One day after two young boys were thrown from a bouncy castle that was blown into the New York sky by a gust of wind, a mid-Missouri inflatables operator talks about his personal safety protocol for his business.
"There's an inherent risk of danger in anything that we let our kids do. So when it comes to renting an inflatable it's not about eliminating risk, because there is risk associated with it, it's about minimizing the risk," Jeremy Truitt, owner of Rockin Rents Inflatable Entertainment in Columbia, said Wednesday.
Truitt told KRCG 13 several friends contacted him about Tuesday's accident, which sent the two young boys to the hospital (photo in video courtesy poststar.com).
"The first thing that went through my mind was 'wow, how did that happen?' Because just looking at it, without knowing any of the details, that should never, ever, ever happen," Truitt said.
One issue with safety regulation in the inflatable entertainment industry is that there is no overarching, standard protocol.
"When it comes to different industries there's typically some kind of federal oversight or some type of industry standard, but there's not with inflatables," Truitt said.
"And that's why there's been some issues with properly securing them and what the safety protocol are, because sometimes it varies based on who the individual operator is."
That's why it's up to the operators to keep their clients safe.
Truitt said the most important safety step is staking the inflatable structure to the ground. But the bouncy castle that blew away in New York was staked, exemplifying the need for another of Truitt's rules.
"If the forecast has over 25 mile per hour gusts forecasted then typically we'll cancel the rental just because it's not safe. Even with the stakes, there's just no...we just don't want to take the chance with that," Truitt said.
He also requires his structures to be staffed at all times to monitor rough housing inside.