Inflatables Permitting: What You Need to Know

Did you know that more than half of the states require inflatables to be inspected and permitted? As a consumer you want to do your due diligence to ensure the company you are working with has obtained these permits.

There are some key categories inspectors will look for when examining inflatables:

• Paperwork- All inflatables should come with a manufacturer’s manual. This manual will include dimensions, specs, blower and stake requirements, and safety information. In addition to the manual there should be an inflatable maintenance log and an operator training log. These documents ensure that the inflatable is being set up and operated safely.

• Inflatable is in good condition- Rips, tears, and holes in an inflatable can be a safety hazard. These blemishes can prevent the inflatable from being fully inflated. They can also pose as a trip hazard. In the instance of a rip or tear, an inflatable can be repaired by proper stitching and/or patching.

• Safety precautions have been upheld- Inflatables must be staked or weighted according to the manufacturer’s requirements. Stakes should be buried 75% underground and should have a protective stake cap over the head. All tie down ropes need to be secured to a stake or weight. The stakes and ropes should be clear of all entrances and exits.

• Generators are properly grounded-This may not be pertinent in every situation but if a smaller generator is being utilized it will need to be grounded with a copper rod and wire. Generators should also be barricaded with plastic or metal fencing.

• Safety guidelines are being followed- Inflatables can have a wide range of height and weight requirements. The specific guidelines of the inflatable can be found in the manual and in most cases on a patch at the front of the inflatable. The number of patrons allowed on an inflatable at one time must also be adhered to.

Inclement weather or loss of power is sometimes inevitable and the following safety precautions should be followed:

1.) Wind-inflatables should in no instance be operated if the winds are greater than 20 mph.

2.) Extreme heat-the surface of an inflatable can become particularly hot in temperatures above 90° which can cause skin burns. Also in high heat the air inside the inflatable will continue to heat up, which could cause the inflatable to rise.

3.) Deflation-if an inflatable begins to deflate the operator will evacuate all patrons as quickly as possible.

Inflatables can be fun for people of all ages. With the proper prep work on the front end, you and your guests can rest assured that the inflatables have been properly inspected and the applicable permits have been obtained.

Compass Rose Events, Project Managers and Event Managers are well versed in the permit requirements of each state. Please reach out to them with any questions about inflatable inspections and permitting. We strive to deliver quality and safe events for all of our clients.