The Safe Operation of Inflatable Equipment

The Safe Operation of Inflatable Equipment
Health & Safety | 06-07-2018 | Posted By Sunny Sandwell

As Fun Experts® and a leading fun equipment hire company in the UK, the safe operation, supervision and use of our inflatable equipment is paramount.

Following the incident that occurred on 1st July 2018 in Gorleston, Norfolk, it saddened us deeply to hear of the passing of a young child in such a tragic incident. As news broke, media outlets and social media were awash with speculation as to what had happened; the cause of; who was at fault; the danger of inflatables. Unfortunately, at that time, the only fact was that of the upsetting loss.

Following the incident, the police retain primacy for the investigation and HSE and PIPA are supporting this. Though still in the early stages of investigation, some facts have now been released.

The Unit involved was not a Bouncy Castle.

Early news reports labelled the equipment as a bouncy castle, causing much confusion within the industry as to how a traditionally designed inflatable could have "exploded" as was being reported in the media and social networks. The inflatable involved was not a traditional Bouncy Castle.

The inflatable involved in this incident was an "air sealed" inflatable trampoline. 

This is a very different design to that of traditional inflatables. A sealed unit is filled with air before use and then sealed, designed to hold it's own air pressure. Once the unit has been inflated with the fan, the fan is removed and the unit sealed. Air is unable to escape the unit via any seams.

The inflatables owned and supplied by Sunshine Events are not of this design. Each and every one of our inflatables from Bouncy Castles to Slides, Assault Courses to Rodeos are designed so that air bleeds from the inflatable throughout its inflation while air is blown constantly into the inflatable from a fan that attaches via a 'blower tube' 

As our inflatables are designed so the air escapes in a controlled way, it is not possible to over-inflate the equipment, thus not creating excessive pressure.

Inflatable devices should be manufactured in line with BS 14960:2013

The design of an air sealed inflatable is not covered by the scope of the British / European standard for the inflatable play equipment and is not covered by the PIPA scheme.

Each and every inflatable Sunshine Events operate is manufactured right here in the UK and are designed and manufactured in line with BS 14960:2013. The inflatables are operated/supervised in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions/guidelines by fully trained Fun Experts®. 

All of our inflatable equipment is tested annually to the relevant industry specification (RPII / PIPA) by an independent inspector. This was recently completed in April 2018, for which the test certificates are available upon request. Your event will be set up and supervised by our team of fully trained Fun Experts® who monitor the equipment and use of to ensure they are enjoyed by all safely. 

Going forward...

While the investigation itself is still in it's early stages, we will continue to keep our customers and Fun Experts® up to date as information is published. 

As Sunshine Events continue to travel the nation delivering to hundreds of events, our customers, their guests and members of the public can rest assured that their safety is always at the forefront of our events. Every event delivered with every inflatable hired meets in line with the requirements as set out by HSE (which you can find here).

From the Fun Experts®, our thoughts are with all that have been directly affected by this tragedy. As further facts are released, we will aim to keep you informed of these.

Sunshine Events Safety

As a supplier of fun equipment hire, we hold £10 million Public Liability Insurance. Risk Assessments for each and every piece of equipment we hire is available to download from our website for your upcoming event right here.

For each inflatable, should you wish to see their recent PIPA / RPII test certificates, these can be requested directlyt from us which we will be more than happy to share with you, along with PAT test certificates for all electrical equipment.