Can You Afford Not to Use an Anemometer?

Posted on: August 2, 2011

Here at Bouncy Castles UK we regularly advise against the use of inflatables in high winds. There are regular reports of tragedies when this advice is ignored and accidents occur due to irresponsible management and supervision. Fortunately, the INPA & TIPE are making steps towards improving this situation.

In a recent statement the INPA reemphasised their commitment to developing a recognised training and qualification course for those in charge of bouncy castles and other forms of inflatable play equipment. The initiative has the backing of the Health and Safety Executive and is likely to become a reality in the near future.

As well as qualified training however, INPA and the HSE are also keen to encourage the use of anemometers. Anemometers are devices for measuring wind speed and whilst you may be more used to seeing them on the masts of boats or at weather stations, handheld anemometers can be the bouncy castle business owner’s best friend.

According to the usage standards a wind speed of 38 km/h is deemed as unsafe for inflatables as the risks of the equipment taking off becomes evident. However, judging wind speed without a device can be difficult. 38 km/h is equivalent to a factor 5 wind on the Beaufort Scale, which is judged as a “fresh breeze” identifiable by small trees in leaf beginning to sway.

Understandably such an assessment is subjective, which is when problems can arise with judgement calls on safety; hence the encouragement to utilise handheld anemometers so that a precise readout of wind speed can be gained.

Another reason to utilise this technology is to diffuse situations with customers. We have heard frequent tales of business owners arguing with customers over the speed of the wind, particularly when the supervisor must stop the use of the inflatable. Having a definitive ways to measure and prove the wind speed quells these arguments and ultimately increases safety for all involved.

As a bouncy castle business owner/operator the question you must ask yourself is whether you can afford not to have an anemometer, not only for the sake of your business, but also for the safety of your customers.

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