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Swing into Safety

Date Published: Jun, 12 2014

Whether you are planning on purchasing a commercial swing set for your playground or already have one, it's important to understand how to maintain them. We've compiled a guide to help you understand what goes into a swing set and how to maintain yours. Remember that nothing replaces your own common sense and should you ever believe that something is wrong with any playground equipment contact a professional for assistance.

Basic Anatomy of a Swing Set

Swing sets com in a variety of styles but many components are universal. Understanding the basic components will help you maintain your swing set more efficiently.

Chains: Chains are typically made of galvanized steel and may be coated in plastisol to provide a softer gripping surface and prevent pinching. Always replace any chains showing signs of excessive wear, twisting or pinching

Hangers: Hangers are the component that attach the chain to the beam. These vary depending on the style of your swing. Inspect hangers yearly to ensure they are tightly attached and replace if they appear corroded or worn thin.

Pendulum: Pendulums and other moving parts are susceptible to wear more than any other part of swing sets. Inspect them closely and replace if any portion has worn thin or if the part stops moving smoothly.

Connectors: There are a variety of connectors on commercial swing sets used to attach the frame and different portion of the swing together. Inspect these each closely every year making sure to tighten any loose bolts and close any S Hooks that have become bent out of shape.

Seat: The most common swing seats are belt seats, which are a wide strip of galvanized metal coated in plasticine. Bucket seats are another popular option that provides basic support for young children, both are available in a variety of colors. There are also adaptive swing seats designed for people who can not support their torso, head and neck in a traditional seat.  Always replace seats when they show signs of cracking, swelling, peeling or extreme discoloration. Also closely check the metal fitting that connect the swing to the chain and any safety straps should be in working order, replace if torn.

Use Zone

When your playground is designed, the use zone around each item is determined and reflected in the final installed playground. It is important to ensure that nothing is placed in the use zone of your swing set including obvious paths of traffic, trash cans, over grown tree branches or bike racks. Never install anything on your playground without establishing the complete use zone for all of your equipment.

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