Inflatable bounce houses, dry slides, obstacle courses and wet slides are some of the most popular party items associated with kids’ parties and events. There are a variety of inflatables to choose from with many having unique shapes, sizes, heights and requirements. When calling to rent an inflatable, many people do not take into consideration the set-up area, electrical demands, surface area or the safety hazards to the rental company staff during setting up. At the time of booking, a professional rental company will take its time to ask you many detailed questions about your property and the chosen area for set up. Knowing the set-up criteria in advance will not only save you time when booking but will also help prevent any issues that might result in your rented inflatable not being able to be set up the day of your party.
– Make sure the dimensions of the inflatable will fit your area. Be sure to add at least 5 feet around each side so the unit is not close to any obstruction (i.e. fence or building) and can encompass the blower as well as the securing devices (i.e. tethers or anchor straps).
– Check overhead as there should be no tree branches, wires or hanging light fixtures if you are setting up inside.
– Make sure the ground area is free from any foreign objects (animal droppings, sticks, stones, sprinkler heads, etc.)
– If applicable, locate and mark any sprinkler lines you may have in this area. Most inflatables are anchored by 18-inch stakes that get driven into the ground. If you are unsure or have a concern, then ask the rental company to bring sandbags to secure the unit.
– If renting a water ride or dunk tank, take in consideration the many gallons of water that will be used throughout the day or need to be dumped out at the conclusion and where that water will go. Also make sure you have a connected water hose that will reach this inflatable.
– Choose an area in which optimal adult supervision can occur. It is important for the adult supervisor/s to have a clear vision into and around the inflatable.
– For an inflatable to remain inflated, a powerful air blower must run continuously. Check the electrical requirements needed for your inflatable’s blower. Most manufacturers recommend that you have one – 20amp outlet on a dedicated circuit. This means that no other electrical appliance should be pulling amperage or electrical current off the circuit tied to that 20-amp circuit breaker.
– The rental company should use the correct gauge extension cord to reach your 20-amp outlet. For safety reasons this one cord should not be any longer than 50-100ft. The shorter the distance from the blower to the outlet, the more efficiently the blower will run.
– A generator is another option for electricity. A 3000-watt generator should produce enough electricity to run one inflatable blower. Always make sure the generator is located a safe distance from the inflatable and a fire extinguisher is nearby.
– Inflatables can be set up on various surfaces such as grass, small stones, asphalt, pavers or concrete. The two ways to correctly anchor an inflatable would either be by staking or attaching sandbags. Sand or dirt is not an optimal surface area for set up.
– No inflatable should be set up on any type of incline or decline. Gravity will change the intended design of the ride, which could result in injury.
– Make sure your surface area is clean from any type of debris.
– Most inflatables weigh hundreds of pounds and are usually hand carted from the delivery truck to the set-up area. Limit the distance the rental staff must travel with the inflatable.
– This wide travel path must be free from any steps, inclines, declines, raised ground covering or any other obstructions to impede their process.
– If a fence exists, make sure the gate opening is at least 4ft wide. When setting up inside, the entry way must be able to fit the inflatable. Double doors are always optimal with a ramp or an entry from a level surface. No steps!
– Children and/or guests should not be in the proximity of the staff or the area used while they are completing the set-up process.
The rental company you choose should strictly follow the manufacturer and state guidelines for each inflatable set up. The above-mentioned criteria are only suggestions to keep in mind when considering an inflatable ride for your party or event. You should verify with your rental company the specific manufacturer and state requirements before renting.