Playground managers, facility managers, and park directors should always consider regular maintenance and inspections for their park amenities and playground equipment. Regular inspection and maintenance are key factors that help keep children and families safe, playing, and having fun.
Proper inspection and maintenance of amenities and play equipment and the surrounding areas is extremely important. Here is a list of the top 10 playground maintenance tips from the team at Playground Guardian.
10. Know Who Manages Maintenance
Does your organization have a team, or a designated person who manages the facilities? Inspecting and maintaining play equipment means keeping detailed records of each inspection, what work needs to be done, who has done the work, and when it was completed.
9. Get the Training, or Work with A CPSI (Certified Playground Safety Inspector)
The staff who manage your playground facilities, or at least the person who manages them, should be trained and have the proper knowledge of how to inspect playground equipment and surfaces. In the absence of trained staff, Playground Guardian offers an ongoing, certified playground inspection service.
8. To Shade or Not to Shade?
Does your playground have a lot of shade? Does your playground have no shade? From a maintenance perspective, shade is great because it helps decrease UV discoloration and early wear of your playground equipment. However, in the advent of COVID-19, shade can be problematic as open sun can help kill off surface contamination like bacteria and germs.
7. Keep and Read the Manuals
Your playground equipment should have come with manuals and maintenance guides. For warranty purposes, many of them will have recommended timing for inspecting various aspects of the play equipment, as well as maintenance schedules. Be sure to consult the documentation for that information.
6. Create a Schedule
Inspections and maintenance should be routine. This means that you should have a schedule that you maintain for performing basic functions like inspections, cleaning, and maintenance.
5. Keep Detailed Records & Reports
You should always keep detailed records so that you can generate reports about inspections and maintenance that you have performed. These may be required by your state or local municipality but are also vital for insurance purposes.
If you need a system for scheduling, reporting, tracking maintenance and inspections you may want to consider Park Protector. Park Protector is a web application that we developed for clients to record inspections and all related work.
4. Fenced In
Does your play area have a secure boundary or fence? They do more than keep the little explorers confined to the safe play area. Fences and boundaries can also help discourage the local critters from taking up residence in or around your play equipment. Keep in mind that fences and walkways should be included in your inspection and maintenance.
3. Take Pictures
As part of your inspection and maintenance efforts and records, you should include pictures. This helps with visual proof that a problem existed which can eliminate human error of understanding a problem, as well as documented any work that has been completed as part of repairs or maintenance.
2. Climate & Weather
You should always take climate and weather into consideration for examining your playground equipment. This can also play a role in determining what kind of playground equipment should be installed. Are you in an area with routinely high humidity? Then you may consider metal equipment over wood.
Your local weather may also impact the kind of maintenance and treatments that may need to be applied to your play equipment. Areas where rain is more common may need to consider surface treatments that reduce slipping.
1. Playground Inspection Software
If you’re currently performing inspections and maintenance and tracking those efforts with a paper-based system, you may be using more time than would be necessary. Software designed specifically for performing all aspects of playground inspections and maintenance can be a game-changer. Consider Park Protector, playground inspection software from Playground Guardian to manage your regular inspection needs.
Unsure of Your Next Steps?
If you have more questions about playground maintenance or would like to know more about professionally trained and CPSI certified inspection services, contact Playground Guardian today!