They're banned by the state. So why did the News4 I-Team find some bounce house companies still renting to families?
We're working for you to keep your kids safe.
Consumer Investigator Lindsay Bramson found out who's following the law and who's not.
Images like these showing a bounce house tumbling across the grass are why the state requires bounce house operators be licensed.
“If a company is not properly permitted that would mean the device may not be safe and operable,” said Kim Jefferson who is the Assistant Commissioner in the Workplace Regulations and Compliance Division for the Tennessee Department of Labor.
But look at this.
These are companies that don't have the state’s permit and the state deemed these companies not in compliance.
But several of them still have websites and advertise their services on social media outlets like Facebook. News4 checked them out.
615 Concessions hasn’t been licensed with the state in at least two years.
When a News4 producer called to find out if they still rented equipment, the owner said they do and they have lots of bounce houses.
Despite a letter from the state sent two years ago prohibiting her from operating, that same owner sent our producer an email with pictures and prices.
Then there's Boing Boing inflatables, which got a letter in August 2018 telling them they didn't have a proper permit either.
When a News4 producer called the owner to ask if he still rented bounce houses he said they did.
News4 found several other companies, without permits, still advertising bounce houses online.
When we called to ask if they still rented bounce houses, they never returned our calls.
The only person to agree to talk to me by phone was Anthony Hall, the owner of Boing Boing inflatables.
“I was hoping to ask you a few questions about why you're operating illegally?” Bramson asked. “It was basically a miscommunication with me and my inspector,” Hall replied.
“Would you agree it puts families at risk and the kids who use these bouncy houses at risk to not be legally in compliance?” Bramson asked. “In my case no because I run my business tip top,” said Hall.
When informed of the results of the I-Team’s investigation, a state spokesperson said they plan to look into it.
In the last year, the state has received nearly 40 complaints involving inflatables. Everything from uninsured and unlicensed businesses to a waterslide allegedly not anchored down properly.
The state said it sent all the companies warning letters, and in one case turned a company into local authorities. Which is all they say they can really do.
Don Dudich, the owner of It’s Time 2 Bounce, a registered business, said they could be doing more before someone gets seriously hurt.
“They really need to step up and pay attention to this and enforce the rules and regulations,” said Dudich.
“I think the state is doing quite a bit to protect families by putting this information on the website,” said Jefferson.
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