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From cricket in the park to barbeques in the yard, the outdoors is a big part of our national identity. Yet sadly, with a hole in the ozone layer directly above us, Australia receives some of the most dangerous sunrays on the planet. The ozone is supposed to work like sunscreen, filtering out harmful radiation. But without full protection, dangerous UV is leaking into the atmosphere, wreaking havoc on our skin. This means having strong outdoor shade this summer is vital to the health and wellbeing of communities, keeping people safe from the sun’s heat and harmful rays.

Not all shade is created equal
While many people believe they’re safe from UV as long as they’re under the shade, this isn’t always true. According to The Cancer Council Guidelines to Shade, there are many ways you can still get burnt under indirect sunlight. Here are some important considerations to take into account when designing shaded areas for your community:

Reflective radiation
UV reflects off of certain surfaces, whether you’re in the shade or not. In fact, sea water, sand and house paint are among the worst offenders, reflecting up to thirty per cent of the sun’s rays straight back onto your skin.

Shade material
Different substances provide different levels of protection. For example, a shade cloth made of low-grade material is far less protective than a sheet of steel or aluminium, which makes it important to weigh up all your options.

Product lifespan
Not only do materials vary in their ability to protect us from the sun, they also differ in their lifespan. While a shade cloth may be highly protective when new, this protection may deteriorate as time passes. Similarly, while fibreglass is highly efficient at blocking out harmful rays, it is unlikely to last as long as materials like glass, timber or aluminium. This means, that while one solution may have a lower upfront cost, it may end up costing you more in maintenance in the long run.

Building a quality shade solution
While designing a quality shade solution should definitely involve careful consideration of the variables above, it should also involve additional attention to features like temperature control, ventilation and visibility. After all, there’s no point in investing in a shade solution that’s sun safe, but impractical or awkward to use. This is why your shade solution should also be highly practical, wheelchair accessible and environmentally friendly. Ultimately, you need to provide a comfortable, pleasant and welcoming atmosphere where people can enjoy their time outside.

Felton’s commitment to quality
As a national leader in outdoor furniture, Felton industries combines the latest sun safety technologies with cutting edge design. Our shade range is extremely sun safe and durable, built to withstand extreme Australian weather with features like UV resistant Laminex table tops, Colorbond® roofing and Dulux powder-coated frames. It’s also engineered to maximise comfort and enjoyment outside, with smooth, easy to clean design that feels strong, sturdy and supportive.

As a wholly Australian owned and operated business, nobody understands the harsh Australian sun like Felton Industries. We’re committed to providing the highest quality of shade solutions, ensuring communities across Australia have the most comfortable, safe and aesthetically pleasing outdoor experience possible. For more information outdoor furniture tailored to your unique needs, get in touch with our friendly team today.

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