Learn About Play Equipment Certification

If you operate a park, school or other location that features a playground, you already know about the importance of providing attractive, fun and compliant equipment, including impact-attenuating surfacing beneath. But how do you know that the play equipment and safety surface you choose meet applicable safety standards? Third-party certification of public play equipment and surfacing systems can ease your mind.

Q: We are installing a playground and want to ensure our equipment meets all relevant safety standards. What should we consider?

A: In order to ensure the equipment meets the applicable safety standards, you should purchase commercial playground equipment that has been third-party-certified to be in compliance with nationally recognized standards. Manufacturers that have successfully gone through the certification process will be able to include the certification logo, proving they have been tested and are in compliance with the requirements of the current published ASTM F1487, Standard Consumer Safety Performance Specification for Public Use, or CAN/CSA-Z614, Children's Playspaces and Equipment.

Q: We are certain that our play equipment has been certified and meets applicable standards, but what about the safety surface?

A: Look for playground safety surfaces that are third-party-certified to be in compliance with the relevant standards for that type of surface. Certification covering the current ASTM F1292, Standard Specification for Impact Attenuation of Surfacing Materials Within the Use Zone of Playground Equipment, verifies that the surface has a critical fall height greater than the equipment fall height. There are also certifications that cover ASTM F2075-15, Standard Specification for Engineered Wood Fiber for Use as a Playground Safety Surface Under and Around Playground Equipment; and ASTM F3012-14, Standard Specification for Loose-Fill Rubber for Use as a Playground Safety Surface Under and Around Playground Equipment.

What that means is that no matter which type of safety surface you want to install beneath your play equipment—unitary, loose fill or engineered wood fiber—there is a third-party certification to verify that it will perform as the manufacturer claims.