How to Discover if You need a Commercial Playground
That is a great question. And a very important question! It is better to do all the work of combing through the governmental websites, making a few phone calls, and doing your research than just barging ahead.
Ignorance is no excuse. I know sorting through playground advertisements, regulations, and standards can be confusing and overwhelming. Still, it is never worth it to grin and say, “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.” You have to do your research.
You don’t want to spend money on a residential playground only to find out later that you did, indeed, need a commercial-grade playground. That is not a good time for all involved.
Where should you start in your quest to determine if you need a commercial playground that meets ASTM standards? Below are four great places for you to start your research.
Check your Local Regulations and Municipalities
Yes, spending an afternoon researching your local regulations and standards is exactly what you wanted to do. But this is a great starting point.
Check your city’s or county’s website for any rules and regulations regarding commercial playgrounds and who must abide by those rules. Look for references to ASTM standards or other playground safety standards. While you are looking for ASTM guidelines, be sure to check out if any ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) regulations are in effect for your playground’s location and use.
Consult Local Authorities
If your internet sleuthing was unclear or unfruitful, you might actually have to pick up the phone or hop in your car and drive down to your local city hall. You could also contact the local parks and recreation, building, zone, or planning board. They can guide you or at least point you in the right direction.
Check your Insurance Provider
If your organization has liability insurance, you should call your provider to discuss how this affects your coverage. Their requirements may include stipulations that any playground equipment you install on-site needs to meet ASTM standards. Also, you should discover if your rates would be affected by installing a playground before you have the playground installed.
Contact NRPA or NPPS
If your local government is not helpful or confused, you may have to contact a bigger organization. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) or the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) would be great resources for you to contact. You can browse their websites or *shudder* pick up the phone and make another phone call. These are the big boys and should have plenty of information and resources for you.
Is there a shortcut in all of this? There is nothing wrong with getting a playground that meets ASTM standards. Even if you might technically be in a gray area, it is advisable to use commercial-grade playground equipment for liability reasons. Also, if the local rules and regulations change, you are already compliant.
Simply put, if you are looking for a playground where children other than your own will use the set in a public setting, I recommend you go with a commercial playground, even if your local regulations don’t require it.
If you are confused about what ASTM actually is and what it does, check out this blog post here.
King Swings Commercial builds playgrounds that meet ASTM standards and were designed by certified playground safety inspectors. We manufacture our playgrounds in Parkesburg, PA, and will deliver and install them to your location. We do our best to make the commercial playground shopping experience to be simple and enjoyable.