A little Common Sense Goes a Long Way
It seems that more and more of my inspections involve inflatable bouncers. Most of my inspections go very well with only minor discrepancies found. However, sometimes I find things I shouldn’t find. For example, holes large enough to pass my fist through and on occasion my foot. Torn safety netting with holes large enough that an adult could pass through them are not acceptable. Not enough pressure in the unit making is sag or become distorted enough that it’s difficult to walk or crawl through. Fortunately, I don’t find many of this type of problem. But I do find problems such as these and try to impress upon the operator that immediate and drastic improvements are required to make their facility safe to operate.
Listed below are 12 ideas to make your inflatable bouncers safe to operate.
1. Adults playing on an inflatable with children present or near by doesn’t work and children will get injured. Adults playing on inflatable equipment should do so only with other adults. It’s fun if done safely.
2. Children playing on an inflatable unsupervised will get injured. It’s the FEC’s responsibility for the safety of their patrons.
3. Make sure you have one attendant per inflatable during operation. Don’t skimp to try and save a buck, it’s not worth it.
4. Make sure you have the proper padding at all egress points.
5. Make sure the inflatable units are properly secured to the floor. Just because it’s indoor, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be secured.
6. Make sure you maintain the inflatable in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
7. Make sure you perform an in-depth inspection of your inflatable bouncers every day prior to opening. This means you or your trained staff must crawl, walk or jump through the unit daily. Take your time, be thorough and use a flashlight to help find those hard to see problems. You can never spend too much time inspecting your equipment.
8. Make sure your attendants are properly trained.
9. Make sure all documentation for maintenance inspections; attendant training; state, local and inflatable insurance inspections; incident reports; are kept readily available and up to date.
10. Operating without state and local permits will get you a fine or jail time or both.
11. How do you find out about permitting? It’s easy, call or go online to your local and state government sites and you will find out all you need to know about permitting. It’s that easy.
12. Make sure you have safety rules and user instructions posted in prominent locations. This should be a combination of signage, verbal and pre-play video. This is all easy to do.
The most important tool you have at your disposal is Common Sense! Look over your facility everyday prior to – during- and after parties or open jump sessions. If something doesn’t look right, examine it and correct it ASAP. If you have any questions regarding inflatable safety or would like information on the SterlingRisk/Family Entertainment Safety Association insurance program, please visit www.insuremyfec.com and Ask Matt.
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