If you own or manage an apartment community that has a playground, then it is your job to make sure the children who use that playground are kept safe. Often, this includes focusing on both structural maintenance of the playground and creating rules to govern its use. Here are a few tips you should consider implementing for a safer apartment community playground.
1. Fence it in.
If your playground area is not already surrounded by a fence, putting one up is an important safety measure. A fence makes passersby less likely to just wander into the playground and potentially pose a threat to the children. It also makes life easier for parents who are supervising their kids as they play. The parents do not have to worry about the kids running away from the playground and towards the street or other hazards.
When choosing a fence for your playground, you need to make sure it's safe for kids. Vinyl-coated chain link fencing works well. It does not develop the sharp edges that standard, metal chain link sometimes develops as it ages. It's inexpensive, and you can have it put up rather quickly. A wooden privacy fence is an even more secure option since it will prevent others from seeing into the playground. However, wood is more expensive than chain link, and you will have to put money into maintaining it to ensure it does not become splintery and a hazard to the kids. Another option is a vinyl privacy fence, which costs more, but offers the same level of isolation as wood fencing with less maintenance.
2. Install security cameras.
If a child falls and injures themselves on the playground, you may face a lawsuit from parents. You can protect yourself if you have security footage that shows exactly what happened, proving that it was not, in fact, caused by faulty equipment or a lack of maintenance as the parents may claim.
Security cameras will also make parents feel more comfortable about their children using the playground. They won't have to worry as much about kidnapping and other risks since they know anything that happens will be caught on film. And, God forbid something like this actually does happen, having footage of it will be extremely helpful in any police investigation.
3. Only unlock the gate when the playground is open.
If you have the playground surrounded by a fence with a gate, this gives you more control over when the playground is open and when it is closed. You can have one of your maintenance or security personnel lock the gate to the playground when it closes for the evening and open it up again the next morning. This way, you do not have to worry about anyone getting hurt on the playground because they played on it during the night time, and you don't have to be as concerned about vandalism, either.
4. Ask parents to report any maintenance or other issues with the playground.
Chances are, you don't visit the playground and carefully look over every piece of equipment each day. So, there is a chance something could break and remain a hazard for a few days before you find out about it and can have it fixed. To minimize this risk, make sure all of the parents whose children use the playground know to report any issues to you immediately. You can advise them of this by sending out an email, posting signs on the playground, and even including it in your community's monthly newsletter.
If you follow the tips above, your apartment community playground should remain a safe and enjoyable amenity for all.
I have loved cats ever since I was a child. My parents let our cat roam around the yard without a fence when I was a child, but when I adopted my first cat as an adult, I was much too afraid that she would run off to let her outside. After keeping her as an "indoor cat" for a few years, I decided to look into backyard fencing options that she might not be able to climb or jump over. I put a lot of research into those options, so I decided to start sharing what I learned on a blog to help other cat owners and anyone else who is looking for a fence for a specific need. I have been very lucky and my cat hasn't jumped over my fence at all and she now loves her fenced in back yard!