Taking care of your playground and outdoor space

17 November 2017

At Playforce, we’re experts on outdoor play and that means keeping things ship shape as we head on into winter. It stands to reason… you’ve spent time and money developing a great outdoor space that’s not only bags of fun for children, but keeps the parents happy too. It might be easy to think of your playground and outdoor space as ‘just a summer thing’ but keeping on top of the maintenance not only means it’ll be tip top for next summer, but useful throughout the winter (on those nice sunny winter days). Here are our top tips for taking care of your playground and outdoor space:

Looking after your wooden playground equipment
We’re always happy to be called and asked to come over and take a look at your equipment. We understand that keeping your children happy and safe is the #1 priority. But you can do a lot of this yourself. Why not:
? Take a good look at wooden equipment, in particular clearing off dirt, cobwebs and debris
? Tighten nuts and bolts
? Sand off rough patches
? Check your guarantees… ours are pretty extensive 

What to include in playground Risk Assessments
First of all, you can carry out your own outdoor play risk assessment. This involves making sure the facilities are suitable, safe and age-appropriate. A playground risk assessment can include:
? Regular checks for defects on all areas of outdoor play and sports equipment
? Checking on the risks and hazards for individual play items, such footballs, as well as climbing apparatus.
? Playground security with regards to making sure children can’t leave the grounds unsupervised.
? Checking the quality of steps and slopes to make sure trips and falls are kept to an absolute minimum.
? Ensuring the playground is free of debris such as litter, glass, and anything else you wouldn’t want a child to come into contact with. 
? Inspecting the area for dangerous or poisonous plants and trees.
? Making sure play areas are even and maintained, as well as checking for missing drain covers and uneven surfaces.

How to carry out a playground risk assessment
There are several ways you can conduct a playground risk assessment. A few ideas include:
? Making a video account of anything that needs fixing or maintaining.
? Creating a outdoor play risk assessment sheet
? Calling in an external assessor so you have a fresh set of eyes to help your out!

Aftercare Team
Did we mention our Aftercare Service? If you choose Playforce for your outdoor play needs we can provide the following:
? Grounds Maintenance (everything from tree surgery services to day to day tidying!)
? Account management to arrange routine inspections
? Care Inspection packages to help remedy any problems and train your staff. 

Of course the other thing that we recommend doing at this time of year is considering your needs for next summer. What’s worked/hasn’t worked? Do you need replacement equipment? Are you planning a refurb and looking to ‘up’ your ‘outdoor game’? Are the facilities you offer suitable for a range of ages or should you consider ways to introduce other options?

Ready to give some winter care to your outdoor playground? Or plan for summer 2018?  Call us today on 01255 792660.

Don’t forget… although it’s produced for schools the maintenance tips in our handy video apply to your playground too...

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