How do you find a reputable bounce house rental company?

An ABC2 News Investigation pointed out a lack of oversight for many bounce houses your kids love to play in.  Companies that rent them out solely for private events don't get inspections.  So how do you find one that puts safety first?  We're working for you with tips.

When you set up a bounce house, it's like a slice of heaven landed in your kid's backyard.  Paul Swisher, who runs Perry Hall Moonbounce, says, "You're always the kid's best friend when you arrive but when you come to pick it up, you're always their worst enemy."

But it's the bouncing in between that may actually leave kids crying.  A nationwide  study found more than 60,000 kids were sent to the ER over 15 years with inflatable related injuries, prompting experts to call for national guidelines.  At present, no national guidelines exist. 

In Maryland however, there is regulation governing bounce houses and inflatables, but only the ones used in public.  ABC2 News Investigators found companies that rent inflatables solely for private parties and events get no inspection or monitoring for safety.  Angie Barnett with the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland says, "People are looking for reputable businesses and they're very concerned because this is an unregulated industry."

As a result, you have to know what to look for when you're renting.  Barnett says you've got to search the companies' background for complaints through the BBB and the Attorney General's office. 

You should also ask the company for referrals, find out whether they have insurance and ask what steps they take to make sure your party is safe from installation to rules you should follow.  Barnett says those are key steps for parents, "It's not like we're experienced in managing this so we don't really know all the safety precautions to take so you want to ask and want to do business with someone who has your safety at heart."

Swisher calls safety priority one for his company.  That's why he says he installs every inflatable he rents out so he can ensure it's been set up safely, calling it peace of mind for him and the parents.  He advises, "If you do come across a company that allows you to come and pick up a moon bounce, avoid those companies."

Keep in mind some rental companies that supply inflatables for private events also supply rentals for public events and therefore their bounce houses have been inspected by the state although regulations governing their use at a private event would not be in effect.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

More Investigations

Daycare provider to get new trial after conviction in death of Eastern Shore baby Daycare provider to get new trial after conviction in death of Eastern Shore baby

An Eastern Shore woman convicted in the death of a child in her care will get a new trial thanks to a judge's decision.

Feds say search warrants turned up new evidence in Shawna Gunter case Feds say search warrants turned up new evidence in Shawna Gunter case

In a detention hearing in federal court, prosecutors detailed new evidence in their case against a Severna Park woman accused of posing as a physician's assistant.

Feds: Shawna Gunter, who posed as a physician Feds: Shawna Gunter, who posed as a physician's assistant and treated about 200 patients, indicted

An Anne Arundel County woman is indicted by the feds for posing as a physician's assistant and treating patients.

Many pot tests, but no certainty how much is too much Many pot tests, but no certainty how much is too much

Zero tolerance for pot has been the norm for decades for workplace drug testing, and, in most states, for policing drugged driving. But with millions of Americans now legally able to use pot for either medical purposes or outright, there’s growing demand to know how much is too much to safely drive or perform on the job.

 

 

 

Law enforcement agencies working to find balance in Law enforcement agencies working to find balance in 'thin blue line'

Across the region, police agencies say they don’t tolerate harassment among officers, though there’s no cut and dried solution.

GAO report, victim advocates raise concerns over underreporting of cruise ship crime GAO report, victim advocates raise concerns over underreporting of cruise ship crime

When it comes to cruising, people put a lot of time and energy into researching the prices, amenities and destinations. But according to a recent government report, consumers may not be as informed as they should be about the safety and security on these vessels.

Federal employees are flying high on taxpayers’ dime Federal employees are flying high on taxpayers’ dime

Would you spend more than $16,000 to upgrade to a business class flight? Our investigation found one agency let a top executive use your tax dollars to do just that.

Baltimore officer who fell from JFX shares her story Baltimore officer who fell from JFX shares her story

She hasn’t driven on the JFX.  She hasn’t visited the spot where she fell.  And she’s never talked about the accident that ended her career, until now.

Dispatch tapes detail the day Baltimore cop was knocked off the JFX Dispatch tapes detail the day Baltimore cop was knocked off the JFX

Before you hear former Baltimore Police officer Teresa Rigby detail the accident that ended her career, dispatch tapes take us back through the response to the crash.  

Md. House of Delegates passes rape kit expansion bill Md. House of Delegates passes rape kit expansion bill

The Maryland House of Delegates Monday unanimously passed a bill that would ease the burden rape victims face to complete a forensic examination that would hold up in court against purported attackers.