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08 February 16 - Bouncy Castles on outdoor hard standings

We often receive numerous calls and emails from potentially customers asking if bouncy castles or inflatables can be setup on hard standings outdoors such as patios, driveways or the road.

The official answer to this is yes it can be done, however it is not as straight forward as putting 6 sandbags on your castle (which you may not even get), the correct way is to drill the ground, insert anchor bolts with large washers and securely anchor the inflatable filling the hole in after with mastic!

We see it too often throughout the UK and Ireland with companies not setting equipment up correctly and taking shortcuts, putting your children and guests' safety at risk and not adhering to the standards set by the Health & Safety Executive.

There are numerous documented cases of accidents occurring, most recently in Fife, Scotland (June 2015) - "Four children and an adult have been injured at a gala day after an inflatable slide blew away in high winds. The Cupar Children's Gala was abandoned on Saturday afternoon after the inflatable broke free from its moorings and was blown across Duffus Park. Several children who were on the inflatable were thrown clear when it overturned. A group of bystanders were also injured as the inflatable was swept 130m across the park."

If this doesn't sound bad enough and set alarm bells ringing there are numerous similar incidents available to view on the internet all due to inflatables not being anchored down correctly, with injuries ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to the worst case scenario, a child dying, don't believe us? Please look it up online, this is how serious it can be! Many people believe companies won't setup on hardstandings outdoors incase the equipment gets damaged, the truth is its to do with wind conditions and inflatables inadequately anchored which could lift in strong winds.

Guidelines and standards are set out for us as responsible companies, more importantly as individuals, to adhere to and ensure that whilst you have a great party or event it’s all done safely and correctly. The Health & Safety Executive state that a castle setup on a hard standing outdoors should have 163kg on EACH anchor point, please bear in mind a small / medium kids castle will have a minimum of 6 anchor points, bigger inflatables such as slides, obstacle courses could have between 15-20 anchor points.....that’s approx 7 bags of builders sand per anchor point for a small / medium castle = 978kg of sand in total! We're not aware of anyone who carries this much sand about!

Your probably reading through this and thinking we had one last year on concrete with a few sandbags on it and it was fine, yes we are aware there are a few that will do this (and how others run their business is up to themselves....we do things correctly, we owe that to our customers!) but rest assured that WHEN an accident happens it will be on your head, that means your house could be at risk along with any other assets as your provider won't be insured. You may be told 'don't worry we are fully insured' but NO insurance company will cover inflatables not setup according to the Health & Safety Executives standards, therefore their insurance will be VOID!

Unfortunately, we don't setup any inflatables on hard standings, even done the correct way, but I urge you if this is what you are wishing to do to check with the companies and see how they secure as there are a few that will do things correctly. Now that we have hopefully educated you as to why we don't take the risk with hard standings, it’s now over to yourselves to choose what you do with the information, its your choice; regardless we hope you have a great party and a successful day!

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