Commercial playgrounds are developed to provide fun for children ages 14 and under in a safe environment. There are distinct differences between Commercial and Residential Playgrounds. Residential Playgrounds, though safe, are typically made out of lumber and do not have safety guidelines set up by different associations. The safety of the Commercial Playgrounds is governed by several different organizations. They include: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), National Program for Playground Safety, A.S.T.M. International, ADA Accessibility Guidelines, and National Child Care Association. One can usually find commercial playgrounds at public parks, fast food restaurants, indoor play places, schools, and churches. Prices for a commercial playground depend on size and the type of components on them. The prices range from typically $10,000 to $150,000.
Commercial Playgrounds are indoor or outdoor structures meant design to handle large volume of traffic. The playgrounds are designed with both safety and fun in mind to ensure a good time for the children and peace of mind for parents and guardians. In the past few decades the commercial playground industry grew tremendously. Commercial playgrounds started as slides and climbing structures being put next to one another and then eventually being combined. Since those early days Commercial playgrounds have grown into a multi-million dollar industry with playgrounds having multiple levels, climbing structures, slides, play panels, and stations.
Commercial Playground Safety is not taken lightly by the commercial playground industry or customers alike. In order to make sure Commercial playground companies make the safest playgrounds they are governed by industry and multi-industry organizations and associations. As stated in the opening paragraph they include: Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), National Program for Playground Safety, IPEMA and A.S.T.M. International.
CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission)helps govern playground safety by informing the public of unsafe playground practices and unsafe playground equipment. The CPSC also hands out booklets that inform consumers how to have their children play safe. The CPSC also created a book of guidelines for public playground safety in 1981 that has shaped the commercial playground industry and their safety efforts.
NPPS (National Program for Playground Safety) governs playground safety by helping the public create safe and developmentally appropriate play environments for children. The NPPS works closely with CPSC creating the guidelines put into the public playground safety book.
ASTM International is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. They create technical standards for materials, products, systems, and services. They also create standards for playground equipment manufacturing. The standard that must be met by playground equipment manufacturers is ASTM F1487-07, excluding sections 7.1.1, 10 and 12.6.1, ASTM F1292-04, and ASTM F2075-04.
IPEMA (International Playground Equipment Manufacturers Association) is a third-party certification service. IPEMA makes sure that playground manufacturers follow the ASTM Standards and the Standard Consumer Performance Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public use.