Tips for hiring bouncy castles and other inflatables
We understand that organising events and party’s can be very stressful and a lot of the time your relying on what people are telling you is correct, and you find yourself putting a lot of trust in your suppliers. Unfortunately there are many companies out there that fall short of their obligations.
With this in mind we decided to put together this information sheet to guide you and tell you some of the many things other suppliers will not, so you can make an informed decision when appointing your chosen supplier.
The set up area
Look at the area available for its suitability, if hiring bouncy castles and inflatables they will need to be anchored to the ground. In most cases this means they will need to go on a turfed area so anchors can be driven into the ground. It’s not unknown for inflatables to be erected on hard standing but an alternative method of anchorage is required.
Note, A few sand bags distributed around the perimeter is not sufficient and attempting to anchor inflatables in this way is dangerous.
Is the area big enough to accommodate the item you wish to hire?
Consideration must be made for a clear area around each piece of equipment for perimeter fencing if needed and safe access and egress for users. Another consideration is overhead obstructions such as power lines and overhanging tree branches.
Is there sufficient suitable power on site?
Can leads be run to the equipment without creating any hazards such as trip hazards and is the power supply within a reasonable distance? If there’s no power on site or its to far to run leads a generator will be needed.
Access to site.
Inflatables are heavy items and generally the bigger they are the heavier they are. Some inflatables can be put on a trolley to be moved into position, but some large inflatables like giant slides and rides like bungee trampolines will require full vehicle access. You will need to check this with the supplier before booking.
Once you’ve established what can and what can’t go on your site you can start to look at who you want to hire from. The statement “you get what you pay for” in most cases sums things up very well. When getting quotes don’t just go for the cheapest, you need to look at the things that are not immediately apparent.Does the company have public liability insurance? If not, move on to the next company.
What’s their level of cover? Most venues and local authorities will insist on a min of £5 million cover and some may require more.
Are there any restrictions on the policy? Some insurance companies will not cover equipment for use on licenced premises (anywhere with a bar) sometimes even if they do provide cover at licenced premises they will have a curfew of 9pm. would this effect you’re event?
Unknown to most of the general public, any amusement device will require an annual safety inspection; this covers the overall condition of the item and a full inspection of its electrical integrity.The fact is at least 30% of companies operating this type of equipment will be unable to provide any evidence of industry recognised safety inspections being carried out on their equipment. In the event of an accident there insurance in most cases would be void.
Condition of equipment. When hiring a piece of equipment you want to know that the company is going to supply a good clean piece of kit that’s fit for purpose, so don’t be embarrassed to ask about its condition.
Spotting the cowboys
Always be suspicious of websites that don’t display a trading address and a landline number, in the event of a major problem they would be difficult to trace. (Why wouldn’t they want you to know where they are?)
Once you’ve got your quotes it’s not good practice to just go for the cheapest. You need to look at all the quotes and consider all of the things stated. If one quote is considerably less than the others you need to know why, it may well be that they are a lot closer to the venue than the others, or in many cases they just don’t offer the same standard of service as the others. Don’t be fooled by claims of being members of various trade associations as in most cases other paying a membership fee they do not need to meet any criteria or follow any code of conduct.
Different companies have different ways of taking your booking this may include online booking systems through their website, or by email or over the phone. In any instance you should be suspicious of any company who won’t want to send you a confirmation of your booking with terms and conditions of hire, and insists on payment by cash on delivery only. A reputable company will offer several methods of payment such as bank transfer, credit/debit cards, and in most cases will request a deposit to secure your booking.
Although you can never be totally sure of a company until you’ve used them following these tips will increase your chances of finding a reputable operator for your event.
We hope you find this basic guide to hiring an inflatables company useful regardless of whether or not you use us to provide equipment for your school event, funday or party.
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