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Every child or visitor at a park or playground will always try out the swing sets. As a crowd favorite, several models have been developed to cater to different playing needs and locations. A swing set becomes a commercial type when it is suitable for public spaces, can withstand heavy playing, and provides constant swinging fun for multiple children.

Definition and Features of Commercial Swing Sets

Commercial swing sets are heavy-duty playground equipment often found in shared spaces such as parks, schools, daycares, and other recreational facilities. Unlike residential swing sets, which are typically found in homes or backyards, commercial swing sets are designed for durability, size, and playing capacity. A common example is the metal swing set.

There are unique features that serve as indicators of a commercial swing set:

  • Durability: Made from heavy-duty materials such as galvanized steel, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastics, and pressure-treated or rot-resistant wood capable of withstanding constant use and weather conditions
  • Design: Comes in various seat options and frame styles 
  • Capacity: Accommodates multiple children and users at the same time
  • Accessibility: Incorporates inclusive features that can provide equal swinging opportunities for kids with different abilities
  • Structure: Utilizes secure formation with low maintenance and advanced safety features, often paired with other larger play elements like slides and climbers

Benefits of Installing Commercial Swing Sets

Commercial swing sets offer several benefits for children and accompanying adults. 

Physical Development: Encourages children's active play, aiding in the development of balance, coordination, and strength

Social Interaction: Fosters friendships among young playmates and improves communication, conflict mediation, and group play

Safety and Durability: Ideal for public spaces, it creates durable and safe play environments due to its structure and materials 

Inclusive Play Opportunities: Provides innovations such as adaptive seats, wheelchair access platforms, and other customization options for the enjoyment and inclusion of children of all abilities.

Fostering Community Spirit: A swing set within a public space brings residents together, becoming a beloved fixture for children in the community.

Types of Commercial Swing Sets Available

The best swing sets for commercial use no longer feature just one plain design. With innovation and inclusivity at the forefront, several variations of seat and frame types are now available for adventure.

SWING SET TYPES IN TERMS OF SEATS

  • Belt Swing: Features traditional flat and flexible seats made from rubber or plastic, accommodating children and adults.
  • Bucket/Toddler Swing: Provides the first taste of swinging experience for toddlers while ensuring maximum safety precautions
  • Tire Swing: Utilizes a classic design with recycled or customized tires suspended on a chain or rope for a unique swinging activity
  • Nest Swing: Round swings with fabric, net, or plastic seats that multiple children can enjoy in one swinging go
  • ADA Accessible Swing: Designed as an innovative playground swing set that can accommodate children of all abilities. This swing type includes adaptive seats, wheelchair platforms, and other features for differently-abled visitors.
  • Multi-seat Swing: Incorporates multiple seats attached in one frame for exciting group swinging play, like generation swing, expression swing, and raft swing
  • Specialty Swing: Focuses on specific activities, such as sensory, therapeutic, or standing swings
  • Multifunctional Swing: Combines swings with other play elements like climbers and slides to achieve maximum enjoyment and space

SWING SET TYPES IN TERMS OF FRAME STYLES

  • Single Pole: Features the typical playground swing design with the swing frame supported by a single post at each end 
  • A-frame: Utilizes two poles to create a stable “/\” shape, supporting multiple swings at different heights
  • Tripod: Incorporates a three-pole design at each end of the swing frame to support multiple swings and heavy use, making it a stable choice on busy playgrounds
  • T-post: Creates a “T” shape with a horizontal pole mounted on a single vertical pole, with swings typically hanging on each end of the horizontal pole
  • Arch Post: Employs a similar A-frame look with an inverted “U” shape for frame support

Safety Standards and Regulations for Commercial Swing Sets

To ensure the shared playground swings remain safe and enjoyable for children, playground equipment makers and establishments comply with standards set by government-approved organizations like the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

ASTM creates and publishes quality and safety standards for different materials, products, systems, and services. Commercial swing sets have the standard code ASTM F1487, or the Consumer Safety Performance Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public Use. 

Key guidelines include: 

  • Space around Swings: Adequate space between swings is observed to prevent kids from bumping into each other. The area should be at least twice as long as the swing’s highest point.
  • Soft Surfacing: The ground surrounding the swing should have impact-absorbing surfaces such as wood chips, sand, and rubber mulch to protect kids from fall injuries.
  • Seat Selection: Swing seats should be made from strong, soft materials like rubber or plastic. Different seating options should be available, such as bucket seats for toddlers and belt seats for older visitors.
  • Strong Structure:Playground swing frames should be sturdy and stable enough to carry the children’s weight without tipping over and be securely attached to the ground.
  • Safe Chains and Hooks: Chains or ropes should be of proper length and covered to avoid skin pinching. There should also be smooth and secured swing hooks or parts attached to the frame. 

CPSC adopts the ASTM codes as its main reference for similar regulations relating to playground safety. While they do not have a specific code directly covering commercial swing sets, they have a Public Playground Safety Handbook that details additional safety considerations for play structures, such as inspection, labeling, and safety alerts.

Choosing the Right Commercial Swing Set for Your Playground

Choosing the right commercial swing set for your playground is just a few steps away. With the range of options available, you can narrow down to specific needs and preferences that ensure the perfect blend of safety, durability, and adventure for the best play environment accessible to public visitors. Here is an additional overview of Playground Equipment’s insider tips to help with your selections.

 

Learn about the author: Nic Breedlove