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Bouncy castles and other play inflatables: safety advice

Serious incidents have occurred where inflatables have collapsed or blown away in windy conditions.

These simple precautions can help you avoid serious incidents, whether you supply or buy bouncy castles and inflatables, are hiring one for an event, or operate them.

Health and safety law applies to the supply, hire and use of inflatables for commercial purposes. It does not apply to private, domestic buyers and users.

This guidance applies to inflatables devices used both outside and inside.

Before you buy or hire

If you’re buying or hiring an inflatable for private or public use you should make sure it has either a numbered PIPA tag or an ADiPs declaration of compliance (DoC).

It should also have:

Tag or declaration of compliance (DoC)

HSE supports two industry inspection schemes for inflatables run by PIPA and ADiPs.

You can use their websites to check safety tests have been carried out and to find out what to do if the equipment has no PIPA tag or ADiPs DoC (you may be risking people’s safety if the inflatable doesn’t have one of these).

Setting up safely

When setting up, carry out the following safety checks in line with the inflatable’s operator manual:

Before anyone uses it

Have a good look at the inflatable when it is blown up and before use. You should check:

Safe use, supervision and monitoring

There should be constant supervision by at least one suitably trained person.
Operating instructions must be supplied and should include the following:

Tests and inspections

As an owner or the person making it available for use, you are responsible for making sure the following tests are carried out.

Initial test

A new inflatable should have an ‘initial test’ to confirm it complies with BS EN 14960.

Annual inspection

Make sure an annual inspection is carried out by a competent person. They should identify the inflatable and blower by their serial numbers and look at any previous inspection reports and certificates. They should also inspect any part of the inflatable and its equipment that may affect its safe operation.

Owners can find out how to get their equipment tested from PIPA or ADIPS.

Find out more

Updated 2018-12-13