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How to Measure for Safe Playset Space in Your Backyard

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Swinging

It is always important to make sure you have ample space for a proper safety zone around playground equipment before purchasing.  These general guidelines will help you get started figuring out where to put your equipment and help keep your kids safe while they have fun.

• Swings - Allow clearance in front of and behind the swings of at least double the height of where the swing attached. 

• Slides - Allow at least 6' of landing zone in front of a slide.

 Monkey Bars - Place no less than 6’ from any structure or obstruction, such as a fence, building, electrical wires, or branches.  This includes 6' above the structure in case kids sit on top of the monkey bars.

• Clubhouses - These are generally tall structures, so always be aware of any overhead branches or wire.

• Rock walls - Allow at least 6' of clear space behind the climber in case of falls or jumps.

• Ground covering - Install materials under outdoor playground equipment that will help absorb the impact of a fall.  Ideal options include sand, mulch, rubber mats, rubberized mulch, or pea gravel (all softer than dirt, grass, or concrete).  The depth of the material necessary is determined by the fall height from the equipment and the material used. While it needs to be deeper in some instances depending on these variables, the minimum amount required for the lowest fall heights is at least 6" deep, extending at least 6'  around the perimeter of the equipment (and double the swing height). 

Remember, these are just basic guidelines - always check the manufacturer's installation instructions for specific safety distances needed for the equipment you purchase.  All instruction manuals for Lifetime playground equipment include specific safety zone requirements, fall heights, and a chart listing recommended ground covering depths.  To view Lifetime instruction manuals online, click here.

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