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'Panic' as bouncy castle collapses with children in it – after power cut by noise detector installed for health and safety reasons

By citizenmike  |  Posted: May 21, 2014

A typical bouncy castle (file picture)

Comments (7)

A bouncy castle collapsed as children played on it – because an automatic noise detector cut the power supply.

The device, installed at Quedgeley Community Centre, cuts the power if noise in the room reaches a certain level in a bid to shield School Lane residents from noisy parties.

Councillor Graham Smith, vice chairman of Quedgeley Parish Council, which runs the centre, said the device had become their ‘own worst enemy’ and that the party was left ‘in a panic’ although nobody was injured during the incident.

Mr Smith said: “We have had complaints from a user. It was almost like a health and safety issue. In Hall 1, which is the large hall, there was a children’s party with music. Children were playing, dancing around and on a bouncy castle.

“Over the years we’ve been discussing with Environmental Health about monitoring noise. We’ve got equipment in this building to shut the power to any discos or the 13amp circuits in the building when the noise reaches a certain level.

“The problem we had last Sunday was that the kids were playing on the bouncy castle. They had the music playing. It wasn’t that loud but it shut down and the bouncy castle collapsed on the kids.

“There was a big panic and they rang me. I couldn’t find a way around it. Now we’ve got this monitoring equipment in, it has become our own worst enemy. I’m in discussions with the environment people as to how we can compromise that situation.”

He added that he had offered to discuss a £40 refund for the room hire. Councillors approved the refund on Monday night.

The venue is regularly used by hirers for events such as children’s birthday parties.

Quedgeley Parish Council also runs the Waterwells Sports Centre and the temporary community centre in Kingsway – and parish councillors are bidding to run the estate’s new community centre when it opens in August.

Councillors’ fears that the new sports ground, adjacent to the centre, will not be handed over by Gloucester City Council in time for the new football and cricket seasons were allayed this week.

A spokesman for Gloucester City Council said: “We are still on track for a hand over in August.

Paperwork for the bidding process is due to go out by the end of this week with proposals being invited by mid July.”

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  • P_I_Staker  |  May 22 2014, 6:03PM

    Kay have to agree with you, churches have been made to stop ringing their bells as people moving into the neighborhood have complained about the noise, as the hall would be a licensed premises representations may have been made by neighbors about the amount of noise that the kids are making, I would think that the system was put in place to cut the power as there was no house sound system that could have been limited or muted. The PA could have been plugged in anywhere so they decided that the system would cut all the power as their only means of complying with their license!

  • Kay_Powell  |  May 22 2014, 4:55PM

    LadyGray, I thought that I had already made my point. The noise levels were so high that the automatic switch-off happened, to protect local people from the noise. One person's happiness is another one's misery. Do you object to the use of the word 'kids'? It is a commonly used term meaning children.

    |   -29
  • Douglasknows  |  May 22 2014, 10:57AM

    Its not just the children that were noisy, air generators can be very noisy and we all know how noisy music can be played at parties. I think its a great idea and anyone that hosts public parties should have to install a similar device to shut the electric off when it gets too loud.

  • ladygray  |  May 22 2014, 10:10AM

    Yes kay powell, happy children (they are not goats) do make a noise when they are happy. What is your point?

  • Kay_Powell  |  May 21 2014, 6:20PM

    It has nothing to do with health and safety and everything to do with noise nuisance. If the device was triggered, then it was because there was a huge amount of noise. I suspect that the noise came from both the amplified music and the screaming kids.

    |   -31
  • JemmyWood  |  May 21 2014, 1:50PM

    This isn't an issue about H&S, its an issue about why QPC thought that this was an appropriate solution, when it clearly is not and how much it cost the residents of Quedgeley, both to install it, cover for its shortfalls and possibly now to replace it.

  • zinboya  |  May 21 2014, 1:00PM

    H/Safety zealots strike again.