Got Inflatables? New Safety Standards will apply to Agritourism Farms with "Bounce Houses" and Slides

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014
Peggy Kirk Hall, Associate Professor, Agricultural & Resource Law

Ohio farms that complement their agritourism activities with inflatable "bounce houses" and slides for kids to play on will soon be subject to new safety standards proposed by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).  Based on its authority to inspect "amusement rides," ODA is proposing the regulations to ensure public safety through minimum standards for the operation and use of inflatable devices. 

Inflatables haven't always been subject to ODA's "amusement ride" oversight.  The Ohio legislature amended the definition of "amusement rides" in 2011 to include "inflatable devices," which gave ODA the added responsibility of inspecting and permitting the bounce houses.  The  regulations now proposed by ODA will provide safety standards that operators must meet before receiving a permit to operate an inflatable.

According to the proposal, owners or operators of inflatable amusement devices:

  • Shall have the manufacturer's specifications on hand and available for ODA at the time of an inspection.
  • Shall not inflate a device with flammable gases.
  • May vary from the manufacturer's operating instructions or make alterations to the inflatable's design, only by doing the following:

1) Obtaining written permission for the variance or alteration from the manufacturer;

2)  Submitting the written permission from the manufacturer to the department for approval; and

3)  Being reinspected by ODA to ensure compliance with the revised manufacturing instructions or specifications.

ODA seeks comments on the proposed safety standards by February 18, 2014; learn more by visiting here.

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