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Creating a safe and welcoming outdoor space - A business owners guide

There’s no denying that, here in the UK, we love the opportunity to be outside. We have some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world and businesses that offer an outdoor space see a significant increase in business during the Summer months. It is these businesses that need to address two things - aesthetics and safety. Outside areas including balconies and decking areas are the places that visitors will flock to in order to grab the last few rays of sunlight. Restaurants with outdoor dining areas, bars with designated external alcoves and even leisure centres hosting outdoor courts have a responsibility to their customers. Namely, they must offer protection and safety while still creating a welcoming environment. Our guide will help you to just this, with the right safety solutions.

How important is an outdoor space for commercial businesses?

As we’ve mentioned above, we’re a nation of outdoor lovers. As soon as the first ray of sunshine peeks through, it’s not uncommon to see shorts whipped out and glistening cider glasses perched on tables. For businesses within the food and drinks industry, the opportunity to optimise on this is huge. Provide customers with a beautiful and scenic outdoor space and you can guarantee they’ll spend more time there than the average visitor. According to a study of the Top 100 Bar and Nightclub venues, 73% have an outdoor area, be it a patio, terrace or rooftop in 2017. Other research suggests that the perfect outdoor seating area could potentially increase revenue by up to 30%.

As well as encouraging people to spend more time in your bar, restaurant or leisure centre, outdoor spaces expand your capacity. Where once, your restaurant may have been able to seat 50, an outdoor space could add another ⅓ or more on to that. In turn, this increases the potential for sales and the opportunity for people to use your venue for important events.

There are even health benefits associated with outdoor dining and entertaining. Vitamin D, a vital hormone that protects against a multitude of diseases, is absorbed into our bodies through sunlight. Researchers at Stanford University discovered that those who spend 90 minutes outside showed ‘showed decreased activity in a region of the brain associated with a key factor in depression’. And, a study in Japan concluded that being out in nature reduces stress and helps our overall mental health. So, by having an outdoor space, you’re not only increasing your chance for profit and growth. You’re also taking into consideration the visitors and guests that pass through your door.

How can decking help create the perfect outdoor space?

If you’re lucky enough to have a premises with outdoor space, you may consider implementing decking to improve this. There are a multitude of reasons why this may be the most suitable option. For one, it creates a comfortable, level area for walking, sitting and even lying - if that fits your business model. If you’ve been left with largely uneven ground, decking helps to elevate usable areas and minimises the risk of slipping. Additionally, it can be used to disguise unsightly features such as inspection covers and drains. Decking is also available in a variety of recycled plastics, composites, and woods that can be coloured to suit your business aesthetics. This lends to the overall look of your building, allowing you to strengthen your perceived wealth and position against competitors. If you’re working with a smaller outdoor space, decking allows you to build in layers. When appropriately dressed, this gives a more spacious feel and one that can be used for designated activities. So, the benefits of decking are endless. But now let's discuss safety - another key consideration for any commercial business.

Decking Safety Products Available On The Market

There are a number of reasons why your decking may pose hazards or risks to people’s safety.

  • Slippery - Timber used for decking is treated to prevent weather-related damage. Although this prolongs the wood’s lifespan, it also means the surface can become slippery when wet. Everything from heavy downpours to spills can pose a risk.
  • Moss, mould etc - Natural occurrences such as moss, mould and algae can build up over time. Again, these can present slipping hazards. And they also have the potential to impact the structural integrity of your decking.
  • Steps - Not just exclusive to decking, steps present a hazard all of their own. People can trip, slip or fall both onto and off of steps if they’re not visible enough.

With these risks in mind, it’s important to consider the right safety solutions for your needs and at Quantick we offer a range of Anti-Slip decking solutions to help with this. Let’s look at 3 of them here today - Anti-Slip GRP Decking Boards, Anti-Slip GRP Decking Strips and Retrogrip Decking Strips.

Anti-Slip GRP Decking Boards

Minimise the need for excessive additional features with anti-slip decking boards. These products are designed to effectively replace traditional decking with a unique solution. Each board is made from a hardwearing, long-lasting and mould-resistant material that eliminates the risk of rotting. They are a popular solution for areas of high moisture, including decking on quays and marinas. With their strength, these boards require no additional supportive measures and can, therefore, create a sleek, modern look. The anti-slip surface is high-performing, offering a 70 PTV rating on dry surfaces and 65 on wet surfaces.

Here at Quantick Safety Systems, we supply decking boards specifically for the needs of our customers. This allows us to create both wooden and composite options with our custom anti-slip pre-installed. Or, for a comprehensive solution, our team can also install anti-slip systems into your free issue decking of choice.

Anti-Slip GRP Decking Strips

To improve safety on existing decking, Heavy-duty anti-slip decking strips are a practical solution. They come in either black, Stone or yellow with the ability to withstand domestic and heavy commercial use. This includes use at bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Each one is pre-drilled and supplied with screws making installation quick and easy. They also come with a 10-year guarantee against breakage for added peace of mind. The tailored design blends in seamlessly with your existing decking, as does the selection of colours available allowing you to heighten visibility if required. A chamfered edge further enhances security and improves the anti-slip properties significantly. Another cost-effective alternative to these would be our Retrofit Anti-Slip Decking Insert Strips.

Retrofit Anti-Slip Decking Insert Strips

Designed to fit the grooves within your existing decking, these inserts surpass British Slip Standards and can be used in a variety of settings. They are easy-to-install and won’t ruin the look of your decking. Using just a single line of adhesive, they offer stability and a rust-resistant design that can withstand various weather conditions. These strips are a highly effective solution for restaurants, bars and nightclubs that already have decking but want to improve safety without drastically impacting performance.

Get In Touch Today

Here at Quantick Safety Systems, we pride ourselves in offering a wide variety of solutions to suit your individual decking needs. If you have any questions about the products we have discussed here or would like to speak to someone about a specific project, please do get in contact.