Inspection of inflatable play equipment
When the good weather arrives, the number of public and private shows and recreational activities on public roads, in restaurants, hotels, private leisure areas, fairs, etc. increases. This explains why there is an increase in the number of rentals of inflatable play equipment and other similar equipment whose primary purpose is to provide fun for youngsters. An inflatable play equipment is intended for children between 0 and 14 years old. It is mainly used for bouncing and sliding.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of accidents in spaces of this type, which is why we often ask ourselves: Is this play equipment really safe? Are the by-laws and laws that the public authorities and private entities require prior to installation sufficient to ensure the safety of the child?
The answer to these questions lies in the need to make all the agents involved (manufacturers, possible renters or buyers and installers) aware of how important it is to have equipment designed in a safe way and previously tested and inspected when these are going to be installed before use, and of the need to assess them on an annual basis in order to ensure that everything is in order, both in terms of the actual equipment and its documentation, in accordance with European standard EN 14960.
But in addition to having properly designed inflatable play equipment it is essential that such equipment is properly installed because many of the accidents that occur are due to their not having been properly anchored, a lack of supervision, not respecting the intended age of use, the site they are installed on, the type of surface in the entry/exit zones, the number of children using the inflatable play equipment , etc..
Having inflatable play equipment adequately designed according to current regulations, ensuring they are correctly installed and annually inspected in order to determine whether such equipment still retains the safety properties it originally had, mainly due to the inflation of the equipment, would mean that children could play on and use this equipment without any unforeseeable risk of injuries or serious accidents, because said risks are not evident and children are not aware of them while they play on them.
We inspect inflatable play equipment when it is installed prior to use. We examine all inflatable parts, anchor points and accessories that may affect the safe operation of the equipment and its installation, thereby making it possible to continue marketing a safe product.
Services related to the inspection of inflatable play equipment
Inspection of the installation of inflatable play equipment according to the European standard:
- EN 14960 “Inflatable play equipment. Safety requirements and test methods.”
- EN 1177 “Impact attenuating playground surfacing. Methods of test for determination of impact attenuation”
Benefits of having properly inspected inflatable play equipment:
Inspection and maintenance of inflatable play equipment is one of the most important factors in minimising risks in play areas. This is a factor that often leaves a lot to be desired, often because of ignorance. A proper management of the inflatable play equipment by the public authority and the private company, together with a continuous monitoring of incidents, maintenance and annual main inspections by an inspection body such as ourselves, can ensure that any accident will not have serious consequences.
How we carry out inspections of inflatable play equipment
Regardless of the different laws that are enforced or the by-laws that govern the public occupation of each locality, etc., as this play equipment is treated as “fairground attractions and public shows”, those responsible for renting such play equipment must be aware of their European safety regulations, requesting all the minimum information required therein, on-site inspections of the installation by an inspection body and annual main inspections, thereby being able to ensure that the equipment installed in their own locality, restaurant, etc., meets certain safety requirements.
Among other requirements, we inspect the following:
- Structural integrity, i.e. the pressure of the inflatable play equipment.
- Entrapment of a limb or the body itself.
- The finishing of the inflatable play equipment (edges, corners, etc.).
- Information of the inflatable play equipment, (general product, pre-information, installation and operating information, etc).
Our experience in the inspection of inflatable play equipment
Our inspection and certification tasks are carried out by qualified inspectors and supervised by the technician in charge of Playgrounds and recreational areas, under a work system accredited by ENAC, for playgrounds, according to the reference standard -EN ISO/IEC 17020 “Evaluation of Conformity: Requirements for the operation of different types of inspection bodies”.