Bouncy Castle Safety

Bouncy Castle Safety

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Mum’s & Dad’s Guide to Bouncy Castle Safety

With the recent high-profile inflatable and bouncy castle accidents that have been in the news over the last couple of years in mind, Phil Pike (the Director of Knockout Challenge) via his involvement with the Amusement Devices Safety Council has written a short guide to help the general public ask and look for the right things when hiring inflatables and bouncy castles for the likes of school fetes, fundays and events.

Bouncy Castle Safety

Bouncy Castle Safety

Bouncy castles and inflatables in general are actually very safe (and of course fun) when used in the correct way by the right people supplying them and supervising them. There is lots of technical guidance out there mostly aimed at the supplier or hirer, but members of the general public may find it hard to understand the relevance of the guidelines and how they actually apply to them when they are booking a hire or siting an inflatable on the day.  So, the aim here to simplify it with a concise and easy to read “Mum’s & Dad’s Guide” to using them and also what to ask and look from an inflatable hire supplier and what to look for on the day and where to site it.

24 mph wind speed limit on all inflatables

Wind warning sign

This Guide will be a great quick source to keep on file of the underlying important points for the general public to refer to for “bouncy castles”. The headings include:

# How they are made.
# Installation.
# General condition of the inflatable.
# Anchor points.
# Wind speeds.
# Users & supervision.
# Certificates & Safety.
# The operator or supplier.
# Further reading & guidance.

At the moment the guide is currently available on the PTA+ Magazine website by clicking here:
>> Inflatable Hire Safety Article <<

For further safety information, please see our other blog: Inflatables & Safety At Events.

 

 

It's A Knockout Kids Games

2018 It’s A Knockout Digest

Well, it’s that time of year again to look back at the previous 12 months and reflect on our 2018 It’s A Knockout year. As usual it’s been a pleasure being out on the road performing our It’s A Knockout game activities for a variety of clients and the public. As ever, we’ve been all across the UK taking our games to a variety of events such as charity fundraising, schools, festivals, town/village shows, fun days, team building, and the off party and private event.

2018 Charity Games It’s A Knockout

Whether it’s been a national charity day, a big fun day or just a small team building event we’ve enjoyed 2018, and hope that everyone who took part had Fun fun fun as well.

Of course there was that great period of dry and hot weather in the middle of the year which we will all remember. For us it happened in the middle of our “busy-busy” part of the year. It started about a week before our big Jersey charity weekender and lasted until the end of July (when the English schools break up).

Summer It's A Knockout

Summer It’s A Knockout 2018

Our it’s A knockout games are great for team building and in 2018 we’ve supplied games packages for small team building days for as little as 30 people, right up to large days where 500 have taken part.

Team Building It's A knockout

Team Building It’s A knockout

Our games are ideal for schools that want to keep a lot active simultaneously. Our largest in 2018 for 700 students in one day! (we can easily do more though)

It's A Knockout Kids Games

It’s A Knockout Kids Games

We saw a longer season than ever this year, with work through October, November and December. Indoors or outdoors, Christmas party’s, Santa Run’s, team building and more, it’s been a Knockout Year.

And we’re already looking forward to 2019. New games and inflatables are planned, and we can’t wait !!!

Santa Run 2018

Santa Run 2018

Bookmark our  News/Blog page for the latest from us, or Contact Us for our 2019 events.

Knockout in the rain

Knockout In The Rain

Overall 2018 has generally been a good year for It’s A Knockout weather. However, come September time, it did turn a little for the worse. This brings us to a question often asked of us… “What happens to a It’s A Knockout in the rain?”  Well, to be honest, the answer is, it carries on regardless. Sometimes, we prefer it ! You’re going to get wet on the games anyway, so what’s the difference?

The pictures shown here in this blog were taken at a Cornwall Hospice Care fundraising It’s A Knockout day in Truro in September 2018. You’ll see that everyone had a great time. 33 teams turned up (only 3 dropped out last minute) all raising money for the charity.

Cornwall Hospice Care

Knockout In The Rain with Cornwall Hospice Care

Knockout In The Rain.

Our wet games and inflatables are going to get wet anyway no matter what the weather happens to be on the day, in fact when it’s raining it saves us a job of throwing water on them as Mother Nature is doing it for us. So rain is definitely not a problem. Our watch points though are making sure areas do not become muddy and of course the wind. But, these are “watch points” for normal days anyway. Just get the teams to bring a team gazebo with them and this can act as a base to keep their things dry whilst they are having fun on the games.

Knockout In The Rain with Cornwall Hospice Care

Knockout In The Rain with Cornwall Hospice Care

To read more about how a charity can raise money using one of our It’s A Knockout’s please see our Charities page and also our Charity FAQ’s blog.

Cornwall Hospice Care.

If you’d like more information about the Cornwall Hospice Care charity and their work, please go to their Facebook Page or visit their website Cornwall Hospice Care.

 

Bronze Show Kangaroo game

Bronze Show It’s A Knockout 2018

Our Bronze Show It’s A Knockout for 2018 has had some new great new games, inflatables and changes for the 2018 season to make them even more entertaining for the teams taking part and watching audiences.

Both the dressing up games on the Bronze Show It’s A Knockout for 2018 have changed. The penguins game has been replaced with a similar style Kangaroo sumo suit one which will help make the game a bit more versatile to different sizes and abilities of teams we encounter at days.

The second dressing-up game on the Bronze Show sees the addition of the funny new game “Widow Twanky’s Laundry”. In this game parts of a spotty padded sumo suit are collected through our Mangle inflatable obstacle, these pieces are then assembled together and worn by one of the team members to race back down the course.

Bronze Show It's A Knockout for 2018

Bronze Show It’s A Knockout for 2018

The Bronze Show It’s A Knockout for 2018 also has a new inflatable slide game “The Flume Slide”, and we’ve moved the Bubble Cave inflatable game over from the Silver Show over which means that four of the seven standard games are different this year, plus with the tweaks to the other games gives the Bronze Show for 2018 has a fresh new feel for the many people, charities and organisations who come back to book our games year-on-year.

Bronze Show It's A Knockout for 2018

Bronze Show It’s A Knockout for 2018

All these changes make our Bronze Show It’s A knockout ideal for charities and organisations using our games for their fundraising ventures. the Bronze Show is a great introduction step onto the It’s A knockout fundraising ladder for those who have not ran an It’s A Knockout day before. Please Contact Us if you’re new to Knockout and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know.

You can also find other Blog articles about how our Knockout’s can be used for fundraising events.

Early Season Update 2018

Early Season Update 2018

Welcome to our latest It’s A Knockout Blog. Here is an Early Season Update 2018 of news about It’s A knockout so far this year and also looking forward to the summer months.

Early Season Update 2018

Our It’s A Knockout 2018 summer season is now fully under way and we have already been out on the road on a few strings of work where we travel from one It’s A Knockout day to another, be it for a school activity day, university, village or town day or for some charity fundraising.  We happy to say that 2018 is shaping up to be a bumper year so we’re looking forward to it eagerly.

University It's A Knockout

Early Season Update 2018

Many days and weeks are already fully booked. We’re amazed though that we get so many late enquiries for sorting out a day. Sometimes just a few weeks notice rather than months. We do though have some dates still available in the height of the season and some discounted ones as well.  Please see our Discounted Dates page for details. We’re also offering a 15% discount on August dates as this is usually a quieter month after the madness of June and July.

School It's A Knockout News 2018

Early Season Update 2018

New Games & Inflatables for 2018

Most of our new inflatables for 2018 have already had their first outing and we’re pleased that everyone is enjoying them so much.
So far this year, our confirmed traveling for days takes us as far north as Aberdeen and as far south as Truro, plus we’re off to the Isle of Wight this year and our Gold Show is off to Jersey for a charity weekend at the end of June.
So, no matter where you are in the UK, we’re sure to be running one of our It’s A knockout’s near you this year.

If you’d like to take part in one of our It’s A Knockout events in 2018, we have many where you can do so. Please see our Events Page for details of those where the public can enter teams.

Charity It's A Knockout

2017’s Been A Great It’s A Knockout Year

It’s time for us to reflect on 2017 and what a great year it’s been for our Knockout Challenge It’s A Knockout games. As usual, we’ve been the length and breadth of the UK with our It’s A Knockout packages for a variety of different Town and Village shows, Festivals, Gala’s, Charity Fundraising days, Family Days and yes, Team Building.

From April till December (yes December!) our games have been entertaining the masses with fun and laughter, bubbles, water, costumes, inflatables and non-stop enjoyment.

2017 Charity It's A Knockout

2017 Charity It’s A Knockout

We’ve enjoyed 2017 immensely, and it’s been great that our games have helped so many charities raise lots of money for great causes and helped these charities spread their “word” and build bridges.  We do particularly look forward to the public days as the teams really go to town on their fancy dress and the less-competiveness of the teams ads to a more fun event.

2017 Gold Show

A 2017 Gold Show set of games.

This year we’ve ran our games for just a small day of 25 people up to Scout camps with 2,000. And even with the bigger numbers, as usual, every body, in every team took part in every game, No-one was left out. We’ve also noticed many more schools are using us now. When we run school and youth days, we change the games to be more adrenaline based. Some schools are even sharing a day, where we’ll operate the games in the morning for one school, then another are bus’d in or walk over to take part in the afternoon. Many are having a teachers session after school as a sort of team building exercise. Please visit our Schools Page for details.

2017 It's A Knockout Teams

2017 It’s A Knockout Teams.

For more images of teams that took part in in of our 2017 Charity It’s A Knockout’s please visit our Flickr Page.

We can’t sign off this blog without a footnote to our friend Keith Chegwin. We worked with him many times, and it was with great sorrow that we learnt of his death. He was a great guy, always happy, had a wicked sense of humour and we’ll miss him greatly.

Keith Cheqwin It's A Knockout

Cheggers It’s A Knockout.

We’d like to thank all the organisers that put their faith in us for 2017, all the great teams that took part in our games. We hope to see you all next year for an exciting 2018 It’s A Knockout !

Please bookmark our Blog for news of some tightly guarded changes, upgrades, and additions to our It’s A Knockout’s for 2018.

 

 

Inflatable Flume Slide – One of our New It’s A Knockout inflatables

We’ve taken delivery of and starting using our new Inflatable Flume Slide.  This obstacle is a new addition to our Bronze Show It’s A Knockout. It’s design is a little different from the other inflatable slides we have used and the first of such design that our British inflatable manufacturers have made.

Inflatable Flume Slide

Inflatable Flume Slide.

Seen above in its finished stage on the manufacturers bench, the designing stage took a little consultation to hone the finished look. Not only did the slide have to fulfil it’s usage purpose on how we intend to use it on the games, but it also has to conform with the legal guidelines for inflatable manufacture and usage (Design Review) and then lastly the actual constraints of how to make the inflatable itself. This has all come together to a great finished addition to our It’s A Knockout’s for 2018. We can’t wait to use it properly in the warm months next year !

Inflatable Flume Slide

Bronze Show Inflatable Flume Slide.

This new inflatable forms part of our changes to the 2018 games for our Bronze Show It’s A Knockout. The Show has new inflatables and new costumes making it even better for charity days and fundays and for those clients using us year-on-year. We got new inflatables and changes around for our games in 2018, so please check back to our blogs in the coming months for more details.

In the meantime, please check out our Packages Page to see details of all our It’s A Knockout games packages that we offer.

 

 

Two chaps having fun in the bubbles

Our Silver Show It’s A Knockout 2017

Our Silver Show is ideal for medium and large events. It is available in two versions, 8 games, which will last about 4 hours and also as a ten game version. The image below shows the eight game version from 2015.

silver show games arena

The Silver Show It’s A Knockout games arena.

The Silver Show is more inflatable based than the Bronze Show.  As an example, the inflatable slide game is bigger on this set of games. Because we need more staff to set up this bigger set of games, it automatically covers up to 18 teams talking part. Other teas can be added. However, after 36 teams we would suggest moving up to the Gold Show.

Silver Show It's A Knockout games

Some Silver Show games.

The eight game version needs about half the size of a football pitch in room and is usually ran in two halves. The dry games in Part 1, then the wet or bubbles games in Part 2. Like all our Knockout’s, everyone, in every team, gets the opportunity to take part in every game. No one is left out.

Ran as an exciting team event and as a great spectator attraction, the Silver Show makes an impressive addition to large charity fundraising events, family fund days, or entertainment events.

Silver Show It's A Knockout games

More Silver Show It’s A Knockout games.

School Activity Days and Youth Events.

Our Silver Show is also great for school activity days and youth events. For these days we change the games a little and make them more adrenaline based. Many schools use our games for end of year activity days, fresher days, incentive and reward events. The most students that our Silver Show can cope with in a single session is 480. However, two sessions can be ran in a day (one AM, one PM) meaning that a school with a thousand children can get everyone involved in the fun and excitement.

Knockout Challenge offer different scales of games for events. From our Mini Knockout for small team building type days to our Gold Show for large events of 36 teams or more. Please visit our Packages Page for details.

The Kings Banquet It’s A Knockout game

Inflatables And Safety At Events

In this blog, we will be talking about the inflatables that we use on our It’s A knockout events. However, as we sometimes get asked about inflatables and safety in general, this will also touch on a few points for anyone hiring bouncy castles or obstacles and a brief explanation of the “Laws” (or official guidance) etc relating to inflatables in general.

Inflatable Obstacles & the “Law”

Our It’s A Knockout inflatables are made in the UK to a standard called BS EN 14960. This 54 page EN Standard sets out how inflatable play equipment should be made. It includes details of the materials to be used, the step up and down height for getting on and off them, potential falling off heights, a calculation for the number of anchor points to be included and a lot more such as wind speeds (which I’ll come to later), the angle at which the pegs or stakes to tie down should be hammered in at, plus the size of the stakes and the roping off a safety area around them.

bronze show inflatables

The Bronze Show inflatables arena

Before any inflatable is open to the public for the first time it should be subject to inspections and checks to confirm its design and manufacture comply with the requirements of the BS EN 14960 standard.

For operators and hirers, there is also a useful seven page guide called the Safe Use & Operation Of Inflatable Play Equipment, Including Bouncy Castles. It can be found at the ADIPS website. This guide was originally of HSE – Health & Safety Executive – origin and is still considered good guidance for the operators of inflatables.

The HSE also stipulates that all inflatables should be tested annually, see the HSE website for details. This, it says, should be carried out by a competent person. To satisfy that we have fulfilled our duty to this, our inflatables are ADIPS tested, the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme. This is one of only two schemes recognized by HSE, the other being PIPA.

Our clients can go to the ADIPS website and “Check a DOC” – Declaration of Operational Compliance – to see if an inflatable has a valid test and can also see an image of the inflatable in question.  The annual test checks for, amongst other things, deterioration of the inflatable, the stitching of the panels, air loss (so it holds its “bounciness”), and the integrity of the anchor points.
Likewise, for bouncy castles registered with PIPA, a PIPA tag (or test) can be checked on their website. This is a reassuring process for clients and event organisers to able to independently check that a document hasn’t been fraudulently concocted.

Safety Mats

The EN Standard calls the area where safety mats (or sometimes called “Crash mats”) should be placed around an inflatable as an impact area. These are primarily identified as, but not exclusive to, intended entry and exit points. Our games are designed to predict a manner of participation from the Its A Knockout teams. This helps us to effectively risk manage the games. The EN standard states that at least a 1 inch mat be used, we use 1.5 inch ones for extra care. The inflatable manufacturer or inflatable tester may specifically advise the position of where mats should be placed. This would then be referred to in a Risk Assessment.

image of inflatables

Inflatables used at an event

Wind Speeds

People ask us whether the rain affects our It’s A Knockout days. Well no, not really, instead of us having to keep a slide wet for an It’s A Knockout game so people can slide down it, Mother Nature is doing it for us. However, wind is a problem. Inflatables made under the EN standard are safe up to Beaufort Scale 6 (which is 25 to 30 miles per hour). This is defined as “Large branches in motion. Whistling heard in telegraph wires. Umbrellas difficult to use”. At this point (25 mph) the use of all inflatables must stop.

We have wind meters on each set of games that we use to measure speeds. Our newest ones emit an alarm sound when the speed reaches 25 mph. At the beginning of each event, we point the wind-meter out to everyone present and explain its purpose. We also check the predicted wind speed online at the start of the day to see if wind will be a consideration.

Further advice and reading can be found on our About Us page.
Event organisers should also refer to the HSE website for Running an event safely.
Our clients can log-in to the Client Part of our website and view our Risk Assessments, Safety Certificates, Health & Safety Policy and Staff Training.

It’s A Knockout

An It’s A Knockout from Knockout Challenge Limited is a great spectacle attraction for events. Our games are fun and exciting and will make you event shine for the right reasons. Great for town & village shows, charity fundraising events, family days, festivals, corporate entertainment and team building. Please visit our Packages Page for details of the different sets of games we offer