To protect the safety of children and other users, the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) regulates many inflated devices, such as:
Inflatable bouncy castles, boxing rings with inflated floors and crawl-throughs
Inflatable wet/dry slides
Inflatable bungee runs, etc.
Not all inflatable devices are regulated by TSSA. Please see the Inflatable and Bungee Device Decision Tree (pdf) to check if an inflatable device is regulated.
Regulated inflatables typically have the following characteristics:
Have an inflated floor
Inflated floor is used for bouncing or traversing a course
May be covered or open top
Includes inflatable slides
Inflatable devices used exclusively to cushion a fall are exempted devices.
If unsure, please contact TSSA Amusement Devices Engineering at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Regulated devices must conform to specific regulations, codes and safety standards, and must have a TSSA-issued Amusement Device Permit to operate in Ontario.
If you are organizing an event that will include inflatable devices, the company providing the inflatables must show you the following safety documents:
A TSSA Amusement Device Licence issued to the owner for the current year. This license acknowledges that the owner of the devices understands how to operate them according to Ontario safety laws and regulations.
Each TSSA-regulated inflatable must have a unique TSSA installation number. This number can be found with the device on a metal tag or sticker issued by TSSA.
One TSSA Amusement Device Permit per inflated device. This permit confirms that the device has been authorized to operate for the current operating season (calendar year). The operator must physically have an Amusement Device Permit on site for each device in operation.
Proof of certification for the amusement device mechanic according to the requirements in Ontario Regulation 187/03:Certification and Training of Amusement Device Mechanics.
Proof of $2,000,000 liability insurance that specifically covers operating inflatable devices.
For an extra level of safety at your event, you may also wish to make sure that:
The inflated device is properly anchored (with stakes or ballasts), so it doesn't move or turn over during play and to prevent injuries that could occur because of a sudden wind gust.
Inflatables are installed on level ground, away from structures, trees, and dangerous areas. Ideally, inflatables should sit on asphalt, hard compact soil, or a grassy area that is free of rocks or sharp objects.
Inflatables are never operated on days with a windspeed over the maximum allowable for the device. Operating inflatables on windy days can be hazardous. If the wind picks up during your event, have the operator evacuate all riders, deflate the inflatable and pack them away.
The inflated devices at your event do not get overcrowded.
At least one adult is present at all times when children are using the inflatables.
Children are discouraged from performing somersaults and other stunts.
If your device is both an “air-supported” structure and an “amusement device,” then TSSA regulates it, and it requires a permit.
An air-supported structure:
Incorporates a structural and mechanical system, and
Uses internal air pressure and a high-strength fabric or film to achieve its strength, shape, and stability.
An amusement device is something that moves users or causes them to be moved. In other words, it has one or more of the following:
An inflated floor or surface on which patrons play, jump or bounce.
Bungee cords that help or restrict the movement of someone using it.
An inflated slide.
For example, a boxing ring with an inflatable floor is both an air-supported structure and an amusement device. TSSA regulates it.
An inflatable basketball game where people stand on the ground with no inflated floors and throw balls into a net would not be regulated. It is an air-supported structure, but it does not meet the definition of an amusement device that requires regulation.
If a device is not an air-supported structure that functions as an amusement device, it is likely that TSSA does not regulate it.
There is also a specific list of exemptions. TSSA does not regulate any of the following:
Inflatable pads or mattresses that are used solely as a cushion to soften a fall. These surfaces are not used as part of the play surface and, therefore, are not considered to move people while they are using the device. Patrons may stand on the surface but are not meant to jump or play on it.
Concession-style games where people on the ground interact with the device but do not play inside the device. For example, inflatable pitching tents, football throws, or golf simulator tents are not regulated.
Oversized inflatable board games such as chess, checkers or Twister®.
Mazes, tents, houses, or similar walk-through type devices that do not have an inflated floor.
Boundary fences for sporting events, miniature go-karts, or tricycles, if these fences enclose an area without an inflated floor.
To sum up, if a device is not an air-supported structure, TSSA likely does not regulate it.
If an air-supported structure cannot also be considered an amusement device, we likely do not regulate it.
And if an air-supported structure is on the specific list of exemptions above, TSSA likely does not regulate it.
If you need to know more, consult our Inflatable and Bungee Device Decision Tree (pdf), read Operating an Amusement Device in Ontario page, or contact us for clarification at email@example.com.