While playgrounds are made to provide outdoor entertainment for kids, they still require regular maintenance in order to extend their life and keep them safe. The maintenance needs of each piece of equipment depend on the material and design. Even with regular informal inspections, it is still important to have a qualified inspector periodically check equipment for hazards, making necessary repairs immediately. Also be sure to look at the playground as a whole, not just the pieces of equipment.
Regular Inspection of Equipment and What To Look For
Stay familiar with current playground safety guidelines, as well as safety standards for each piece of playground equipment. Over time all equipment will deteriorate in the outside elements. Know what to look for when inspecting for damage like rust in metal pieces, sharp edges that could snag clothing or cause lacerations, poorly secured moving parts, rotting and weakened wood. Pay particular attention to steps, swing chains, and seats.
Address damage and related issues immediately. Otherwise, you should remove the equipment as soon as possible for the sake of safety. Wood equipment can be sealed with a wood preservative to protect against the elements. All hardware should be tightened and secure. The manufacturers of the playground pieces should have warranty and maintenance instructions. If you can’t buy replacement parts, it may be necessary to replace the piece of equipment.
Daily Inspections of the Grounds
While regularly inspecting each piece of equipment is important, it is equally important to look for hazards on the playground property as a whole. Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon to find vandalism, garbage or even broken glass littered on the ground or equipment, which poses a threat to children. Even nature can cause some threats. In the wintertime, inspect slides and other equipment for ice build up after storms and similar events.
Water can cause other issues on playgrounds such as areas of standing water if it doesn’t properly drain, or erosion of the soft material designed to cushion falls. Ensure the surfacing provides an adequately thick cushioning without trip hazards. Replace or add cushioning when necessary.
Mulch and sandbox inspections should ensure that no hazards or sharp items are inside. Continuous checks will keep children safe. In fact, it would be a good idea to to set up a maintenance plan to keep on track. Maintenance plans should account for seasonal inclement weather like snow and ice clearance.
A lot of playground maintenance boils down to vigilance. Thoroughly investigating the structural integrity of the playground equipment, and surveying the grounds for damage and debris on a regular basis will ensure the safety of the children who use it. Familiarity with the equipment and grounds will also save time because inspectors will know what to look for. Creating a maintenance plan will help immensely with keeping on top of regular care for the playroom, particularly during seasonal inclement weather when snow and ice become a hazard.
In conclusion, maintaining your playground doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these easy tips, you can keep your play area safe and enjoyable for years to come. However, if you’re looking for professional help, T.F. Harper & Associates LP is here to provide reliable and efficient playground maintenance services in Austin, Texas. Our team of experts has been serving the community for over 30 years, ensuring that children can play in a safe and secure environment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help maintain your playground. Keep your children happy and healthy by providing them with a safe and well-maintained playground, and let T.F. Harper & Associates take care of the rest.