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With summer here, more children will be visiting their local parks and outdoor play areas, so now is the time to inspect your play equipment.

Regular maintenance inspections are essential in ensuring that play equipment stays safe for children to use, as well as postponing the need for costly replacement parts and extending the life of your play equipment.

Gary Bridge, Installations Manager at Sovereign, gives his expert advice on equipment maintenance for a safe play environment:

“From ropes and wooden frames to nuts and bolts, there are a large number of components on play equipment that require routine checks and an annual inspection. If maintained correctly, any potential risks (including any debris, loose nuts, bolts or fixings and corrosion) can be spotted at an early stage and addressed immediately.

A survey by the Register of Play Inspectors International (RPII) found that the majority of respondents were aware that play areas and play equipment should have a detailed and documented operational inspection by a suitably competent person. However, only around a quarter of those surveyed said that someone from their local authority conducted the inspection, and less than a quarter said a qualified RPII inspector did the inspection. More than a third of respondents indicated that the only inspection or maintenance carried out was by their school caretaker or site manager. This implies that many people believe the responsibility for maintenance and inspection is that of the school and not necessarily of a suitably qualified person.

Maintaining equipment differs from company to company, but always ask for the play provider’s after-care manual and read it thoroughly. On a recent visit to a school playground, I saw that its three-year-old equipment was taped up and out of use. The structure had not been maintained according to the company’s small print, which stated that it had to be painted on a regular basis. As a result, the warranty had been made null and void, much to the disappointment of the school.

I would advise looking for pressure treated timbers and where possible avoid painted woods, as these will always require costly ongoing maintenance.”

Not every play company offers an after care service, but at Sovereign we understand how important it is that our service does not stop on the completion of your installation.

We have a dedicated team of RPII registered and certified Inspectors who are fully qualified to assess the condition of your play equipment, irrespective of the original supplier. The RPII provides the only acknowledged independent accreditation process for children’s play equipment.  Using a RPII Inspector is the best course of action to meet industry recommended standards.

Whether you are a public park or school playground, Sovereign have three different Inspection and Maintenance packages, so whether you require a one-off inspection or an on-going maintenance package, you can rest assured that we have an option for you.

If you think your equipment might be in need of an Inspection, please contact us today on 01702 804299 or email [email protected]

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