Tests on inflatable play equipment
Inflatable play equipment is usually a good way for children to exercise while they play. A poor design, or equipment in poor condition, can increase the risk of injury to users, hence the need to raise awareness among all stakeholders (manufacturers, potential renters or buyers, and installers) of how important it is to have equipment that has been designed safely and that has been previously tested according to the applicable European standard, EN 14960 “Inflatable play equipment. Safety requirements and test methods.” In this way, children can play and access such equipment without any unforeseeable risk of injury or serious accident.
This technical standard is not binding, but there is a Royal Decree, number 1801/03, on “general product safety”, which aims to ensure that all products placed on the market are safe throughout their life cycle, i.e., their safety must be ensured through inspections and maintenance, and as a result, all inflatable play equipment that is sold and used must comply with this Royal Decree and therefore with its European implementing regulations.
Those responsible for placing inflatable play equipment on the market, i.e., the manufacturers, must guarantee and preserve the safety and health of users. For all these reasons, it is essential that such equipment undergoes the pertinent tests, has the necessary documents for its installation, inspection and maintenance, and the labelling that such inflatable play equipment must have, in a visible place on the inflatable castle or bed, prior to it being used. Test laboratories have the authority to perform these tests, offering the buyer of the inflatable play equipment a greater guarantee, greater control over production, as well as revising the toxicity of the ornamental materials used for the design of the different inflatable play equipment.
In our laboratory we carry out both physical-mechanical and chemical tests. We possess quality credentials, and we have specific facilities in which to carry out such tests. Our technicians also travel to manufacturers’ facilities to evaluate the different inflatable play equipment and all the design requirements, materials and information that is to be supplied to the customer.
Services related to the testing of inflatable play equipment
Tests of inflatable play equipment according to the European standard:
- EN 14960 “Inflatable play equipment. Safety requirements and test methods.”
Benefits of having properly tested and evaluated inflatable play equipment
We are an international and national reference laboratory for child safety. We carry out physical, chemical and material safety tests on inflatable play equipment in accordance with European and international regulations and legislation.
Thanks to our technical expertise and our active participation in various national and international standardisation forums and committees related to child safety, and particularly to playgrounds in which inflatable play equipment has been installed, we help and facilitate the industry’s continuous updating in the design of its products, always under the latest regulatory or pre-regulatory changes or possible future changes.
Having inflatable play equipment evaluated and ensuring that it conforms to safety requirements provides the manufacturer with quality and credibility, allowing it to be more competitive in the children’s leisure market.
How we test inflatable play equipment
The test reports we obtain in our laboratory are accepted in Europe, due to our positioning, as we are recognised in both European and international forums as experts in child safety. We are an accredited laboratory according to ISO/IEC 17025.
Because of the facilities we have: A physical-mechanical laboratory, a chemical laboratory, materials and processes, etc. This allows us to fully evaluate the product, in terms of safety requirements in: materials (fabrics, nets, ropes, zippers and decorative finishes), design (number of anchor points, structural integrity, design of the actual structure, type of blower, any type of entrapment of any part of the child’s body, the height of walls depending on the height of the child, etc.), and a review of document management (markings, instructions for use and information to be provided to the customer).
Our experience in testing inflatable play equipment
We are the only centre that has proven technical expertise and more than 30 years’ experience in carrying out safety tests on children’s products, as we are the first laboratory in Spain to be accredited by the ENAC (the National Accreditation Entity) according to ISO/IEC 17025 to carry out tests on playground equipment and surfacing , and according to ISO/IEC 17020, as an inspection entity in playgrounds and sports fields.