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Inflatable Bounce House, Bouncy Castle Safety

Inflatable amusement rides such as bouncy castles, bounce houses, slides and obstacle courses have become increasingly popular at fairs, sporting events, fundraisers, birthday parties, and other functions.

While these inflatable bouncers are usually harmless there is potential for injury when operated improperly or without supervision, misused or used in dangerous weather conditions.

The Technical Safety Authority of Saskatchewan (TSASK) regulates inflatable structures through the licensing of amusement rides and certification of amusement ride contractors. TSASK determines what inflatable amusement rides require a licence based on the design of the inflatable and where they will be used. 

What to know before renting a bounce house, bouncy castle or other inflatable amusement ride

  • Only work with certified professionals.
  • Request to see a valid licence for each inflatable structure being used.
  • Verify proof of inflatable amusement device liability insurance. The insurance amount should be the minimum amount required by TSASK. Insurance policies may have clauses to ensure:
    • Inflatable rental equipment is CSA approved.
    • Insured employees set up the inflatables for use following the manufacture's guidelines.
    • Inflatable rentals are properly anchored.

Failure to comply may void the insurance coverage. In the event the inflatable amusement ride operator cannot supply your event with trained staff it is important:

  • To receive written instructions on how to safely set up and operate the inflatable devices.
  • That all staff and/or volunteers have received proper training for these duties.

Best practices for safe set up and operation

When setting up a bounce house, bouncy castle or other inflatable amusement ride ensure that:

  • The area has enough space to properly anchor the inflatable and has been cleared of any large stones or sharp objects. Place a tarp on the ground to protect the bottom of the inflatable if needed.
  • Inflatables are positioned away from overhead lines, branches, fences, or walls so that the anchors and mechanical equipment will not be a tripping hazard.
  • The inflatable blower is plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter (CFCI).
  • The blower has functioning baffles to provide controlled descent of the inflatable.
  • The generator is CSA approved and the wires are safely secured to prevent any hazards.
  • Extension cords are the correct gauge, ground secured and have been inspected.
  • Once fully inflated there are no rips or tears, and mechanical components are working properly.
  • The area is clear of people or obstacles, so the operator has an unobstructed view of the jumping surface and people entering or exiting.
  • Hard surfaces on open sides, entrances and exits are covered with non-inflatable mats to a minimum distance of 4 feet.

When operating a bounce house, bouncy castle or other inflatable amusement ride ensure:

  • There is an adult attendant or operator to supervise use and are aware of the safety rules of using the device.
  • The manufacturer’s specified capacity is not exceeded.
  • Safety rules are clearly visible for users.
  • Everyone removes their shoes, loose clothing, jewelry, and any other personal items before use.
  • No food, drinks or sharp objects are brought onto the inflatable.
  • Only children of the same size are on the inflatable at the same time.
  • Children do not lie down while others are bouncing and do not attempt any stunts.
  • There is only one user at a time on an inflatable slide.
  • If it deflates, those using the inflatable are removed immediately.

Rain and wind can create dangerous conditions for inflatable structures. Rain makes the surface slick and the mud created can affect anchoring. Strong winds can lift or tip over the inflatable and have torn inflatables from their anchors, lifting them in the air with children inside.

Immediately stop using an inflatable bouncer when it is raining, or winds exceed 24 km/hr.