Spring is coming, which means more time spent outdoors and, hopefully, more kids and families enjoying your park or playground! That said, there’s a lot of work to be done to help get your playground ready for warmer weather.

It is important to conduct routine inspections of playground and park equipment and safety surfaces to ensure that they meet safety standards. Here’s a short Playground Inspection Checklist of areas to inspect from the folks at Playground Guardian:

  • Play equipment: Metal, Plastic and Painted or Coated Surfaces
  • Hardware
  • Safety Surfacing
  • Disinfecting & Sanitization

Playground Equipment: Metal, Plastic, and Painted or Coated Surfaces

Playground inspectors, especially CPSI-certified inspectors, like the team at Playground Guardian, always look for exposed or damaged footings, broken or cracked clamps as these issues can result in serious life-threatening injuries. It is also important to look for rusted or flaking metal, damaged or peeling paint, and cracked or broken plastic. Though they may seem minor, any of these issues can lead to larger problems, such as injury or equipment failure, if not taken care of immediately.


It may seem obvious to look for loose or protruding bolts or screws, but it can sometimes be overlooked. Given that these fastners hold together most playground equipment, it is vital that they be present and tightened correctly to prevent equipment failure or injury. Additionally, it is important that they are the right size and do not stick out in any sort of way, so as to prevent anyone from catching on them and getting injured.

Safety Surfacing

While many understand the importance of checking the play equipment, safety surfacing is equally important in making sure your playground is safe and ready for use. Falls to the surface is the reason for the majority of playground injuries, so it is important to make sure there is adequate fall attenuation.

  • Make sure surfacing material is not compromised by tree roots or sinking underneath
  • There are no trip hazards due to torn or damaged unitary surfacing
  • Border around playground is in good condition
  • Transitions from one safety surfacing to another (such as poured-in-place to loose fill) are smooth and unbroken
  • Loose fill surfacing material is not scattered
  • Loose fill surfacing is at an appropriate depth for safety

Disinfecting & Sanitization

Prior to COVID-19, most people probably didn’t consider how dirty playground equipment can be. When conducting an inspection, disinfect and sanitize hand holds, rails and frequently touched play components. Additionally, consider a routine cleaning and sanitizing schedule for your playground equipment. You may want to consider installing a hand sanitizer at your site to encourage use before entering the play area and when leaving.

Other Considerations

Routine playground inspection is essential to keeping your playground safe. Luckily, Playground Guardian has you covered! We offer playground safety inspection services and audits, performed by CPSI-certified inspectors. These inspections are performed and tracked using our Park Protector inspection software to keep audit, inspection, and maintenance notes all in one place.

At Playground Guardian, we are passionate about playground safety and have been dedicated to keeping playgrounds safe and fun for over 50 years. Feel free to reach out to the team at Playground Guardian with any further questions!