Regular maintenance of your indoor playground equipment helps to ensure that the equipment is functioning at optimum efficiency all the time.
In the long run, the cost of preservation is way lower than the cost you would incur in the event of a significant breakdown. The equipment will not be in use at such a time leading to untold losses for your business.
Naturally, the safety of your clients comes first. Hence, maintaining indoor playground equipment in perfect shape will help you guarantee the safety of your customers.
Besides, the indoor equipment lasts longer when you take care of it well. Some playground equipment has a life span of 8 to 10 years, while others can last 15 to 20 years. However, much indoor playground equipment rarely lasts long because of heavy usage and poor or no maintenance.
Read on to find out how you can maintain your indoor playground equipment:
- Regular Checking
- Annual Inspection by Expert
- Different Parts Maintained Differently
- Immediate Repairs
- Strictly Prohibit Children from Bringing Food or Dangerous Items
- Regular Cleaning
- Sanitize and Disinfect
It’s vital to check all parts of indoor playground equipment regularly. However, it can be such a daunting task. So how do you do it, or where do you start?
1. 1. Planning
If you’re to maintain your indoor playground equipment successfully, you need to develop a plan.
A great way to start is to map out the sections of the equipment. Note the surfaces that need daily cleaning, oiling and the ones that need expert inspection weekly, monthly, or annually.
Mapping out the parts of the playground equipment that can get damaged easily, such as soft play products, foam noodles, floor mats, and plastic balls, will help plan how to preserve them.
1.2 Assign Duties
Once you’ve mapped out the sections of the indoor playground equipment, identify which staff will inspect what section. Assign duties and have the staff write regular reports.
This will ensure responsibility and accountability in case something goes wrong. It also acts as a deterrent against negligence.
Alongside that, you need to get your staff trained on what to look for as they check the playground equipment.
Teamwork will make work easy and ensure all parts of the indoor playground equipment are inspected and cleaned.
With a perfect plan in place, you’re now ready to begin the check-up of the equipment.
1.3. Daily Inspection
Daily inspections can be carried out in the morning before operations or in the evening when you’re done for the day.
Having assigned duties to your staff, you can easily do daily inspection rounds of your indoor playground equipment. Some of the areas that you need to check include:
- lubrication of motor parts
- look for visible damage
- check the condition of the springs
- test the digital equipment
- Check for missing screws and bolts
- cracks in plastic
- shredded net
- Check pipe covers
- broken springs
- broken windows, especially in the upper floors of the indoor playground equipment
- Loose anchoring, check if joints are secure
- Rusted or corroded metals
- Worn, loose, damaged, or missing parts
- chipped or peeling paint
- check if your clients rearranged the equipment
1.4 Weekly, Monthly Inspection
During mapping, you had noted down the parts that need weekly or monthly inspection depending on the usage of the indoor playground equipment.
Some hidden parts are hard to check daily; hence you can schedule to check them monthly.
2. Anuual Inspection by expert
You can inspect the indoor playground equipment by yourself, but it might not be effective since you don’t understand the equipment as much as the manufacturer does. You might overlook some issues and may not be in a position to repair some damage like an expert would.
It is safer to have an expert do a thorough inspection once in a while.
Inspection by an expert is also cheaper than having to deal with the consequences of an accident.
Besides, it’s a requirement in many countries that you have the equipment checked by an expert at some point. This will also help you get the necessary certifications to go on with operations. An annual inspection is different from a daily inspection. The annual inspection identifies long-term faults, looks at equipment safety, provides quality control checks for your operations, and identifies changes in compliance with regulations.
3. Different Parts Maintained Differently
Different parts need to be maintained appropriately. This is the time when the user manual of your indoor playground equipment comes in handy.
In addition to the maintenance of accessories, you also need to pay attention to the maintenance of the motor parts. You mainly need to keep the motor clean and replace the oil regularly.
Since the motor parts are constantly in operation, it causes wear and tear reducing the efficiency of your indoor playground equipment.
Therefore, it is necessary that you regularly add lubricant to the parts of the motor that might get friction. This will reduce the wear caused by the operation of the motor.
While at it, remember to check whether the wiring head is firm or not.
4. Immediate Repairs
From the daily, weekly and annual inspection reports, you get to know the parts that need repairs. For instance, shredded net or webbing, loose platforms, broken windows, and missing bolts and screws need repair or replacement instantly.
Immediate repairs of the necessary parts will save you money and time. If you neglect a tiny damaged part like a crack or a missing bolt, the damage continues, and in the process, more parts get damaged because of that one part.
Before you realize it, you will soon need major repairs, which are costly and time-consuming. The best way to avoid replacing entire playground equipment is to do immediate repairs.
5. No Foods, No Dangerous Items
Preventing an accident is better than dealing with the repercussion of an accident and significant repairs. Strictly prohibiting children from bringing food and dangerous items into the amusement equipment helps to preserve the equipment.
Food particles, broken glass, and sharp objects can cause hazards in the indoor playground equipment. For example, sharp objects might damage balls and inflatable equipment.
Trying to avoid the influence of harmful factors on the playground equipment by supervising play activities helps maintain the equipment.
6. Regular Cleaning
Cleaning is a crucial part of maintenance because dust and other dirt can reduce the efficiency of moving parts of indoor playground equipment.
Regular cleaning like once a day will help you keep your equipment in great shape.
For the best outcome, it’s wise to check the manual for cleaning instructions. Some surfaces may need to be cleaned with warm water and soap, while others just a dump cloth with no soap. Hence, cleaning will depend on the part that you’re cleaning.
For plastic surfaces, nets, and ropes, you can clean with water and soap. You can also use a soft brush and a piece of cloth to clean.
Metal coated material will do fine when you wipe with a damp cloth. You need to clean windows cautiously because they can easily scratch.
Using harsh chemicals to clean might corrode the material of the playground equipment. Also, it’s best to avoid using scraping objects that might cause damage to the play equipment.
Spot cleaning your indoor playground equipment is also an excellent way of maintaining the equipment. Some stains can be stubborn to remove if you don’t clean immediately, forcing you to use abrasive cleaning products.
7. Sanitize & Disinfect
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, disinfection and maintenance of indoor playground equipment have become a top priority.
To ensure the health and safety of children during play, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that you need to sanitize and disinfect surfaces frequently.
Sanitizing reduces the number of germs to a safe level, while disinfecting kills the germs that remain on surfaces of the playground equipment after cleaning.
To sanitize your indoor playground equipment, you can use the cleaning products recommended in your manufacturer’s manual.
According to the CDC, cleaning with water and soap weakens or damages the virus particles. This lowers the risk of infection from surfaces of indoor playground equipment.
While cleaning, you should pay attention to the high-touch surfaces of the play equipment.
Tips to Make Maintenance Process Easy:
a) Have a Checklist for Inspection
Using a checklist to carry out the inspections can simplify your maintenance work. You can use the checklist provided by the manufacturer or create your own depending on the play equipment you have.
You can have a daily checklist, weekly checklist, or monthly checklist to guide you on what to check and when.
b) Document the Maintenance Routine
How do you ensure consistency of maintenance? Documenting your preservation routine is a great practice to ensure that it is an ongoing practice and that no room is left for negligence.
Indoor playground equipment can be a potential source of hazards. If not well maintained, it can lead to injuries and loss of revenue.
In the United States, more than 200,000 children between the ages of 14 and below are treated in the emergency departments for playground-related injuries every year.
Indoor playground equipment that is well preserved has fewer risks to children.
Documenting your maintenance process can save you from lawsuits in situations where an accident was not your fault. If it’s a business, have your staff record what they have checked, their name, and details.
Intentional and frequent preservation of your indoor playground equipment over a long time can effectively extend the service life of the equipment.
You will also not lose prime business time because of temporary closures and you’ll reduce your expenses significantly. If you make it a routine, it simplifies work giving you peace of mind.