Impact area and critical fall height (EN1177)

How to calculate the area on a playground which should be covered with safety flooring because a child might fall on it (impact area)?
How to define a critical fall height according to EN1177 standard on various types of playground surfacing (rubber flooring and loose fill materials)?
In this entry you will find the answer to these crucial questions, particularly for those who plan a playground or a play area, no matter if it’s for private or public use.

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Impact protection tiles for playground surfaces

Impact protection tiles on a playground with equipment of 2 m fall height

A playground secured with impact protection tiles

Impact protection (also called fall protection) is a crucial property of playground safety tiles. It should be the main factor when choosing safety floor for any play area.

Neither grass nor sand provide impact protection, not to mention bare, trodden ground. That such a play area is a great hazard to the safety of children, is stating the obvious. According to the EU playground safety norm (EN 1177), playground surface should provide appropriate impact protection (fall attenuation). It is can be easily attained by installing impact protection tiles. Continue reading

Interlocking zip or tongue-and-groove tiles?

When considering rubber flooring for your playground, sports ground or terrace, usually one has to choose between tiles with profiled or non-profiled edges. One thing is sure: for above-mentioned areas, it is always better to choose a profiled tile.

 

Both connection systems, the interlocking zip and the tongue and groove are advantageous. Not only do they help with the installation but, more importantly, reduce problems such as tile shifting, shrinking, cupping, or open joints. Non-profiled rubber tiles belonging to FS series are cheaper but even careful installation with edging and glueing won’t completely eliminate these problems. Continue reading

Critical fall height on the playground

Critical fall heights for Warco safety tiles

Critical fall height is the maximal height from which a child might fall on the playground. See below which safety tile you should choose for your play area.

Max. fall height Suitable safety tile
110 cm NF30 or TZ30 (30 mm thick)
110 cm FS30 (35 mm thick)
150 cm NF40 or TZ40 (40 mm thick)
170 cm FS50 (50 mm thick)
240 cm FS80 (80 mm thick)
300 cm FS10 (100 mm thick)

These numbers apply to the safety tiles made of polyurethane-bonded rubber granulate by German manufacturer WARCO. Certified critical fall heights depend not only on the tile thickness but also on the granulate type, connection and underside profile, hence different values for apparently similar tiles.

Leave “play” to the kids. Leave “ground” to the professionals.

Playground surface paved with Warco rubber safety tiles guarantees safe and exciting play for the kids.

Your playground doesn’t have to be the coolest in the neighbourhood. It doesn’t need to have the most complex equipment – the kids need much less than you think to build kingdoms and have a blast. The only thing you have to think about is their safety.

 

What is “safety flooring”, then? There are 2 norms in the UE that regulate the issues of playground safety – EN1176 is about playground equipment, EN1177 refers to playground surfacing, also called safety flooring. These regulations do not precisely state which surface is appropriate, yet it is clearly said that such a flooring shall provide the necessary fall protection from a certain height (called maximal or critical fall height). This means that if a child can fall from 2 metres (because this is the highest point of the climbing frame, for example), the floor should absorb the impact of this fall, preventing from an accident with lasting consequences (especially head injuries). Head Injury Criterion is used to calculate these values. Continue reading