Critical fall height is something you will hear a lot when considering creating a play area. Play equipment and safety surfaces go hand in hand, with the critical fall height linking them both together.

BS EN:1177:2008

According to British Standards EN 1177:2008 all play equipment with a free fall height above 0.6m requires a critical fall height certified flooring around the play equipment (this is the maximum platform height from which a child can fall from). It is also worth noting that the maximal fall height should not be greater than 3m. This means that the free fall height shouldn’t exceed 3m.


At Safety play we pride ourselves on being a safe, responsible and experienced company. We have had our rubber chippings tested by CST-Global and you can find a copy of our certificate here.


One thing people forget when putting down a safety surface is how long will the chosen product last at the critical fall height. You must consider any material loss that may occur, with products such as bark or wood chippings they can be blown away and may rot away quite quickly, especially in the winter. Therefore will need topping annually, if not more often.

That is where Safety Play supersedes other safety surfaces, due to the 20mm rubber chips being larger and denser, they do not blow away in strong winds and will not rot when exposed to outdoor elements. While there will always be an element of material loss, especially if being used in a children’s play area, Safety Play assures the longer life span before top up is needed.

To work out how much you will need visit our coverage calculator here.


Critical fall height is an important factor that needs to be considered even at the planning stage. Whether for a private garden or a public park, critical fall height should be considered. We also need to remember that play should be stimulating, entertaining, inclusive and interactive, but safety should be at the forefront of our planning.

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