As we enter the summer months, more and more families are heading to the playground to play during warm spring and summer evenings. It is important that your board consider the safety of your playground on a yearly basis, and to keep up constant maintenance both for the safety and enjoyment of your homeowners. Here are some tips for building new playgrounds or maintaining the safety of your existing HOA park.
If your HOA is building a playground for the first time, there are a few considerations that your board should be aware of before choosing the equipment. Here are a few steps your board can take to creating a beautiful and safe playground.
Choose a Credible Manufacturer
It is important to research thoroughly before choosing a manufacturer for your equipment. You should resist the temptation to try to choose equipment without reference to an expert due to the many regulations that surround playground equipment.
Consider Ground Material
The ground material of your playground is one of the most important decisions you will make. In some areas, certain materials such as sand are illegal due to their not being handicapped-accessible. Materials such as wood chips should also be a certain depth to help prevent injuries from falls.
Post Safety Signs
Both for the safety of children and for the protection of your HOA from lawsuits, you should post clear safety signs that outline proper use of equipment as well as the age groups for which the playground was designed.
Once your playground is constructed, be sure to schedule regular inspections. Having these inspections on the schedule will ensure that your board does not forget this crucial item. Regular maintenance on playground equipment will help to keep more costly replacements and repairs at bay and maximize safety.
If your association already has a playground, there is a certain amount of maintenance that should be considered on a yearly basis. These concerns include:
Inspecting and Replacing Ground Material
Because regulations require the material on the ground to be a certain depth, it is important to replace these materials as needed. Substances such as wood chips can become displaced during winter months, so spring and summer are a perfect time to inspect and replace as needed. Composite material should also be regularly checked for damage.
Check for Insect Nests or Other Hazards
It is a good idea to regularly inspect equipment and surrounding areas for insect nests such as wasps, bees, or ants. Doing so will help to protect children from bites or stings.
Perform Regular Checks on Nuts and Bolts
The structural integrity of the playground should be checked on a regular basis. Weather and regular use can wear down connecting nuts and bolts, compromising the integrity of the structure and putting little lives in danger. Any rusted or weakened nuts, bolts, or joints should be replaced immediately.
Spring and summer are the perfect time to maintain existing playgrounds or even construct new parks for the children in your community. Soon the happy sounds of children playing will be added to the sounds of summer in your homeowners association.