The inflatable rental industry is one that has grown tremendously in the past decade, mainly thanks to the marketing capabilities provided by the internet as well as parties and events that host them. Small businesses have grown so much in the industry that almost every city in the US has someone servicing their area. But are all the companies reliable? This article will cover some information about what to look for when you search for an inflatable, what to ask companies, information on safety features and designs, and when and how to make a reservation.
Which inflatable is right for your party? There are hundreds of different designs and styles to choose from in the inflatable industry, but which one should you choose that will bring the most satisfaction to your event? The inflatable industry is moving towards bigger products that feature numerous combinations and interactive activities. There are a couple of things to ask yourself when you want to rent a jumper for your party or event:
1. Is there a specific theme or style that your party is going for? For instance are you having a Hawaiian or Sports theme? If you do have a theme or style for your party then it would be best to look for an inflatable that will suite your theme, or at least that doesn’t contradict your theme. You don’t want to rent a sports jumper for a girl having a princess theme, or a princess style jumper for a boys party with a sporting theme. Picking the wrong inflatable can be an awkward experience for the participants and the guests at the event.
2. How much space do you have at your location? Is your location big enough to fit a jumper, obstacle course, water slide, or a combo? Customers must take the responsibility of measuring their location before they start the rental process to make sure they are aware of their areas’ dimensions. Some people fail to do this and end up renting an inflatable that is too big to setup in the area, in which case, it results in a canceled order, and, depending on the company’s policy, a delivery fee.
3. What is your budget? Is your budget lower than $100? If so then you should probably look to get a regular bounce house. Combos, slides, obstacle courses, water slides and any other interactive inflatable will usually cost around $150-$250 (depending on size and location), so if you are working with a low budget or want to reduce your expenses, then it is reasonable to say that you should expect to rent a regular bounce house.
4. Where is your party going to be located? Having your party at a house, park, business, or beach does make a difference. Having your party at a public place like a park or a beach might require getting a permit or authorization before you can rent an inflatable. Also, these public locations might restrict people from reserving some of the bigger inflatables like an obstacle course, combo, or interactive inflatable, and usually will almost never accommodate a water slide.
5. Which age group is this inflatable designed for? If you are having a party for toddlers you don’t want to be renting a big obstacle course. Knowing what age group the inflatable is designed for is a very important aspect of renting an inflatable. Renting the wrong inflatable can lead to safety issues as well as discontent from use.
What should I ask companies? Obviously when choosing a company, price is going to be the most important aspect to consider, but the following are some key areas to touch base with when comparing companies. Here are some important questions to ask companies before you rent an inflatable for your party or event:
1. Do you have insurance? You always want to make sure an insurance provider covers the company you rent from. It would be a nightmare to think of a situation where a child gets hurt and the company could not pay for health care or medical expenses because they were not covered.
2. Are your units cleaned? Since inflatables get rented out frequently and can get dirty from use, you want to make sure your inflatable is nice and clean. Companies are not required by law to have their units cleaned or sanitized, however, it is a reflection of their service, company image, and dedication towards their customers. You never want to go with a company that brings you a dirty and beat down inflatable.
3. How many years have you been in business? It is up to a customer to go with a company that just started off or with a more experienced one. Usually new companies will have the cheapest prices since they want to draw in customers, but keep in mind that the inflatable industry is one that caters mostly to children, and thus, experience in the business, along with safety, are valuable factors that should not be weighted lightly.
4. Where are you located, do you deliver to my city? This should probably be the first question you ask to make sure the company delivers to your area. Usually companies closer to your location will be your cheapest price since they will most likely not charge a delivery fee, in contrast to companies located further away that will most likely charge a delivery fee. You can find a local bouncer rental company through the online directory Party Jump USA which hosts local inflatable rental companies with the specific city they service.
5. Do you provide discounts? Usually companies that are dedicated to providing good customer service give out discounts for repeat customers, as well as other incentives to rent again.
6. How new are your units? This is an important question because usually older inflatables are worn out, the colors are faded, have patches, and are dirty. Good inflatable rental companies will usually renew their units every two to four years, assuring that the units are new and clean.
An inflatable party rental company that is very dedicated to its customers and to the quality of their service is Magic Jump Rentals. They branch off of a manufacturing company so they are very thorough about following safety standards, rules and procedures. They also carry the newest and cleanest inflatables in their area with the latest safety features.
What are some safety features that I should be aware of? Since the inflatable industry is one that caters to children, safety should be of top priority for operation and design. Here are some key safety features of inflatables that you should be aware of to ensure the inflatable you are renting is safe.
1. Safety ramp at entrance and exit. Some of the leading regulatory officials in the United States (mainly New Jersey and Pennsylvania) have set fort procedures to follow and this is one of them. Safety ramps ensure that children are able to carefully go in and out of the inflatable, this protects from falling or rolling out straight onto the ground.
2. Big entrance and exit openings. This is important so children are not stuck or have a hard time getting in and out of units. This safety measure is required in circumstances that call for evacuations from the inflatable, like weather or electricity problems.
3. Netting size. Safety regulatory officials require a netting size that is small enough where children’s fingers will not be caught and possibly hurt. The netting, however, must also be large enough to ensure clear visibility by attendants and adults supervising the children inside. The recommended opening for netting is about ¼”.
4. Safety netting for slides. One of the newest safety feature is safety netting for slides to protect kids from jumping or falling off the sides, or doing any unsafe moves from the top of the slide.
5. Inflatable pool floors for water slides. This is something that has not been regulated yet, but is of importance. Most water slides do not have an inflatable floor underneath their pool, which causes children to hit the ground as they slide into the pool. This is something that needs to be addressed by regulatory officials and manufacturing companies.
6. Safety rules on inflatable. The dedication and effort a company puts into the safety of their inflatables is apparent through their safety rules postings. Regulatory officials require safety rules signs on inflatables to make sure participants know how to use them and potential hazards.
7. Anchoring inflatables. It is a requirement that inflatables be fastened down using anchoring devices like stakes and straps at all times. Usually regular bounce houses require 4 anchoring points, with combos, slides or bigger units usually requiring more.
8. Lead-less vinyl. Since a lot of manufacturers import their products from offshore locations where their might not be any regulation on safety or health hazards it is very important to make sure the inflatables you use are made from lead-less vinyl. Inflatables made from vinyls containing lead can be harmful to the heal of people using them, especially children who are more vulnerable to diseases.
When should I make my reservation? You typically want to reserve as soon as you have your party planned out. A lot of people wait to the last minute to place their reservations, which usually is not the smartest thing to do. Placing your reservation the last minute can cause confusion or problems as well as delays in delivering your product. It is usually advised to place your reservation about a week or two before your party date. By placing your reservation a week or two before you can be rest assured that the company has your order and the desired inflatable you want. If you happen to change or cancel you party you can always cancel the reservation, just make sure to do so at least a couple days before the event date so you don’t run into any cancellation fees.
E-commerce has transformed the inflatable rental industry, making it relatively easy and convenient to reserve an inflatable product at your own time. The dot com boom made it possible for customers to view the inflatable products, their information, dimensions and prices online without the verbal description of customer service representatives, making it easier and more convenient to reserve online.