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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
Ask any elementary school boy or girl what their favorite time at school is, and I'm almost certain they will say recess. And why shouldn't they, a lot of time and preparation go into making recess an enjoyable time. School officials plan everything out, right down to the wood chips surrounding the play structures.
Of course, Elouise Bird of Bluffdale says the correct terminology for wood chips is engineered wood fiber. She owns and operates Sof'Fall, a company that manufactures and sells playground safety surfacing. Elouise says it is important to have a highly rated play surface because each year, on average, more than 200,000 children are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms for playground-equipment-related injuries and of that 200,000 children 75 percent of injuries result from falls.
Compared to other playground surfacing materials, Elouise says Sof'Fall's engineered wood fiber ranks among the highest rated surfaces for energy absorption according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Sof'Fall's product ranks higher than sand, shredded tires, rubber and other wood surfaces.
To ensure their high safety level, Sof'Fall uses non-toxic soft and hard woods manufactured into pieces no bigger than 1.5 inches in length. After spreading a thick layer of Sof'Fall's product the wood fibers compact down so tightly that the surface actually becomes inflammable. I asked Elouise how this could be given that the material is made of wood. Elouise tells me the surface knits together so no oxygen exists to fuel the fire. The firmness of the wood fibers also makes the surface wheel-chair accessible.
In addition to making engineered wood fibers, Sof'Fall also supplies mats, drainage and geotextile fabric for playground structures. Like the wood fibers, these products are all designed to make playgrounds a safer place to play — and a softer place to fall.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.