This is something that we all can do to protect the children in our care; parents, teachers, park staff and youth leaders alike. Assuming an active and responsible role can lead to a positive improvement in safety. A broken board, worn chain/rope and the results of wilful damage are easy to spot. Even if you can’t put things right yourself, it is easy enough to alert someone who can. There are also other reasons for raising the alarm as a broken or worn product is often an open invitation for vandalism to occur.
Certain key components must be checked on all play equipment and should be connected to a weekly maintenance routine.
All bolts and screws should be tightened when necessary. Loose fixings can cause serious safety problems and are always a safety risk, especially in timber components and those with moving parts. Check that no bolts or screws are missing. A hole means something is missing.
Check all anchoring points for stability.
Check all steel components for wear to any zinc plated, painted or powder coated surfaces. Powder coated components are best maintained by touching up any damage to the surface immediately. Painted surfaces should be prepared, primed and repainted using a recommended paint as necessary.
Check to identify any rot or damage to the protective treatment envelope at regular intervals. Any damage to the treatment envelope should be retreated immediately, only using a recommended preservative. Check all fitting points and fixings for signs of wear in pre-drilled holes. Stained timber components should be re-stained and oiled every 3 Years.
Barriers and Floor Decks
Check screws, nails and boards for any damage. Broken fixings and boards should be replaced immediately. All barriers should be checked for stability taking note for any damage to the barrier and any missing fixings.
Lubricate all moving parts at regular intervals at the same time make sure there is no risk of entrapment between moving parts and fixed parts. All worn parts must be replaced immediately. Aerial Runways should be lubricated and tensioned as necessary. It is recommended that all cables be replaced every 5 years or earlier subject to the equipment’s use.
Suspension Bridge chains and cables should be checked on a weekly basis for wear and damage. These may need re-tensioning at times. Check all fitting and tensioning points are free from signs of wear. It is recommended that all cables and chains be replaced every 5 years or earlier subject to the equipment’s use.
Check suspension fittings regularly for signs of wear and oil any moving parts. Check damage to protective cushion around swing seats, replace as necessary. Check that the unobstructed space between the ground and the underside of the swing seat is not less than 350mm.
Ropes & Chains
Check for wear and deterioration of ropes and chains especially at fitting points. Replace as necessary.
Benches & Seats
Check the condition of the wooden slats in all seating. Replace if damaged. All seating containing Hardwood will need re-staining with Danish Oil or similar every other year.
Surfacing - General
Make sure that there are no hard or hidden sharp objects such as broken glass or contaminants that could be considered dangerous left in either loosefill or synthetic surfacing. Loosefill surfacing should be regularly maintained by raking level and topping up when necessary. Check synthetic surfacing for signs of damage or vandalism.
Match-winner™ a sophisticated needle punched carpet, specifically developed and manufactured as a surfacing material for outdoor sport and children’s play. The material is designed to be filled with special sand, to hold the sand firmly in place; the 100% polypropylene pile has vertical, horizontal and angular fibres. These fibres known by the acronym VHAF trap stabilise the sand infill to provide maximum durability with minimum maintenance requirements.
Whether used on its own or as a wearing surface for our Fenplay Softfall impact attenuating systems, Match-winner™ provides an attractive and long lasting alternative to other surfacing systems but, to keep the surface in peak condition, some minor maintenance may be required from time to time. Below is the schedule which, if followed, will ensure that your Match-winner™ surface last as long as intended under normal levels of activity.
The surfaces should be checked as part of a normal routine. It may be convenient to do this when carrying out safety checks on equipment but in any case surfaces should be checked regularly for signs of damage, accidental or other wise.
The surfaces should be clear of debris, such as drink cans, bottles, etc, which could cause injuries on any type of surface. The surface will also benefit from light brushing using a hand held brush. This will help to re-distribute the surface sand and also remove smaller pieces of debris, e.g. Cigarette ends, leaves, stones, etc. If heavy surface contamination is present contact our office for more detailed advice on removal and permissible cleaning agents / methods.
If the surface is to maintain its resistance to vandalism and premature wear, it is important to ensure that the sand within the Match-winner carpet is maintained to within 2mm of the surface of the pile. Generally, the surface should only require treatment with sand at yearly intervals (dependent on intensity of the use). The sand of a special rounded, non-staining type which can be obtained from ourselves. If required we can apply the sand for you or if you wish to do the work yourself we can just supply the sand. Builders sand or similar sands should not be used because of their abrasive nature, which could damage the carpet pile. The sand is best applied using a fairly soft brush to agitate the carpet fibres, so allowing the sand to fill the areas where it is required. Once the sand has been applied, it is best to give the whole surface a light brushing to distribute the sand evenly over the whole area.
Should wind-blown seeds contaminate the surface or should there be weeds ingress from the perimeters treatments can be carried out with a glyphosate-based herbicide such as Roundup or Tumbleweed. Alternatively we can arrange for this work to be undertaken on your behalf by a specialist contractor.
Should the surface become damaged in any place please contact us as soon as possible with details, as minor damage is very soon made worse by inquisitive hands if not put rightly quickly. Should a fire have been lit on the surface, and then this would not normally burn through the carpet (the carpet is protected by the sand contained within it), although scorching can occur. Whilst this may deface the surface, it should not affect the performance. If however you require this to be corrected, please contact our office for advice or assistance.
The finished surface is virtually maintenance-free, needing nothing more than the minimum attention you would give to any synthetic surface. In the event of localised, accidental damage or vandalism, a Continuous Surface Repair Kit is available.
15 Years on all structural timbers against rot and timber decay - subject to the outer treatment envelope having not been damaged.
1 Year on all moving and flexible parts.
1 Year on all installation work
Malicious damage, vandalism and acts of god are not covered