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Subject: Playground Equipment
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HollieR
(Alabama)

Posts:1


06/11/2019 9:08 AM  
How can I determine if playground equipment will meet minimum standards for neighborhood use? Our HOA needs to replace some equipment and I fear that "residential use" equipment will put our HOA at risk. Any advise is much appreciated.
ND
(PA)

Posts:300


06/11/2019 9:22 AM  
You're right . . . the crap sold by Walmart and mass produced in China is not suitable for neighborhoods. Google search for actual playground equipment (the type used by schools, daycares, local parks, etc.) that is manufactured/sold/installed by reputable companies. The equipment is manufactured and installed per actual safety standards that the companies will gladly tell you about. Find your local retailer/installer of equipment. Get ready to pay a bundle to buy and have the equipment installed. But good equipment and proper installation isn't cheap.

Once installed, have equipment inspected (there are certified inspectors also easily found on internet) on some routine basis to ensure you are keeping up with standards in the playground industry (playground covering depth, tightened fasteners, proper signage, etc.). Immediately correct any deficiencies. This arrangement will ensure you are doing due diligence to supply and maintain safe equipment and play area within your neighborhood, mitigating risk.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2518


06/11/2019 11:51 AM  
When we replaced our equipment some years ago, our president at the time spoke to someone at our local parks department and was referred to a commercial playground equipment company, so that's where you may want to start. You might also want to talk to your association's master insurance provider, who can give you some referrals and insights on what it will and won't cover.

When we replaced our equipment, we learned that the Consumer Products Safety Commission has certain standards as to what should be in the playground, depending on its size (such as the mulch you spread) - it was quite interesting. As you've guessed correctly, using the stuff you get at the local hardware or department store won't stand up because it's designed for one household, not a hoard of children from the entire neighborhood. It won't be cheap, but in the long run, it's cheaper than a lawsuit.
KellyM3
(North Carolina)

Posts:1375


06/11/2019 2:03 PM  
Posted By SheliaH on 06/11/2019 11:51 AM
When we replaced our equipment some years ago, our president at the time spoke to someone at our local parks department and was referred to a commercial playground equipment company, so that's where you may want to start. You might also want to talk to your association's master insurance provider, who can give you some referrals and insights on what it will and won't cover.

When we replaced our equipment, we learned that the Consumer Products Safety Commission has certain standards as to what should be in the playground, depending on its size (such as the mulch you spread) - it was quite interesting. As you've guessed correctly, using the stuff you get at the local hardware or department store won't stand up because it's designed for one household, not a hoard of children from the entire neighborhood. It won't be cheap, but in the long run, it's cheaper than a lawsuit.




This is really nice advice as city park-grade equipment, while expensive, is impressive and will serve you well.
RichardP13
(California)

Posts:3596


06/11/2019 2:13 PM  
Something to think about. Who buys into brand new communities? Younger people who have young children or are ready to start a family. As kids get older, they no longer pp=lay at the playground. As a community ages and home prices escalates, younger people do not buy their, they go back into the newer communities, which are priced considerably less expensive. Older couples with grown children or none at all are buying into the older communities, sometimes because there are few kids.

Point is, communities are getting rid of the playgrounds. Same holds true for golf courses. The younger generation doesn't play golf and many of them are closing.

Been there, Done that
LetA
(Nevada)

Posts:694


06/11/2019 6:07 PM  
There are firms that will inspect and certify that the playground equipment is fit for use. They also provide repair cost. Don't mess around with this, a HOA here in Las Vegas was sued for an amount that over exceeded their D&O policy and can force every owner in that HOA to surrender their title to the victim.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16360


06/11/2019 6:17 PM  
We used a company to replace our equipment.
Similar to Shelia, we used one that also does public playgrounds.

SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2518


06/12/2019 6:32 AM  
Posted By RichardP13 on 06/11/2019 2:13 PM
Something to think about. Who buys into brand new communities? Younger people who have young children or are ready to start a family. As kids get older, they no longer pp=lay at the playground. As a community ages and home prices escalates, younger people do not buy their, they go back into the newer communities, which are priced considerably less expensive. Older couples with grown children or none at all are buying into the older communities, sometimes because there are few kids.

Point is, communities are getting rid of the playgrounds. Same holds true for golf courses. The younger generation doesn't play golf and many of them are closing.





That's another reason we got rid of our pool - too expensive and old, very few people used it and the park down the street has a bigger one, with a sliding board!
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