When setting up and preparing for a fun inflatable addition to your venue or place of business, safety is essential. Inflatables, especially those stationed outside, need to be properly secured.
What to Consider When Securing Inflatables
There are several factors to take into account when securing an inflatable.
Always keep an eye on the weather when you have inflatables set up outside. If it’s a decorative inflatable, high winds or storms can damage the material or even blow it away. If the inflatable is an interactive inflatable or inflatable structure, where people are in and around it, inclement weather could hurt people or even be life-threatening. If the weather is expected to be bad, don’t inflate it that day. Watch changes in the weather, even on nice days, and be prepared to deflate and pack up.
The type of event is important to consider when securing an inflatable. If you are expecting a lot of foot traffic, additional precautions may be useful. If the inflatable is going to be left unattended for a period of time, additional security measures, like bike chains or padlocks, may be a good idea. If the event is indoors, less care is needed when securing an inflatable, especially if the environment is calm and the inflatable is largely decorative.
If possible, set your inflatable up in a flat location that has protection from the worst of winds. A buffer may include a building, hills, trees, bushes, or solid fences. In some cases, the object will also be an effective anchor for the inflatable. Take care that a tree only buffers the area around the inflatable and does not obstruct the space above it.
Type of Inflatable
Different types of inflatables require different levels of security. Interactive inflatables, like bounce houses and race or climbing courses, require a higher degree of care. If the inflatable comes loose, it could cause serious injuries and even death. Smaller decorative inflatables are less hazardous if the wind blows them away, but in outdoor events with high foot traffic, it’s important to do all you can to prevent this.
Inflatables will often come with manufacturer or seller instructions to set up and secure the structure. These directions are very useful and can help you properly secure the inflatable safely.
An even surface is important to securing your inflatable, as it will limit the wear and tear on the outside of the structure. Additionally, the inflatable is more likely to remain secure. On uneven ground, the blower could tip over, leading to the structure deflating. For interactive inflatables, this can be very unsafe if it happens unexpectedly. Debris from uneven, sandy, or graveling ground can also harm the air pump or blower, which may also cause it to break.
What Can Be Used for Securing Inflatables?
Depending on the venue or surface where you’re securing your inflatable, there are a few options to keep it stationary.
Tie Down With Ropes
An inflatable will generally have some form of metal d-rings or grommets in parts of the fabric. These can be used to securely tie the inflatable to a stable and weight-bearing object. If no ring or grommet exists on the structure, and it is a smaller inflatable, the rope can be looped loosely around the entire inflatable to secure it. Be sure that the rope doesn’t limit the airflow in the structure. You may want to secure the inflatable to a tree, a building, or a sturdy fence. Be sure to pick something that can withstand the weight of your specific inflatable.
If the location you’re setting up is outside with soft ground, stakes are useful. For residential inflatables, plastic tent stakes may be sufficient to secure them. However, for larger and commercial inflatables, you need metal stakes. Stakes can be used in combination with tie-down ropes to keep an inflatable stationary outside. Be sure that the stakes are fully secured to the rope or other part of the inflatable and are securely hammered into the ground. There should be plenty of stakes evenly spread around the inflatable.
Weights on Anchoring Points
Anchoring the inflatable with weights is a very effective way of securing the structure. They are particularly necessary if you are expecting moderate winds. Sandbags, gravel bags, rubber weights, metal weights, and barrels filled with water are all useful options to weigh down an inflatable.
At Instent, we have accessories, such as rubber weights and professional stakes, to provide additional anchorage to your inflatables.