FAQ About Playground Inspections
Playground inspections, audits, and other safety services probably involve more information and decision-making than you think. Here are some common questions we receive about playground inspections, audits, and safety services. For more information, just phone us at (877) 840-0707.
1. Why should I have my playground inspected?
To protect the children that use your playground, and to protect yourself legally. We all know that accidents can happen when kids get together in groups, especially on play equipment. But safety inspections can identify small problems that can mean the difference between safety and harm. And if an accident does happen, playground operators understand the value of documentation that shows their concern for the well-being of the children on the playground.
2. Do I have to have my playground inspected?
In most states, the answer is no. Fifteen states have adopted the CPSC guidelines in whole or part: Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia. (For details on these states’ policies, click here). In the remaining states, playground inspections are voluntary. But no matter where you live, you want the kids on your playground to play in a safe environment. And you also want to protect yourself legally, just in case the worse happens and a child gets hurt on your playground.
3. What rules are playground inspections based on?
Playground inspections are based on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) public playground safety guidelines, and the following ASTM International standards: F1487-11, “Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Playground Equipment for Public Use,” and F2223-11, “Standard Guide for ASTM Standards on Playground Surfacing”
4. What qualifies someone to be a playground inspector?
Certified Playground Safety Inspectors (CPSIs) are trained by the National Recreation and Park Association’s National Playground Safety Institute. They attend a training course and take an examination administered by the NRPA. Our company inspectors have many years of experience, and they have inspected dozens, if not hundreds, of playgrounds.
5. What does a playground inspection consist of?
Our playground inspectors examine every piece of equipment, your playground surfacing, the playground borders, and any other item that is found within and above the play area. Inspectors take careful measurements and photos, to compare the condition of the equipment with the prevailing CPSC and ASTM safety standards (see Question #2, above). Our inspectors also do what kids do best: climb, pull, jump, and crawl all over (and under) the play equipment, giving it the same rigorous physical pressure that it receives every day.
There are two types of playground safety reports: inspection reports and audit reports. Both playground inspections and playground audits involve a complete, top-to-toe examination of your playground, including equipment, surfacing, and borders. In both cases, these conditions are compared with the prevailing CPSC and ASTM safety standards (see Question #2, above), and the results are issued to you in a written report. Both types of report contain color images of problems we find.
6. What’s the difference between a playground inspection and a playground audit?
Playground audit reports are approximately 50 – 60 pages in length, and compare your playground conditions point-for-point with existing safety standards. We recommend audits to clients who are in any of the following situations:
- never have had a playground inspection before
- are seeking accreditation from NAEYC or another certification organization
- are contemplating a full-scale overhaul of their playground
- have recently completed major renovations or opened a new facility
- are facing litigation or legal issues
Playground inspection reports, on the other hand, identify only those standards with which your playground does not comply. As a result, playground inspection reports are considerably shorter in length than playground audit reports.
7. Are playground inspections and audits confidential, or do you share the information with other people or organizations?
Playground inspections and audits are confidential. According to the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Code of Conduct, inspectors shall “sustain and advance the integrity, honor and veracity of their certification by … never providing findings … to anyone other than the playground owner unless authorized by the owner to do so.” In other words, inspectors cannot share information about your playground with any other source, including parents, teachers, and govenrment agencies, without your permission.
8. Are your inspectors insured for the work that they do?
Yes. They are fully insured for liability and for Errors and Omissions.