All gates are important, but playground gates play an especially vital role. They act as a line of defence between children and whatever dangers are beyond the playground walls. Children can be high spirited when they are playing and will often get carried away. A playground gate prevents them from accidentally straying onto the road, into the water, or towards any other nearby hazards.
Because playground gates are so important, choosing a robust playground gate is crucial. Here are 7 reasons that robustness is key when it comes to playground gates:
1. Repeated use
Playground gates are likely to be used more frequently than other types of gates. A busy playground will have families coming and going all day long, especially at weekends and during the summer. With such frequent use, some wear and tear are bound to occur. Choosing a robust gate will ensure that the gate can withstand heavy use, saving you the cost of repairing or replacing it.
2. Public areas
Unlike gates on private properties, playground gates tend to be accessible to the general public at all times. This increases the chances of accidental or intentional damage. Putting a weak gate in a public space is asking for trouble, so, once again, sturdiness is vital.
Playground gates are exposed to the elements all year round. However, the British weather can be unfriendly, to say the least, and a poorly designed gate without the right level of galvanising or powder coating will soon start to weaken due to wind, rain and snow.
It’s a sad fact of life that playground gates are often targeted by vandals. While lighting and CCTV can help to improve the situation, vandalism is still a common occurrence. Therefore, it is important to choose a gate that can stand up to the most common types of vandalism, e.g. by securely housing the mechanism to prevent tampering.
5. Heavy-handed usage
Not all damage is intentional. Playground gates can suffer accidental wear and tear at the hands of overzealous users. Excited children, in particular, are liable to slam gates closed while playing, so it is important to choose a gate that can stand up to this sort of treatment.
6. Children’s Safety
Children are just as likely to play on the gate itself as they are to use the equipment in the playground, so choosing a safe model is of the utmost importance. A weak gate can buckle under the weight of a child, causing serious injuries. Therefore, as well as choosing a strong gate, it would be best if you took care to pick a model that avoids finger traps and shear points.
7. Prevent rusting
As well as choosing strong, robust playground gates, you should also make sure that your playground gate is rust-proof. Rust can be dangerous and unhygienic, not to mention ruining the look of your playground. So make sure that the metal on your railings and gates is galvanised, and ensure that the gate itself meets British powder coating standards for rustproofing.