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Why is Maintenance Important?

Well-maintained playground equipment can help children to develop cognitively, physically, communicatively, socially, and emotionally in a safer environment. Along with helping to promote children’s development, a quality maintenance program has many positive outcomes. 

Protect your investment: Play equipment, protective surfacing, planning, and site development of a playground are significant investments. It simply makes good economic sense to maintain the equipment to extend its life and protect your school or agency’s investment. 

Manage risk: Proper, routine, and timely maintenance is a way of managing risks in the community’s play areas, helping to protect users, and demonstrating the community’s standard of care. 

Improve children’s play experiences: When playground equipment is broken or otherwise unusable, children miss opportunities for play. That moment of connection with others and fun-filled learning might be lost. The better maintained the equipment, the better the chance that a child’s life is improved. Your work could make the difference! 

Promote community values: Maintained and groomed play environments are a source of pride for the community. Taking good care of the playground equipment and maintaining a beautiful environment is an expression of your community’s values.

Control expenses: Timely, preventive routine maintenance procedures help control expenses by reducing upkeep and replacement costs, enabling more accurate budgeting.

When designing a playground maintenance program, managers should consider, among other factors, these concepts: 

Inspections should be routine, timely, and followed up with action. 

Tip: Design the program to be consistent with manufacturer’s instructions when available and take into account environmental conditions. 

Have a system in place that ensures an appropriate response to hazards. 

- A hazard is anything that could potentially cause harm. Serious hazards should be immediately repaired, removed, or taken out of service.  

Tip: Daily or high frequency inspections may help with responding to the dynamic play environment. 

A successful program requires comprehensive commitment. 

- Your program requires commitment that begins at the top because funds must be allocated to support it. 

Continually educate staff in these and other areas. 

- How to effectively identify problems and repair play equipment 

- How to provide ongoing maintenance 

- How to keep records and documentation of work 

When necessary, bring in outside vendors to perform inspections and/or do technical repairs. 

Practice complete documentation. 

- Complete records of maintenance and repairs are essential for a sound maintenance program and risk control. Providing documented evidence that maintenance is being performed verifies a standard of care as set forth by the operator and creates a historical record that could be useful. 

- Often, warranties 

By identifying and eliminating hazardous conditions, you can play an important role in Preserving the Play Environment, Promoting the Value of Play, and Protecting Children. 

Learn more about playground maintenance

Our guide provides an overview in the importance of maintenance, how to identify risk and tools for your program.

Request guide

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