Autumn's here and it's arrived with gusto.
With high winds predicted this weekend and next, you need to start getting your back garden storm-ready.
It may be a pain to keep storing toys, then getting them back out again a few days later, but a flying plastic slide, or airborne water play table is no joke. Your garden toys could cause damage to your property or even your neighbours.
Here's some tips on how to get your garden ready for the wintery weather.
Preparing Your Garden For High Winds
Any smaller lightweight toys, like go-karts, and plastic playhouses, should be stored in a shed or garage.
If you don't have access to one of those, you should bring them into the house, or even store them in the boot of your car.
If you have a trampoline in the garden, the official advice from ROSPA is: * Turn smaller trampolines upside down so the wind can't get underneath the mat and lift it; * Tie down large trampolines with purpose built tethers or anchor kits; * Remove safety netting as it will act like a sail in the wind.
Anchor Larger Play Equipment
For larger play equipment that you cannot take apart and store, you will need to find a way of tethering it to the ground.
Most climbing frames come with anchor posts. If you have not installed these yet, now is the time to do it. If you are purchasing anchor posts separately, look for thick stakes that are either jagged or corkscrew in shape as these will not lift out of the ground.
Our heavy duty ground anchors are £85 for four stakes, and are worthwhile investment, since a toppled climbing frame can cause damage to the play equipment, and surrounding property. The corkscrew shape keeps the stakes firmly embedded in the ground, even when the climbing frame is buffeted by windy conditions. The ground anchors also help keep the frame more stable when children are playing on it.
We also have specially designed trampoline anchor kits available for £19.99. The kits, made by TP Toys will fit any make of trampoline. The four substantial straps are wrapped the trampoline frame, and attached to the metal stakes which are then drive into the ground.
Post-Storm Clean Up
It's important to carry out regular inspections of your outdoor play equipment throughout the year, but this is especially true after you have experienced high-winds.
On trampolines, pay particular attention to pads covering the springs as these are especially vulnerable.
If you do find any damage, we can supply any replacement spare parts you need. If in doubt, feel free to call our customer service team to discuss your problem.
If you have taken down the trampoline's safety net due to bad weather, it is important that children are not allowed to bounce on the trampoline until the net is reinstated.
Also check that any anchor stakes are still firmly attached to the play equipment and embedded in the ground.
The correct preparation for bad weather can save you a lot of trouble and cost in the long run.