Around early 1988, a chemist from the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, approached an established construction company owner with a patent he had for a resilient flooring made from recycled tires. The construction company was already well versed in the flooring business and was the sole distributer and installer of a specialty troweled down flooring product in the USA. The chemist was looking to sell his patent to someone with the know how and expertise to market and install his product. So, in spring of 1989, that construction company owner Samuel Stewart Jr, along with his son in law, and son began Safety Turf Inc.
The original patent needed a top layer, on its own it would eventually shed loose rubber buffings. Products like synthetic turf or outdoor carpet were thoughts until EPDM granules became the solution. EPDM granules have long been used for running tracks and the look and size were similar to the product we distributed. Using tools we already owned and similar installation methods Safety Turf was ready for the market. EPDM came in handful of colors mostly shades of red, blue, green, beige, and black at the time. This allowed for designs, such as geometric shapes, or combination color mixes, 50% black/50% color the most popular, or just a solid color.
Although, CPSC published its first handbook on public playground safety in 1981, there were no standards for playground safety surfacing. With the majority of playgrounds using loose fill if anything, Safety Turf was a tough sale. Early jobs were with the City of Philadelphia, a local daycare chain, and a fast-food chain. Before the first standards were published, and as early as 1990, a local man, who invented an impact tester, was hired to test impact attenuation on Safety Turf pads and samples. Using this technology, a precise mix was developed to provide maximum safety at various fall heights. This device was an earlier model of what became the Triax 2000. ASTM F1292, the standard specification for impact attenuation of playground surfacing, was first published in 1991. Safety Turf was ahead of the curve and was already providing a surface that met or exceeded that standard. Many updates of the standard were to follow and Safety Turf has always met the requirements.
Many improvements have occurred since 1989 with new and improved binders, EPDM, and TPV. We always use the highest quality materials in an effort to provide the best and safest surface for our children to play on. Safety Turf Inc. is still family owned and operated by Carl Sanderson and Eric Stewart. Servicing, Pa, NJ, DE, MD, and parts of VA, we provide that custom attention our customers have relied on. Still making playgrounds safe. Play it safe cover it with rubber.