Recent Incidents Cause Concerns About Bounce House Safety
Recent incidents in Arizona with a fly away bounce house, and in New York with three inflatables going airborne, have caused a great deal of worry about the safety of bounce houses and the kids playing in them. Patrick Healy of NBC Los Angeles and Abbie Boudreau of ABC World News interviewed Magic Jump to get our opinion about inflatable safety during high winds.
NBC News Clip:
"It's a big concern for us as a manufacturer," says Bagumyan. "We try very hard to educate."
Bagumyan's Burbank company, Magic Jump, manufactures bounce houses, and a sister company rents them by the day, generally for kids parties. Bagumyan says Magic Jump takes pride in its safety record. And a big part of that is making sure that installers and customers know some basic safety rules.
"Making sure the products are properly anchored down and how the riders use them," is most important, said Bagumyan. He emphasizes there must always be adult supervision.
And when the wind gets up to 20 miles per hour, Bagumyan says it does not matter how well tied down the bouncer may be--it should be shut down. Such a warning comes in the owner's manual for every Magic Jump Bouncer.
Observing the 20 mile per hour rule might have prevented the flyaways captured on video on Long Island and elsewhere.
Bagumyan laments that some of the imported bounce houses are not up to the same standards as those made stateside. He notes that the industry is largely unregulated, except in New Jersey, where state safety officials must approve a bounce house design, and each unit is subject to annual inspection.
Unlike other outdoor amusements, inflatables are not regulated by California's Dept. of Industrial Relations, according to spokesman Dean Fryer. "The legislature has not given us jurisdiction," Fryer said.
Businessmen are supposed to dislike regulation, but Magic Jump's Bagumyan is one who thinks some outside oversight would be a good thing for his industry here in California. Among other reasons, he thinks it could discourage cut-rate competitors from cutting corners.
"We feel very strongly about this," Bagumyan said. ""I've spoken to several people in California and to legislators about this."
But there is no groundswell of demand for regulation from the public, no doubt a reflection of the fact the injury rate is so exceedingly low, considering the millions of children who bounce in countless thousands of bounce houses every year. It is nothing like the backyard trampoline craze half a century ago that was ended by a string of injuries and escalating insurance rates. Unlike bouncers, those old style trampolines did not come with built-in air bags.
Bounce house rental owners and users should all follow the labeled safety rules. Magic Jump recommends all companies to read and understand the product manual and follow all safety standards specified by the manufacturer as well as city and statewide regulations. NO matter how tight or firm the anchor is, once the winds pick up over the specified maximum limit, all inflatable rides should be shut down and evacuated. For your own safety and for your clients safety, Magic Jump urges everyone to follow the safety rules before more kids get hurt.