Deal With Damage or Abuse of Equipment

Site Furnishing
Photo Courtesy of RJ Thomas

People are far less likely to visit a park that shows signs of abuse and neglect. In addition to aesthetic appeal,

maintaining a good appearance in parks is crucial to visitors’ sense of safety.

Q. What should we know about preventing damage to the furnishings in our parks?

A. Prevention is the first step, and there’s plenty you can do to reduce the likelihood of your furnishings being damaged.

Start by looking for furnishings that are specifically manufactured for heavy-use areas, and select materials that are resistant to damage. Thermoplastic-coated steel, for example, is highly durable, easy to clean and available in a wide array of colors. Recycled plastic resists paint and is easy to repair with heat. Both thermoplastic-coated steel and recycled plastic are also resistant to damage from nature. They will not splinter or rot, and are resistant to mold and insects.

In high-traffic parks, consider surface-mounting site amenities, with anchors placed in concrete to prevent the furnishings from being stolen or moved.

Your parks should be getting a regular visit from staff to check for problems on a regular basis. While checking and emptying trash and recycling cans should happen on at least a weekly basis, other less frequent tasks, like checking furnishings for wear and loose hardware, are just as important. Any damage, including vandalism and graffiti, should be addressed immediately.

Q. How should we deal with graffiti and vandalism?

A. The fact is that all public spaces will occasionally be subject to abuse. If graffiti is a common problem in your park, be sure to talk with your furnishing manufacturer about the best way to remove it. Different materials will require different methods. For example, graffiti can be removed from thermoplastic-coated furnishings using WD-40, while you can find recycled plastic furnishings that can be cleaned with graffiti removal products.

Damage caused by vandalism can be a safety hazard, so be sure to address it immediately. This might include replacing hardware, or even replacing entire items with furnishings that are more resistant to damage.


For More Information

R.J. Thomas Mfg. Company