1. Do you hire commercial grade units? Most will always say yes but there are some unscrupulous hirers that do hire out the toy grade.
2. Can you let me have a copy of a current test certificate? Under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 all operators are required to have their units tested annually. The only testing schemes recognised by the Health & Safety Executive are those carried out by ADIPS or PIPA testers. However, it is possible for an operator to have units tested by a ‘competent person’. Make sure you ask to see copies of safety certificates.
3. Do you have Public Liability Insurance? Whilst it is not a legal requirement most reputable operators will have insurance cover. However, you need to be aware that this type of insurance will only cover the operator and his staff and WILL NOT cover the hirer in the unfortunate event of an incident occurring. It may be that your household insurance will cover you but you will need to check. It may be possible for the operator to inform you of an insurer.
4. What are my responsibilities? The operator should inform you that you will be responsible for the security of the equipment for the duration of the hire, provision of a safe electricity supply, safe operation of the equipment as per issued ‘Operating Instructions’ and adult supervision.
5. Will you tell me how to operate the equipment? Operators are required to give a full explanation on how to operate the equipment safely. Most operators will give you these in writing although a verbal explanation will fulfil their obligations under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974.
6. Will you confirm my booking? Many operators do not issue written confirmations and most will be fine. However, it is certainly better to have your order confirmed in writing as this should always confirm date of booking, times required, agreed fee, agreed payment terms and your obligations.
7. What happens if it is raining? Operators have different ways of dealing with this just make sure that whatever is agreed is in the ‘Terms & Conditions of Hire’. You should also be aware that many operators will cancel bookings in the event of high or gusting winds.
8. What age group is the equipment suitable for? Most inflatables are normally booked for a family celebration. It is inevitable that the big kids (adults) will want to ‘have a go’. You need to be aware that the vast majority of units are suitable for up to 14 year olds. You should always consider hiring adult units at family events to avoid any difficulties.
Providing you hire from a reputable operator and follow the correct operating procedures you can be fairly confident of a trouble free and safe event.