5 Things You Should Consider Before Renting and Inflatable
(c) 2018 Gary Giffin, owner of Best Jump LLC
Inflatables such as bounce houses, water slides, and obstacle courses can be a lot of fun. However, you should be aware of a few things before renting one to make sure that your party goes smoothly.
Safety and Supervison
Safety should always be #1 priority. Rental companies should provide you with a complete set of operating instructions and safety rules. The inflatable should be properly set up, staked down, and inspected before use. If an operator is not provided, it's the renter's responsibility to supervise the inflatable and enforce all the rules. Weather conditions must be monitored so the inflatable can be evacuated and shut down if conditions deteriorate. Following all the operating instructions and safety rules will reduce the chances of injuries and make sure everyone has lots of fun!
Equipment Condition and Cleanliness
You should rent from companies that offer newer inflatables from reputable manufacturers that are thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, inspected, and properly maintained on a regular basis. That will insure your guests have a fun and memorable experience in a clean, safe environment. Many companies rent old, smelly, dirty, and even moldy inflatables that are not properly cleaned, maintained, or repaired. That can completely ruin a party and even get kids sick or injured.
Suitable Setup Area
The ideal setup location for inflatables is an open grassy area with no trees. If grass is not available, some inflatables can also be set up on concrete or indoors. The surface must be level, smooth, and free of overhead obstructions like tree limbs or power lines. Measure the area to make sure the inflatable will fit. Jagged gravel, debris, stumps, and roots can cause damage and should be avoided. Make sure you specify the type of surface so the rental company can insure compatibility and come prepared for a proper setup. Be sure you have access to the setup area. Inflatables are very big and have to be rolled in on a large hand truck. Narrow gates and obstructions can make setup difficult or impossible.
If the inflatable is to be set up in an area where underground utilities could be present, you must call 811 or have your rental company to do so at least 4 days prior to your event. Inflatables require steel anchoring stakes that can puncture gas lines, water and sewer lines, and underground wires. It's imperative that the utilities be marked before staking to avoid costly accidents and injuries. If you have underground sprinkler lines, you should get those marked as well.
Make sure your rental company carries liability insurance. It is required by law for inflatable operators in the state of Louisiana, and is the main difference between a legitimate, professional rental company and a fly-by-night weekend warrior. Liability insurance covers accidents caused by the negligence of the rental company such as improper setups and failure to provide you with adequate operating instructions. You should also look for a company with worker's compensation insurance. Without it, you could be liable if a delivery worker is injured on your property.