Gaps and spaces on a bleacher system should be no greater than 4". Anything greater than 4" is considered a hazard.
Broken and cracked boards contribute to diminished structural integrity of the bleacher. Rule of thumb: when a crack is larger than the width of the board - replace it!
Bleachers with open ends allow access under the system. This could lead to the inadvertent closing of the bleachers with individuals under the stands or damage to the understructure of the stand by vandals. A variety of end closures are now available to minimize this liability.
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) states that an Annual Inspection and required maintenance of each grandstand shall be performed to assure safe conditions at least biennially. The inspection shall be performed by a qualified service or professional firm.
Due to the lack of a national guideline for bleacher safety, individual school districts must research local, regional, state and national codes to assure their bleachers meet code. Today, liability issues have forced many districts to upgrade or replace outdated bleachers.
We highly recommend that when you are choosing a bleacher service firm ask:
* How many years in business?
* Their primary focus
* A list of references
Especially now with the economy in the state it is, when faced with bleacher maintenance, repair and upgrades....budget constraints come into play. Bleacher maintenance is often the last line item in the budget and seems to be subject to elimination from the budget if times are tight. If there is a "budget crunch", try to allocate funds for annual inspections, scheduled understructure repair and broken board replacement. These items will assure that your bleachers are in proper working order and safe! Remember, consistent maintenance is less costly than a major repair!
As bleacher systems begin to age, facilities are faced with the question of, "When is it time to replace my bleachers?" Before replacing, consult your service team for options that are available for your system. Often bleachers can be refurbished and upgraded to current codes for roughly half the price of new bleachers.
Upgrades: Most bleacher systems can be easily upgraded to eliminate safety issues mentioned above and to improve the ease of bleacher operation. Consult with your bleacher service team for the best solutions.
Buying New Bleachers: Items to consider when investigating new bleachers:
Budget * Available Space * Desired Seating Capacity * Functionality of Bleacher * Amount of Use * Warranty * Availability * Product Enhancements * Staff Limitations for Operating