Friday, June 20, 2014

Six steps to a safe bounce house party

Hello again; Today, I want to address the recent story about three kids in New York who were injured when the bounce house they were playing in took flight. I want to use this occasion to instruct people on the safe operation of a bounce house. A children's party should be a happy event.

Some facts

The bounce house in question was a little tyke's toy model purchased by one of the parents living in the apartment complex where it had ben set up. They had used the unit several times with no incidents. However, the unit appears to have ben staked down with six inch plastic stakes that were insufficient for the weather conditions they had on that day. Th stakes generally used for a commercial inflatable are 18 inches long and made out of strong metal. They are routinely driven at least half way into the ground, but the freak winds experienced on that day may have still resulted in the moonwalk becoming airborne.

Types of rental companies

There are two basic types of inflatable rental companies. There are full service and self service. In general the self service bounce house rentals are operated out of a party planning store and offer only bounce houses. They will let you pick up the inflatable and trust you to operate it safely and then return it when you are through. The other full service party rental companies will generally offer all kinds of inflatables such as obstacle courses, competitive games, and slides both wet and dry. They will insist on delivering the units to your location or an approved park location, setting them up, and instructing you on the proper use of their equipment. They may even insist on leaving at least one person to supervise the party. Obviously having the items delivered to your home means they will be more expensive to rent. I know in this tight economy everyone is trying to save money wherever they can, but I would strongly encourage you to rent from professionals who will know how to avoid most potential problems.

Should you own a bounce house

Many of you have probably thought about how you could save a lot of money if you just bought your own bounce house. I'm sure that often families or groups of neighbors have thought about pooling their money and buying one to share. I'm not going to tell you not to. I'm just going to give you a few things to think about. And later I'll give you a safety check list. If you are going to buy one, then first check with your home owner's association or land lord to make sure that it will not violate any contractual agreements. Next, check to see what your insurance policy says about injuries that occur on your property or at your residence. Then, be sure to purchase a commercial grade inflatable to provide the maximum level of safety and enjoyment. You can often purchase these from local bounce house companies who are often eager to sell older units as they are under constant pressure to have the latest themed bouncers. You may also purchase a new one from any of the many inflatable manufacturers. But be sure to purchase items made or sold by companies in your state or province. Companies that sell in your hom country will be more able to insure that your item conforms with all the latest safety regulations. I would be happy to consult with you on the purchase of new or used inflatables.

Safety check list

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