The 3 most important factors in selecting your indoor playground structure.

importance-of-a-high-quality-playground

The indoor playground is the corner stone of many Family Entertainment Centers (FEC). FECs are invaluable in the cities they service, as they often serve as the sole amusement park alternative for the city, its surrounding towns and suburbs. Remaining competitive and consistently developing promotional strategies to appeal to the districts you service are the fundamental tenets of success for any FEC owner or operator.

As a FEC owner, your business lives and breathes on its ability to exude “the fun factor” in marketing, amenities and the overall decor. Parental concerns are also important. While children themselves rarely think of it, a major factor in the attractiveness of an FEC to parents is on-site safety and security, as adults see beyond the veil of “the fun factor” to underlying concerns for the well being of their offspring.

One common potential business problem is the concern over liability, safety and the reliability of play equipment. This problem is a big one and should not be overlooked. It is imperative that you source equipment that meets the following three concerns:

  1. Meets or exceeds industry standards
  2. Caters to your FEC’s needs, demographic and creative vision
  3. Is durable and reliable so as not to cost you in excessive repairs and closures

One way to ensure that you are making the right decision when sourcing indoor playground equipment is to use a company that has built a reputation in the industry. Companies like Orca Coast Playground (www.orcacoastplay.com) have outlined clear and transparent safety standards that adhere to similar standards across industry committees like IAAPA and ASTM International, of which Orca Coast Playground holds active membership.

As Orca Coast Playgrounds notes on their website, “With possibly the best safety record and satisfaction rate in the industry you will sleep easy at night knowing your investment is in good hands.” This is an important distinction, because not only does lax safety standards put you and your FEC in serious risk, it also means unreliable equipment that will break down often and funnel money into expensive and time consuming repairs.

Don’t get caught in the trap of sourcing the cheapest option. These are the choices you pay for later on. Follow the three key points when securing your playground and you will be building your FEC on a solid foundation for the future.

One thought on “The 3 most important factors in selecting your indoor playground structure.

  1. K.

    Three most important questions to ask before making a large purchase with an indoor playground is:
    1. Insurance – 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.

    2. Materials Specifications
    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?

    3. Industry Standards
    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?

    International Play Company
    http://www.iplayco.com

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