Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do I Need a Fence Around a Playground?

There are two types of border you will need to consider with a playground.   A border around your play equipment “use zone” will contain safety surfacing.  A fence around the outdoor activity space may corral the little kiddos, pets or keep undesired traffic out.   Fence selection should consider local codes, and meet design requirements for playground safety. 
Many child care regulations address the requirements for fencing, such as a minimum height.   Consider the location of the fence when determining the height.  If there is a requirement for a fence to be 4' high, is that from the inside or outside?   If you place a fence next to your playground, don't forget that you will have surfacing beneath your equipment.   If your children are standing on a 12" high grade of surfacing, a 4' fence may only be 3' above where the kids rest their feet!
At long last, a recent revision of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission document  "Handbook for Public Playground Safety" finally includes a reference to the ASTM fence document.   Be sure your fence meets ASTM F2049 (Standard Guide for Fences/Barriers for Public, Commercial, and Multi-Family Residential Use Outdoor Play Areas).  Many fence contractors are not familiar with this standard, many fence distributors may offer or provide materials that do not meet some of the most basic safety standards in this referenced document.   Playground fencing is NOT the same as swimming pool fencing and has a different opening threshold between vertical or horizontal members.   The ASTM document also address traffic barriers.  A fence may be included in your plans to protect or corral children.  Most fences aren't designed to withstand the force of an automobile gone astray.  
You should review your site plans with a professional. There is more to safe play than only Swings and Slides!
For more information, visit us online at http://www.dunriteplaygrounds.com/


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