Safety - Safety Surfaces
Properly Assembly & Positioning
Safety begins with the proper assembly and installation. We all know it, kids are especially hard on things. Given the ‘abuse’ a swing sets needs to withstand, the more skill and experienced involved in a set’s assembly, the better. Shoddy, haphazard work compromises the reliability of even the highest quality, best engineered sets. We see it all the time. Screw heads cranked down well below the surface of the wood. Failure to drill pilot holes, despite the manual’s emphasis of their importance. Bolts tightened with such excessive force that the wood crunches and surrenders to the careless heavy handedness. Careful, deliberate and conscientious assembly practices are the cornerstone of producing a safe swing set.
Positioning of the play set is another important aspect of ensuring safety for your children. Manufacturers of virtually all brands suggest a 6 foot safety zone beyond the footprint of the swing set. For most Californians, that kind of space simply isn’t available or practical. Justifying the play set so that the safest conditions are realized is the first thing we do at the beginning of every assembly. We’ll offer our suggestions, identify options, and make sure you understand and approve the final positioning of the set.
The last consideration toward safe play is whether to install a safety surface. Most customers are comfortable with the cushioning a grass surface provides. Others want to consider their options or need some sort of safety surface because their set is going onto dirt or a similarly hard surface. Options include wood mulch, rubber mulch, pea gravel and sand. Bender board can be placed around the play set as a containment barrier and after weed block is placed within the border. Any of the above mentioned materials can be filled in around any play set. We recommend a 6 inch bender board, as it provides a lip which helps prevent the safety material from getting kicked outside the border.
Rubber mulch is by far the best option, but costs typically are in excess of $1,000 for the materials alone. The easiest way to get an idea of what it costs to install a safety surface is to discuss it with your landscaper or gardener. If you don’t like what they have to say, or the quote seems high, we provide these services as well. Whether you prefer having us install a safety surface or help you coordinate the installation with your landscaper, we’re here to help. We do not recommend safety tiles, unless no other option is practical. Safety tiles are great for cushioning vertical impacts, but not so great for cushioning non-vertical ones. We’re happy to discuss the various options available and help determine the solution that’s best for you.
Here is a link to Expertise.com which provides a ton of worthwhile information toward helping your kids stay safe: