The Importance of Shade in Public Areas

The American Cancer Society has found that exposure to the sun's dangerous ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer, the most common form of cancer. The top recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for best protection from UV radiation: Stay in the shade.

Playgrounds, splash pads, pools, skateparks, basketball courts, bleachers, dugouts and concession areas that were once left uncovered are being protected with a variety of shapes and sizes of attractive shade canopies in lively colors. Especially where children's health and welfare are concerned, this once "optional" park amenity is quickly becoming required equipment.

Q: How do we choose the best shade canopy?

A: The best shade products on the market come in a range of colors, use quality materials, and offer extensive warranties and features, including the means to easily remove and replace the canopy.

Ask if the shade product you are contemplating offers all of the following: ample warranties on metal components and fabric canopies and cables; stainless-steel cables and hardware for maximum corrosion resistance; and a built-in, easy and reusable removability mechanism that comes with its own warranty.

Consider that last point about removing the canopy in the event of severe weather or for the winter season. While canopies are heavy-duty and structures are generally engineered to withstand at least 90 mph wind speeds, they do not provide a substantial snow load rating, nor can they survive a hurricane. It's important to be able to remove them when you need to, and easily reattach them. The best products on the market feature an easy and built-in fastening system that allows the customer to remove and reattach the canopy without having to hire expensive outside installers on an annual basis.

The Bottom Line

Providing shade at public places is no longer an option when people's health is at risk. If you choose wisely, shade can be a long-lasting investment for the public good that's aesthetically pleasing, maintenance-free, and easy to remove and reattach by your staff.



Shade Systems Inc.