Inflatable recreational activities, such as inflatable rock climbing walls and obstacle courses, can be a lot of fun and are completely safe when set up and used properly. And any time you use an inflatable at an amusement park, fair, or other public event, you can rest assured that it's been carefully inspected by somebody from the state or county. The same cannot be said, however, for inflatables set up on private property, such as for a child's birthday party. As such, there are some things you should know to ensure the safety of your guests and loved ones.
DO Plug Into GCFI Outlets
Inflatables should always be plugged into an outlet with a built-in ground fault circuit interrupter (GCFI), as these help to reduce the risk of electric shock--especially in the event that it rains or somebody spills something on the blower. Essentially, a GCFI outlet will automatically shut off an electric circuit if it detects that the circuit is running through an unintended path. Never plug inflatables into a standard wall outlet.
DO Keep Inflatables Away From Branches and Power Lines
Inflatables should always be set up with plenty of clearance from overhead power lines and tree branches. All it takes is a poke from a small tree branch to quickly deflate an inflatable and put the people on it at a serious risk of injury. This is especially important on windy days, when downed power lines or blowing tree branches are more likely. Also, be sure to check the ground around the inflatable for any sharp objects before it's set up, either by you or a professional.
DON'T Place Generators Near Blowers
Finally, if your inflatable(s) will be powered by a generator, then you'll need to make sure that the generator itself is placed plenty far away from the blower, the device that sends air into the inflatable itself. Otherwise, you run the risk of harmful carbon dioxide gas of being pumped from the generator into the enclosed space of the inflatable, which poses a health risk to those inside the inflatable at the time.
As you can see, there's a lot to keep in mind when it comes to making sure your guests enjoy their inflatables safety and responsibly. Even if you're having a professional company set up your inflatables on your property, keeping these tips in mind will help to reduce any chances of an accident.