New Jersey was one of the first states to really get tough on inflatable regulations. The state is notoriously tough on all entertainment rides, including inflatables. A spotted accident history inspired lawmakers to begin requiring inspections of, not only the inflatables themselves, but also the design and manufacturing details. In 2002 New Jersey passed new legislature becoming the first state to require ride design code review and approval.
This legislature means that all entertainment rides, including inflatables, being used or installed in the state must be inspected and certified annually. Additionally, all inflatables must meet wind-anchorage and combustibility requirements set by the state.
Inflatable operators in New Jersey are required to pay a $200 annual fee to obtain an inflatable operating permit. They are also required to share their inflatable installation schedule with state officials, who can then show up unannounced to any of these installations to ensure the inflatable
is up to New Jersey codes.
While the fees are costly and the paper work monotonous, New Jersey has been able to significantly reduce the number of accidents thanks to these new regulations. Other states may follow suit over time as inflatable regulations become more and more of a state issue.
The laws and requirements for inflatables operating in New Jersey also extend past the operator to the manufacturer. New Jersey’s laws require that specific inflatable manufacturing standards be adhered to. Each manufacturer must also pay a high annual fee to submit each inflatable design to the state of New Jersey for official sanction and approval. Because of the high price, many manufacturers submit only their most popular inflatable products, limiting the selection available to inflatable rental businesses operating in New Jersey.
Jungle Jumps follows all of the ASTM24 requirements, but has chosen not to apply for New Jersey’s inflatable certifications. The exhorbitant annual fees per inflatable design have made it difficult for manufacturers to do business in the state. If every state followed suit with New Jersey’s inflatable regulations for manufacturers, the price of the product would have to go up for everyone to cover these annual fees.
Stricter inflatable regulations, like New Jersey’s, are a good thing for the industry. As these will ensure that inflatable manufacturers are legitimate, weeding out those manufacturing product in their home garage. Some states are still without any formal regulations pertaining to inflatables.
This actually puts businesses in those states at a disadvantage, as they risk losing the reputation of their state’s inflatable industry and safety reputation to “fly by night” operations who may not focus on following all of the safety precautions necessary when operating an inflatable.
However, the cost of paying exhorbitant annual fees for each individual state is simply not feasible for inflatable manufacturers. At Jungle Jumps, we support these types of mandates, but feel that these laws should be uniform across the board for every state. As an industry, we would like to see every state adopt New Jersey’s regulations. We would like to see inflatable manufacturers submitting designs for approval to a single agency. This agency would certify inflatables that could be sold in every state.
Keep in mind that additional regulations pertaining to inflatables do keep the number of accidents down, which in turn also reduces the price for your business insurance and this is a good thing for any inflatable business.