Two ASTM Playground Codes: Which do You Need?

If you feel a bit overwhelmed and confused while shopping for commercial playgrounds or commercial swing sets, don’t feel bad. It is a world full of codes, standards, and numbers. Today, we will discuss two ASTM standards affecting playgrounds and what you need to know about them.

In today’s blog post, we will explore:

  • Two Important Codes
    • ASTM F1148-21
    • ASTM 1487
  • Why are the Codes Important?
  • How do You Know Which Code You Need?
  • Things to Look for to Identify Plagyround Built to ASTM 1487

Let’s get started!

The Two Standards

The two standards we are talking about today are ASTM F1148-21 and ASTM 1487. In a nutshell, F11480-21 covers residential playgrounds, and ASTM 1487 covers commercial playgrounds.

Why is this important?

Purchasing a playground built to the standards your setting requires is essential.

If you just need a residential playground, purchasing a playground built to ASTM 1487 (the commercial playground codes) means paying for extra safety features not required for your setting.

If you need a commercial playground, purchasing one built to ASTM F1148-21 means your playground will not pass a safety inspection.

How do you know which playground your code needs to meet?

It boils down to whether or not your playground must pass a safety inspection. For example, if you are a church or a daycare, you must check with local and state ordinances, liability insurance, and other governing bodies.

If you discover you do not need to be certified, you can go with a residential playground. However, if you need a certified playground safety inspector to inspect your playground, you will need a commercial swing set built to ASTM 1487.

Since you are here, reading this blog post on a commercial playground website, it is safe to assume you need a playground that meets ASTM 1487. Our commercial playgrounds are built to this standard and will pass an inspection.

If you continue your search for a commercial playground on other websites, be sure they are built to ASTM 1487.

However, If you are actually looking for a residential playground, you are a bit lost, my friend. Jump over to our residential swing set website at

How to Tell if A Playground Meets Code

While this will not be an exhaustive list by any stretch of the imagination, here are some things to look out for when shopping on websites that claim to sell commercial plagyround equipment but don’t explicitly say the playgrounds meet ASTM 1487.

Roof Heights

A commercial playground roof must be 84’’ off the playdeck. If you are looking at a commercial playground provider and the roofs on their playground don’t look any higher than their residential swing sets, the playground may not meet ASTM 1487.

Why is that important? Children tend to climb onto things they shouldn’t. The extra height on a commercial playground roof prevents children from scrambling up to perform their rendition of Fiddler on the Roof!

Tube Slides without Guards or Hoods

A tube or covered slide should have a guard or hood that prevents children from climbing up the outside of the tube. Granted, the rest of the playground may meet ASTM 1487, but the absence of a hood or guard should be enough of a red flag for you to ask about it.

Loose Ropes on Climbers

A rope accompanying a climber should be attached to the bottom of the rock wall or climber. This is so the children do not become entangled in the rope as they climb or have it wrapped around them if they take a tumble. For this reason, most manufacturers do not include a rope at all.

Staircase without Backing

Admittedly, most people will need clarification on this requirement. Why do you have to back staircases? This is due to the danger of entrapment. Those who wrote ASTM 1487 were concerned about children scooting between the steps and getting their legs or, worse, their heads trapped. That is why staircases must be backed.


When shopping for a commercial swing set, be sure the playground is built according to ASTM 1487. If it is made to ASTM F1148-21, it will not pass an inspection. If the description doesn’t clarify that the plagyround equipment meets the commercial code, ask lots of questions and look for small, tell-tale signs of which code the manufacturer followed.

King Swings Commercial builds our commercial plagyround equipment to ASTM 1487. Also, our sets were designed by certified playground safety inspectors. Once purchased, our crews will deliver and install your new commercial playground, making us a one-stop shop for your commercial playground equipment needs!

Blake Greenly

Blake Greenly has been a sales representative for King Swings Commercial since the launch of the new brand. He comes from a background of hard work and dedication that drives him to ensure his clients are satisfied through the whole process of buying a commercial playground.

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