Can You Recognize An Unsafe Playground?

Compliments of EcoPlay Playgrounds


Now that warmer weather is approaching, many communities are ramping up for pool season and other activities at their amenities centers.  With an increase in pool traffic comes an increase in players using the tennis courts, families out and about on the streets and sidewalks, and kids using the community’s playground.  Does the equipment pictured resemble the equipment at your community?  If so, act now, and here’s why…

All Playground Equipment is classified into 2 categories:

An example of Non-Public Use Equipment: note that the swingset structure is sagging.

An example of Non-Public Use Equipment: note that the swingset structure is sagging.

  • Non-Public Use Equipment (Residential)

  • Public Use Equipment (Commercial)

“Public Use” refers to commercial playground equipment for use by children ages 6 months through 12 years in the playground areas of: child care facilities, institutions, multi-family communities (apartments, condos, townhomes, HOAs, etc.), public parks, restaurants, resorts and recreational areas, schools, and other areas of public use.

“Non-Public Use” refers to playground equipment designed for your privately-owned home where you are personally liable for any injuries.  The equipment shown in the pictures is considered “Non-Public Use” equipment and should never be installed in a “Public Use” setting such as an amenities center and/or HOA managed park area.  Although “Non-Public Use” equipment has a lower price than “Public Use Equipment,” installing residential use equipment can open your community up to additional liability associated with injuries sustained on the playground. Remember, you get what you pay for…

When evaluating your playground equipment there are three primary concerns communities should consider:

  • Safety of children to reduce injuries and death

  • Managing liability from injuries and death

  • Lifetime value of your purchase

If you have any questions regarding your playground’s status as a “Public Use Playground” area, contact a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI).  They are trained and certified using guidelines set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Society for Testing Materials.  A CPSI can advise your community whether your playground meets all necessary safety guidelines.

Lastly, if your playground is made of wood, chances are high that your playground is not classified for “Public Use.”  This presents unnecessary safety and financial risk to your community.

CPSI professionals should be reviewing your structures to be sure your neighborhood is as safe as it can be.

HMS thanks EcoPlay for this important article and encourages all Boards to evaluate the safety of their structures regularly.

Question or Comments:

EcoPlay Playgrounds, Dan Thrailkill, CPSI
404-335-7881 Office