Swingsets at home or on the playground provide hours of recreation and excitement for children of all ages. Unfortunately, they also pose a serious safety risk if they are incorrectly installed or poorly maintained. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission more than 200,000 kids visit the emergency room each year due to playground-related injuries. While you can't eliminate all playground dangers, you can spare your children from injuries caused by a swingset that moves or tips. Add a swingset anchoring system to keep your equipment firmly on the ground and help protect your kids.
Assemble the swingset according to the manufacturer's instructions. Move the swingset to the location where you plan to install it.
Sprinkle powdered chalk around the base of each support pole to mark its location on the grass. Move the swingset a few feet away so the chalk circles are clear.
Extend your tape measure to a length of 10 inches. Place the tape on the grass so the 5-inch mark rests in the center of the chalk circle. Add chalk at either end of the tape to create a 10-inch diameter circle around the location where each support pole will be placed.
Dig the four holes using a shovel. Stop periodically and measure the width and depth of each hole with your tape measure. Stop digging when all four holes are 5-inches deep and 10-inches wide.
Level out the bottom of each hole as much as possible—use the shovel for leveling. Place a flat stone or a few bricks in the base of each one. Make sure the top of each stone is at least 3-inches below ground level.
Move the swingset back into the planned installation location. The four support poles should rest flat on the brick or stone inside each hole. Hold your level along the top of the swingset frame to ensure it is level. If not, adjust the depth of each hole slightly until the frame is level.
Blend concrete mix with water in a bucket. Follow the manufacturer's instructions to create the correct mix ratio.
Place the supports for the swingset back into the four holes if you haven't already done so. Pour the concrete into each hole until the concrete is level with the ground.
Allow the concrete to dry overnight, or as directed on the package. Don't let your children use the swingset until the concrete is completely dry.
Things You Will Need
- Powdered chalk
- Tape measure
- Bricks or flat stones
- Concrete mix
- Stirring stick
If you'd prefer not to use concrete, purchase a basic swingset anchor kit from any playground supply store. These kits contain metal spikes that you insert into the ground, then connect to steel hooks or straps that drill into the base of your swingset.
Always make sure to cover anchors with a safe play surface. According to the CPSC, swingset anchors pose a tripping hazard if they are left exposed.