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What Is Critical Fall Height?

What Is Critical Fall Height?

Before any safety surfacing can be installed it is important that careful consideration is taken in regards to critical fall heights. This is based on the height of the highest piece of equipment that a child could possibly stand on.

The critical fall height will then determine the thickness required for safety surfacing to ensure that it absorbs the impact as required and minimises injury.

A large number of companies will tell you that critical fall height is not important for your playground surfacing however, this is not the case. One fall from playground equipment can be seriously fatal for children and each year over 200,000 children are injured as a result of playground falls.

When it comes to saving money and not installing safety surfacing but having a child put at risk then it begs the question is it really worth it? We know we wouldn’t want that on our conscience when it could have been prevented.

Playground safety surfaces are tested by evaluating the shock absorbing qualities and this involves dropping a metal headed object onto a sample of the playground material and then making a note of how fast and how hard the object hit from various heights.

Critical fall height is then determined by measuring the distance between the highest designate play area of the equipment and the play surface. Based on this then the minimum surface depth recommended is provided.

The table below shows our recommended surface depths at DCM Surfaces according to the measured critical fall height.

Critical Fall Height(m) Minimum Depth(mm)
1.3 40
1.5 50
1.7 60
1.9 70
2.3 80
2.4 90
2.7 100
2.9 110
3.2 130

Height of Playground Equipment Measured?

There is no point in installing a safety surface unless the correct depth is determined from calculating potential critical fall height. DCM Surfaces can help every step of the way when thinking about installation of a safety surface and calculating critical fall height.

To get safety surfacing for your playground area then speak to us directly and a member of our friendly team will advise you; we have vast amounts of experience within the industry and have been successfully installing surfaces all over the UK since 1995.