First thing I have to say here, is that Health and Safety is a good thing in all walks of life, and that includes children’s parties.
One good thing we did when we first started was to join the BIHA (British Inflatable Hirers Alliance) From there we were able to learn very quickly the do’s and don’ts when it comes to running a bouncy castle business.
Obviously, ample fire exits should be kept clear, all equipment must be PAT tested, and the equipment should be inspected regularly for potential faults…..and of course we do all of this.
Outside castles should be pegged down securely with industrial pegs, or sandbags attached on all four corners with the correct weight inside. The weather conditions are worth watching too. There have been a couple of reports of castles taking off in high winds, which I would imagine would be down to poorly secured castles and bad judgement of the weather conditions. Of course, that’s just an assumption, but very possible.
Commercial equipment is essential, Non-commercial products are uninsurable. Even decent quality commercial products from abroad are usually tricky to get insured. We buy all our castles from UK Manufacturers to be safe. There’s some awesome Chinese castles available, but they tend not to comply with UK regulations. I have never investigated the details of exactly why, because we would rather buy British anyway, but I have to say, some of the Chinese ones look great!
Good insurance is another basic essentiality. We use Leisure Insure because they specialize in what we do. Therefore, they have a full understanding of our business.
It’s quite rare for a venue to ask for our insurance certificate, but some do….and rightly so. Most of the venues know us now though and know we are a reputable company.
So here is a quick check list if you are hiring a bouncy castle company for the first time.
Ask the following questions when booking…..
Are you insured?
Is your equipment PAT tested?
Do you use Commercial and UK Compliant equipment?
On the day, be aware of the following……
Is the castle secured? (for outside parties)
Are there enough crash mats (usually 2 or 3 is enough)
Are the fire exits accessible?
Is the blower around the back of the castle blocked off (usually with chairs)