Playgrounds are like magnets for kids. Children love to climb, run, and play all over Northern Colorado playground equipment. Commercial playgrounds meet current playground safety standards when they are produced, and are a safe way to let kids run loose and they create community gathering places. They can be an investment, and some people may be tempted to save money by repurposing used playground equipment. However, there are many risks with old equipment that can put the kids in danger. Here are the top reasons to avoid buying used playground equipment for your commercial playground.
It’s no secret that kids can be rough on playground equipment. They climb all over it and often use it in ways that it’s not intended to be used. Even equipment that has been well cared for is still exposed to the elements. Over time, even the best playground equipment starts to break down and can get damaged. This can range from small damage like loose screws to larger issues like missing railings.
Some damage isn’t visible, which means the person buying the used equipment has no idea what may be wrong with it. Damaged equipment can be on the verge of breaking completely, which could put kids in danger. If a step has lost traction or a screw is loose on a slide, the next kid to play on it could break it completely and get hurt. You have no way of knowing the true condition of used equipment, not to mention the stress on a play system when it is removed from one location and reinstalled in a new location. It is extremely difficult to move aging equipment without causing additional damage.
Not all playgrounds are created equally. Although most modern, new playground equipment is made of child-safe materials, that’s not always the case for older units. Older playground equipment could contain lead paint, which can be toxic to kids and adults. Wooden equipment could have been treated with dangerous chemicals that can get on kids’ skin. There’s no way of knowing what exact materials have been used on old playground equipment and whether or not those materials are harmful to children. Click here to learn more about safe materials and playground practices.
Outdated Safety Standards
Commercial playgrounds should receive safety inspections regularly. The regulations and guidelines for safe playgrounds are updated frequently. That means that you could be purchasing used equipment that was deemed safe when it was first made, but no longer meets the safety standards. Changes to the safety standards can be small but important, such as a small difference in the allowable gap size between railings, or how deep posts need to be embedded into the ground. Unless you are a Certified Playground Safety Inspector, it can be nearly impossible to know if the used equipment you are buying is still considered safe.
Outdated equipment puts children at risk of getting hurt. It also puts you at risk for lawsuits and complaints. It can be incredibly expensive to fix safety issues on used equipment and may end up costing you more to retrofit a used unit than to simply purchase new equipment. If repairs made to old equipment are done with parts other than the original manufacturer’s, it opens you to liability should an injury occur. Click here to learn more about playground equipment inspections.
Most new playground equipment comes with a warranty, especially when you buy it from a respected and certified supplier. If the equipment breaks or needs replacement parts, it will likely be covered by the warranty. A warranty protects you if something happens to the playground equipment. However, warranties don’t transfer when the equipment is sold, which means used equipment never comes with a warranty and you no longer have that extra protection. If something breaks with a used unit, you’ll be paying for the repairs out of pocket.
It’s Not Worth the Risk
Commercial playgrounds are great places for kids to explore, play, and be active. When you’re building a commercial playground, invest the time and resources to do it right by purchasing new equipment. Your investment not only creates a safer environment but also invests in the safety of the children. There’s simply too much risk and uncertainty that comes with used playground equipment and it’s not worth the cost of children’s safety.
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of a new commercial play system? Contact Go Play today.