Each year, it is estimated that over 6,000 injuries are caused by bounce houses and there are currently no national safety guidelines for the safe installation and operation of them. OneBeacon Government Risks wants you to understand the risks of providing a bounce house at your public entity events.
- Installation/Set-up: If the provider or manufacturer of the bounce house offers set-up by a trained or certified professional, opt for this. The majority of accidents related to bounce houses are caused by improper anchoring or the lack of appropriate supervision.
- Post Rules: Post rules near the entrance of the bounce house. Rules should be enforced by the supervisor or operator. Examples of rules could include:
- A list of things NOT allowed in the bounce house.
- Maximum age, height and weight requirements.
- Allowing ONLY similar aged participants in the bounce house at one time.
- Amount of participants allowed in at any given time.
- No roughhousing, back flips, bouncing or hanging from bounce house walls, etc.
- If there are no official operators, supervision should be maintained at all times.
- Waivers: Always have a legal guardian of those playing in the bounce house, as with any other activity that warrants, sign a waiver beforehand. Waivers, written agreements stating the sponsor of activity is not liable for harm, will help protect your public entity from risks that may occur in or near the bounce house.
- Insurance: Choose a bounce house operator that provides a Certificate of Insurance with rental and use of their equipment.
- Automobile Liability Insurance: Consider this if the bounce house company is bringing vehicles onto the property.
- Workers Compensation Insurance: Consider this if the bounce house company is bringing workers onto the property.
- Event Insurance: If you’re hosting an event or if a group is hosting an event on your public entity’s property, consider purchasing a low cost general liability policy. It will protect both your public entity and the facility against claims by guests who may be injured as a result of attending an event. Read the policy carefully to be aware of what is and is not covered.
- Regulation: Currently, only 19 states have regulations regarding inflatable devices. To check your state regulations, visit: http://www.bouncehousesnow.com/buy/pc/State-Regulations-e134.htm
Any activity or event yields risks, but with proper planning you can prevent unnecessary claims against your public entity. Bounce houses can be a fun and safe activity to include in any of your upcoming summer events if precaution is taken.