9 Investigates: No state regulations for bounce house industry

9 Investigates: No state regulations for bounce house industry

ORLANDO, Fla. — 9 Investigates the dangers of inflatable bounce houses and why there is no government oversight over them or the companies that put them up.
 
A 7-year-old English girl died over the weekend after an inflatable bounce castle was swept away by a strong gust of wind.
 
Last year, a similar incident in Fort Lauderdale left several children injured when the bounce house they were playing on was thrown into the air.
  
Kenny Sciacca, of the King of Bounce in Orlando, said he's surprised the state doesn't regulate the industry and offers no oversight over the companies that set up the houses. 
 
Sciacca has run his company for more than 10 years and said he's insured and has a business license. He said the industry is flooded with weekend fly-by night operations that have no insurance and no experience.
 
"They're all over Craigslist, pretty much," Sciacca said.
 
Eyewitness News learned companies in Florida do not require permits or safety inspection prior to set up. Bounce houses are dropped off and it's up to parents to make sure it's safe.
 
Sciacca said parents need to ask to see a company's insurance because they at least keep track of a company's record. He said to make sure there are spikes at least a foot long into the dirt, or sand bags all around the concrete.
 
He said if wind starts to knock it around, it's time to shut it down because there won't be anyone there to make the call.
 
"You're gauging it by the wind, by the trees. If you see one of these going like this, (it's) definitely an indicator to exit the unit and unplug it," Sciacca said.
 
9 Investigates found there have been 64 wind-related bounce house incidents since 2000. Those have caused 271 injuries and 10 deaths.