There are two big buzz words on the sales end of the playground market: commercial and residential. When developing backyard playground equipment, manufacturers and distributors work from a very different template than they would if they were setting up a playground for a school, church, or public park. Different standards of safety and stability govern backyard playgrounds, as they are not intended for public use.
Residential playgrounds have many of the same features you’ll find in a commercial play set. You’ll find slides, climbers, and swings, although unlike commercial structures, swings are allowed to be directly attached to the main structure in home playgrounds. This contributes to a more spatially economic package, optimized to fit into the average backyard.
Whereas commercial grade playground equipment is designed to withstand heavy use and resist vandalism, backyard playgrounds do not typically include these features. More responsibility falls on the homeowner for upkeep and maintenance, anticipating that less play traffic will reduce the risk of damage and deterioration.
Residential playground materials are designed, built, and intended for residential use only, and in many case, commercial uses of these products can result in actionable legal measures. This is because, according to PlaygroundLife, most residential playground pieces are designed specifically for children under the age of 12 and less than 125 pounds.
Residential playground equipment has no legal obligation to adhere to the universal standards laid out by ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) or CPSC (Consumer Product and Safety Commision). While there is no institutional requirement to meet these regulations, many backyard playground structures are still designed to exceed guidelines for the safety of children.
As always, parental guidance is an absolute must. In fact, home playground equipment requires closer supervision, and is constructed under the assumption that a responsible adult will be closely monitoring children whenever the equipment is in use.
At ValleyPlayground.com, all materials are tested and guaranteed safe for your children. We meet and exceed guidelines set by the ASTM and other regulatory bodies.