When you buy your first commercial bounce houses to start a rental business, no one describes the business details. You received instructions on setup, safety, and care, but no one explains the best way to market your company. No lawyer pops out to explain how to file incorporation papers, or what insurance coverage you need. Here are some things you need to know to protect your bounce house rental business from a lawsuit.
Why do you need to protect your business lawsuit if you do everything right? In 2012, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that there were more than 18,800 injuries related to bounce houses and inflatable water slides. Most of these injuries, however, happen, not because a bounce house is inherently dangerous, but because the people don’t follow basic safety precautions. Kids roughhouse despite their safety instructions. Adults don’t pull their children out in high winds, even though it’s dangerous.
Talk To A Lawyer
Disclaimer: This article is not a legal advice. The information contained in this site is for general guidance on matters of interest only. The application and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved.Talk to a lawyer when you have legal questions.
A good lawyer will help you understand what possible liabilities there are, and will tell you the best ways to mitigate them. Every bounce house rental business should have a lawyer to consult on these issues.
A lawyer will know your state and local laws regarding commercial bounce house and inflatable water slide rental businesses. Since every state and every city has their own codes, regulations on bounce houses vary. Illinois requires every bounce house rental business to be inspected annually. In addition to checking on the safety of the equipment, they make sure the owners train workers properly, have drug policies, and have done background checks on their workers. Arizona, on the other hand, is one of eight states that had no regulations on bounce houses as of 2015. You will need to know your local laws and follow them.
Importer May Be Held liable For Product Defects.
Buy from a bounce house manufacturer located in the USA. They build their inflatables to comply with local regulations. U.S. manufacturers cover defective products, and they will replace them quickly. They also typically produce higher quality commercial inflatables, making them safer and more durable. This makes them easier and cheaper to insure. Foreign companies do not follow these standard practices, putting your rental business in jeopardy. If a foreign company does not have a U.S. liability insurance then the entity who imports a product from that foreign company is considered to be the manufacturer or producer and takes full responsibility of liability.
Bounce house liability insurance protects your rental business from potential lawsuits. No matter how careful you are, sometimes there will be injuries. Commercial bounce house rental businesses see typical playground injuries such as cuts, abrasions, sprains. Should this happen on one of your rentals, you will be happy to have insurance there to protect for damages.
Many people will not rent from bounce house rental companies that do not have insurance, especially if they are institutional customers like churches, parks, and recreation centers. Without liability insurance, you won’t have access to large institutional customers who rent more frequently and at higher volume than individuals.
When you buy insurance, pay attention to how the policy is written. If you don’t know the details of your coverage, you won’t know what actions might invalidate your coverage. Liability coverage can cost approximately $2,000 a year for $1 million in coverage. It’s a small price to pay for a lot of protection.
Send Properly Trained Staff
Bounce houses are safe when they are set up properly. When someone doesn’t know what they are doing, however, they can become dangerous. Make sure that your workers are properly trained with your equipment. You should do more than one training day when you hire someone. Regular safety training can keep the rules fresh in your staff’s minds and help them do everything by the book. Keep a log to prove to record when you have trained your workers, too. Some states require proof that it happened.
It is wise to have other safety policies for your staff, and many states require that you do. Here are some questions to consider:
• Will you do drug testing?
• Do you have a policy for drugs and alcohol with your workers?
• Do you do criminal background checks, including sex offender registry?
Consider keeping a staff member on-site for the whole rental period. While this will increase expenses, one of the most important factors for injury in bounce house rentals is whether the adults know what they are doing. An experienced operator will know when wind is too high or know when the equipment isn’t working correctly before anyone can get hurt.
Give Clear, Simple Safety Instructions
You know what it’s like to read instructions for complex equipment. The type is too small, the manual is way too long, and it is extremely boring. Your bounce house safety instructions should not be like this. They should be simple, easy-to-understand, clear, and concise. The more confusing or difficult-to-read you make your instructions, the less likely people are to follow them. Nationwide’s website, Make Safe Happen, has simple instructions for commercial bounce house safety. You can use these to inspire your own instructions.
Consider also asking your clients to sign a document that says they have read the safety instructions and agree to abide by them. This can be a legal protection for you. If an accident happens and the client claims that you did not give them adequate safety instructions, you will have a document showing that they read and agreed to follow them.
Buy High Quality Commercial Bounce Houses
When you go to a manufacturer that has bounce houses for sale, make sure they are built well. Since every market is competitive, manufacturers try to find any way they can to cut costs.
Sometimes that means inferior manufacturing and materials. While these products might be less expensive, a rental business may pay more for them eventually. Cheap bounce houses wear out faster, so you will replace them more frequently. Poor construction can also cause inflatable bounce house equipment to fail which can cause injury.
Even quality equipment deteriorates over time. Regularly inspect your inflatable equipment for damage, even every time it is rented. Unrepaired damage can cause injury and can expose your business to a lawsuit.
The bounce houses for sale at Bouncer Depot are all commercial grade, made in the U.S.A., and they all come with a three-year warrantee. You can be sure that our equipment is safe and high-quality to protect you and your clients.
No one wants to see their business damaged. No family wants to see their children injured when they should be having fun. Follow these guidelines to help keep your clients safe so they can keep renting from you summer after summer.