BS EN14960:2013 Standard
The standard was agreed by a European Standardization Organizations, and then agreed by the BSI Group. This is widely agreed and used as the standard when designing, manufacturing and inspecting new inflatable play equipment. It was updated in 2006 and 2013.
For over 10 years we have been designing bouncy castles and slides to meet the requirements of the BS EN14960:2013. This includes products which fall outside the standard. All our inflatables are designed as close to the standard as possible to help maintain a safe playing environment for children.
As a bouncy castle hirer your first priority should always be the safety of the children and users of your equipment. The BS EN14960 Standard covers all aspects of inflatable play equipment that is bounced or slid on. The standard was designed and agreed to ensure the safety of children and users.
The scope of the BS EN14960:2013 standard
The European Standard is applicable to inflatable play equipment intended for use by children fourteen years and under both individually and collectively.
The standard specifies safety requirements for inflatable play equipment where the primary activities are bouncing and sliding. It sets measures, to address risks and to minimise accidents to users, in the design, manufacture and supply of inflatable play equipment. It specifies information to be supplied with the equipment. The requirements have been laid down bearing in mind the risk factor based on available data.
The standard specifies the requirements that will protect a child from hazards that he or she may be unable to foresee when using the equipment as intended, or in a manner that can be reasonably anticipated.
The standard is not applicable to inflatable pool play and leisure equipment, domestic inflatable toys, air-supported buildings, inflatables used solely for protection, inflatables used for rescue, or other types of inflatable toys where the primary activity is not bouncing or sliding.
Introduction to BS EN14960:2013
Play is the means by which children discover and understand the world in which they live and is an essential element in a child’s physical and mental growth.
It is important for children’s rounded development that, through play, they arrive at an understanding of danger, which provides a basis for assessing safety in a variety of situations. The balance between challenge and safety is an important consideration.
The inflatable play equipment referred to in the standard can provide different levels of challenge and excitement. The European Standard aims to minimise the level of risk and the possibility of serious injury while allowing children to enjoy themselves when playing in or on inflatable equipment.
The standard acknowledges the difficulties of addressing safety issues by age criteria alone because the ability to handle risk is based on the individual user’s level of skill and not age. Moreover, users other than the intended age range will make use of the inflatable equipment, in which case, the provisions of the standard still apply.
It is not the purpose of the requirements of the standard to affect a child’s need to play nor to lessen the contribution that inflatable play equipment makes either to the child’s development or meaningful play from an educational point of view.
Where inflatable play equipment is combined with other items of children’s playground the relevant standards applying to the other items of equipment should also be consulted.
Key points within the BS EN14960:2013 Standard include:
Placement of the inflatable.
- Never near overhead obstructions such as trees or power lines.
- Never on a slope greater than 5%.
- Always upon a cleared area with not sharp objects or debris.
- Use a fence for the purposes of crowd control.
- Users and equipment should always be supervised.
- Inflatables should be deflated when uninflated, and the power source disconnected.
- Restriction on the number of users on the inflatable at any one time.
- Clean the inflatable.
- Take steps to avoid preventable repairs.
- Correct maintenance.
Information to be supplied to the operators.
- Annual Inspection procedures.
- Operational procedures.
- How to safely set up the inflatable.
- Restrictions on use of the inflatable e.g. users numbers and height.
These are just examples of the detail the standard goes into, which are taken into account during the design and manufacture of all Airquee and Airquee Online inflatables.