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L&I offers parents amusement ride and bounce house safety checklist

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June 11, 2014

Tumwater – With summer around the corner and the start of the season for local fairs and carnivals, the Department of Labor & Industries is offering a helpful amusement ride safety checklist for parents.

While bounce houses and amusement rides are fun family activities, improper use or poor maintenance and supervision can result in injuries.

"The public expects L&I, amusement-ride operators, insurance companies and private-industry safety inspectors to ensure amusement rides are safe," said Rod Mutch, chief inspector for L&I's Electrical Program, which oversees rides. "One thing parents can do is take a look at our checklist so they know what to look for to make sure a ride or bounce house has been inspected and operators are taking appropriate safety precautions."

The checklist is available at The website also includes a list of certified amusement ride and bounce house operators across the state and frequently asked questions about ride safety.

The safety of children in bounce houses has received national attention over the past month. The Consumer Products Safety Commission recently opened an investigation into two separate bounce house incidents in Colorado and New York in which kids were injured.

"I have grandkids who look forward to riding carnival rides and playing in bounce houses," Mutch said. "I want to know, as I'm sure all parents do, that these amusements are installed correctly and meet safety standards."

In the past five years there have been five incidents involving bounce houses in Washington. In cases where there were injuries, Mutch said, they included sprains and broken bones. In 2013 alone, the agency ordered 17 companies to cease operations when bounce houses weren't operated or installed properly.

Some of the checklist items include ensuring the bounce house is securely and properly anchored with steel stakes or sandbags; that the ride has an L&I decal showing it has been inspected; and that a ride operator is present. If parents are concerned, L&I urges parents to talk with the event manager and call the agency at 360-902-5570.


For media information:

Matthew Erlich, Public Affairs, 360.902.6508,

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Broadcast version:
The Department of Labor and Industries is offering common-sense bounce house and carnival ride safety checklists for parents, at Bounce house safety is a national issue − and there have been five incidents over the past five years in Washington state in which children have been injured. If a ride or bounce house appears unsecure or not properly monitored, L&I urges parents to talk with the manager of the event and call the agency at 360-902-5570.

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