person prior to buying it and take the time to thoroughly inspect it.
You want to make sure that your park is a popular and safe place for people of all ages and ensuring that your park equipment is up to date is an essential part of that. Make sure that you replace outdated equipment and ensure that repairs are made as quickly as possible. Furthermore, it is essential to ensure that your park equipment meets code.