The Safe Way to Bounce: National Franchise Offers Safety Tips for Parents

Pump It Up Provides Checklist of Five Things to Look for in a Safe Facility

June 15, 2011 // Franchising.com // Tempe, AZ – Following a recent string of reports of injuries and close calls related to people playing on rented, outdoor inflatable play structures rather than going to safety compliant, indoor facilities, the experts at Pump It Up are offering a helpful safety checklist to help parents identify safe inflatable play environments for their children.

Pump It Up, the nation's leading franchise of indoor inflatable playgrounds and other private party themed events with more than 150 locations nationwide, holds the most stringent safety standards in the inflatable party industry. In fact, the company's nationally recognized insurance carrier recently completed an independent audit of all open facilities, in which Pump It Up received an A+ rating with a total scoring average of 99 out of a possible 100 per facility.

"As the pioneer of the indoor, inflatable party concept, Pump It Up has set the bar for safety standards in the industry," said Lee Knowlton, CEO and President of Pump It Up. "Safety precautions are integrated into each and every aspect of our business, from the design of the building to the quality of the inflatable equipment and supervision of party guests."

Randy Baker, Pump It Up's Director of Safety & Site Development, advises parents against allowing their children to play in inflatable structures that are rented for events such as private home parties, carnivals and other festivals, particularly outdoor events. Baker, who has served as the National Safety Director for Pump It Up since 2004, and personally works with ride manufacturers during the design phase to address safety concerns, says that many of the inflatable rides utilized at these events are set up hastily and with little concern for safety standards.

Here are five things parents or caregivers should know when attending any kind of event where inflatable play structures are involved:

  • Anchoring: Safety compliant facilities should have floor anchoring systems that feature multiple floor anchor points under the inflatable to insure the ride cannot tip, roll, or move. The under anchors eliminate the need for straps, sand bags, or water barrels that present tripping hazards. Also, slides should be tethered to the ceiling or wall to prevent entrapment should the ride suddenly lose air pressure.
  • Safety mats: Entrances and exits of each inflatable ride should be carpeted with a thick, commercial carpet, and should have professional-grade safety mats near the entrances and exits of slides and obstacle courses. (Most outdoor setups fail to provide a safe, cushioned landing area other than grass or dirt.)
  • Safety training: Parents should inquire about required safety training for staff at an inflatable playground. For example, Pump It Up franchise owners attend a rigorous 56 hours of training led by certified trainers. Each staff member is also trained to operate each inflatable ride to ensure the operational and safety standards are met to keep children safe.
  • Enforcement: At a truly safe indoor inflatable playground facility, guests should be required to watch an interactive safety video and be "tested" via a fun activity to ensure the rules are understood by children and parents before entering the play area. Once inside, safety signs specific to each inflatable ride should be clearly posted, detailing the rules for each ride. Trained, clearly identifiable, attentive staff members should have a safety whistle or other alert system "at the ready" to enforce the rules.
  • Insurance: Even in the best of circumstances, accidents can sometimes happen. Before children play on any inflatable ride, it's a good idea for parents to know what kind of insurance coverage is in place.

"In light of recent incidents, parents should give serious consideration to the safety of their children before allowing them to play in outdoor inflatable rides," Baker noted. "With outdoor inflatables, you simply cannot predict when a simple gust of wind will end in tragedy. When it comes to fun and peace of mind, parents should run through the checklist and only allow their children to play in indoor inflatable playgrounds that meet the highest levels of safety standards."

About Pump It Up

A clear leader in the active children's party industry, Pump It Up is the nation's largest franchise of indoor inflatable playgrounds specializing in private parties for birthdays, and programs, such as corporate events, school outings, field trips and other events. Trained staff provides guests with supervision, food and beverage set-up, and clean-up services. Pump It Up is headquartered in Tempe, AZ with more than 150 locations across the country. For more information about Pump It Up, please visit www.pumpitupparty.com

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