What is Critical Fall Height (CFH)?

What is Critical Fall Height?

Quite simply, Critical Fall Height is the maximum height of fall from play equipment to the ground. It is the distance from the ground up to the highest platform a child can reach or stand on.

Safety surfaces do not prevent injury, however when installed correctly they can significantly lessen the severity of any injuries caused by falling from height. It’s important that safety surfaces below each item of equipment is correctly specified for that equipment’s Critical Fall Height.

Safety surfaces should extend from the equipment edge by at least the same distance as the free fall height. For example, a CFH of 3m should have at least 3m of certified surfacing in each direction.

Critical Fall Height Certification

According to British Standards EN 1177 (2018) all play equipment with a free fall height above 0.6m requires a safety surface certified to that equipment’s CFH. We have had all of our surfacing certified by Labosport, and can provide a wide range of safety surfacing options for all critical fall heights from 0.6m to 3m.

SmartPlay System

Our product we like to shout about the most when it comes to Critical Fall Height is our SmartPlay System. SmartPlay is our European patented shock pad, and when combined with our EcoSmart or FireSmart grass mats, becomes the SmartPlay System.

Our SmartPlay System is tested on both concrete and grass bases by Labosport and is certified for fall heights from 0.8m all the way up to 3m. Not only does the system have incredibly good certification results, it also increases the longevity of the playground surfacing and creates a natural environment through encouraging good grass growth.

smartplay shock pad
smart play after grass growth

Critical Fall Height results for the SmartPlay System

Results from independent tests to BS EN 1177 (2018)


Concrete base (laboratory test)

Grass base (field tests)

EcoSmart only



SmartPlay 25 & EcoSmart



SmartPlay 45 & EcoSmart




Results from independent tests to BS EN 1177 (2008)


Concrete base (laboratory test)

Grass base (field tests)

FireSmart only



SmartPlay 25 & FireSmart



SmartPlay 45 & FireSmart



Before & After grass growth:

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