Customer Assurance Checklist
Before buying it is important to ask!
When choosing a soft modular playground supplier review this helpful checklist of quality, safety and durability controls to ensure that your supplier meets or exceeds these crucial commitments to you and your project. When it comes to child safety and your responsibility good, ok or 2nd best simply isn’t good enough. Due diligence will let you and your staff sleep at night knowing that you have made the right choice.
Does the manufacturer/supplier have adequate liability insurance that is capable of handling any minor or major claim? Even if the equipment or project may not be at fault you are obligated to defend any claims made at your facility. Do they have adequate Workers’ Compensation and Employer’s Liability insurance coverage (“WC&EL”) for at site installations during the build out?
• Ask the Company:
Be sure to ask for a copy of their liability and WC&EL insurance policies, as well as the contact information of their insurance brokers to verify that the policies are currently effective and are in good standing.
• Did You Know?
International Play Company has been around since 1999 and have 10 million liability insurance.
Does the manufacturer/supplier produce the playground locally and provide adequate safety standards, fire spread ratings, and toxicity levels testing as required on all raw materials in order to meet local and international standards?
Once they have processed your order, they should provide you with product safety information on the materials used for your order. This valuable information can be used by fire officials and other authorities so that the burden of proof does not rest with you when officials request this information. Products should meet international standards and have even been tested by international laboratories for quality assurance. Product safety testing is a significant investment which not all companies undertake in order to provide their customers with long term peace-of-mind.
• Ask the Company:
Request fire and safety information to ensure that the supplier’s materials meet required safety standards.
• Engineered specification availability: Do the products meet engineering requirements for public use in both small and larger play structures?
For those play structures that require engineering certification (i.e. for earthquake and other requirements), deal with reputable independent firms. Pricing for engineer certification can be quoted separately, if required for your project.
• Ask the Company:
Inquire if they have experience in dealing with engineering firms for their play structures and if they have experience with firms that can certify to local requirements. Certain states, provinces and countries require specific engineering certifications, such as California due to earthquake building codes. It is imperative that supporting documentation sent to engineers and government officials is complete and accurate, to avoid potential liability.
• Does the supplier actually manufacture? Are they able to provide adequate warranty, parts, and service?
What Should You Know?
Inquire where the playground is manufactured and what warranty, parts and services are available when you need them. Having to wait on parts and service can cost you time and money and increases the risk of untimely maintenance and repairs that may lead to safety issues which ultimately increases your liability risk.
What level of quality and durability does the supplier use in the playground and materials?
They should use materials in the play structures that are produced to meet or exceed North American standards for quality and durability. Some examples include 36” diameter tube system for slides, climbs, and crawls that allow easy access insuring safety for adults and staff to access and crawl anywhere needed and even two guests to pass within the same tube space. Fully enclosed netted play frame features should include No-Climb netting attached to steel frames with FRP (Fiber Glass Reinforced Polymers) rods and secured with numerous 150lb test safety ties interlaced throughout the enclosures. The structure should then be finished with Tuff Coat™ padded pipe foam with matching safety ties that offer a safe, tidy and professional look that is also easily adjusted if required.
Decks are fabricated with premium quality heavy duty vinyl and use closed cell memory foam. The structures should only use clamps for rigidity and durability not tie wraps which are commonly used by some companies.
Always take the time to do your homework, always ask for samples of materials and inquire about installation finishes and techniques to ensure that you are getting an “Apples to Apples” comparison. Request samples of installations that have been around for over 5 years to get comfortable with the quality and the durability of playgrounds provided by these suppliers.
Does the supplier meet local and international standards for the playground industry?
Do they meet or exceed industry safety guidelines and standards such as ASTM, CSA/CPRA, ROSPA, TUV, and French standards.
Does the company actually build to engineered specifications and have real world experience with larger structures that require engineering certifications.
• Ask the Company
Inquire about manufacturing standards and request product safety information to ensure that local and national standards can be met.
• Industry experience
What experience does the supplier have? How long have they been in business?
• Ask the Company:
Ask for information on the supplier to gauge if they will be around for a long time to come.