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Inflatable Safety Standards

The European safety standard EN14960-2019 is the standard by which all Inflatable Hirers in the EU are required to adhere to when operating a Hire business. While the standard can be quite complicated to understand, we are here to help you.

In this blog series we are going to break the standard down and help you as a responsible hirer understand the finer details. Firstly, we’re going to look at Impact areas, and why it is important to understand and follow best practices to protect our children from harm while they enjoy their time on your inflatables.

What is an impact area?

Loosely defined, the impact area around an inflatable is any hard surface that a user of the inflatable may make contact with while egressing the inflatable, whether by way of action or by accident, We all know on any hard surface there is a need for ‘Impact Attenuating Mats’ in the impact area. To fully understand this we need to define the impact area.

The impact area is the area of ground immediately next to any open side of an inflatable and it extends to 1.2m away. For instance, on an ordinary castle with 3 walled sides and one open side with a full width step, it is the area, shaped like a U, all around the step.

Here are a few common examples:

As you can see from the above illustrations, the impact area covers all the area where a user can fall off the inflatable, NOT just one mat at the front of the unit. On all hard surfaces the impact areas must be covered for a distance of at least 1.2 meters from the inflatable.

The example in this image shows how NOT to approach this issue

Example Case

Currently, The IIHF insurance scheme has one claim pending. Our understanding is that the bouncy castle was placed on a hard surface and only the impact area at the front was covered with no mats on the side. The user used the side to egress off the castle and fell and broke their arm. 

It is obviously not clear whether or not the individual would still have sustained injury if the correct impact mats had been in place, however the hirer would be viewed as having taken due care to prevent any injury in the setup of the castle.

It is all our responsibility to cover all the impact area and this is clearly laid out in the standard. Protect that child, protect our industry.

Contact The IIHF

If you have any questions at all regarding the inflatable industry in Ireland, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at the Irish Inflatable Hirers Federation. We’re here to help!

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