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The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.


NPI Marketing Team
NPI Marketing Team

    

How to Set Up Holiday Lawn Inflatables with Care

Inflatable holiday lawn decorations have been all the rage for years, almost fully replacing the lightweight, painted plastic of the past. But just like you might expect of large, buoyant, nylon Santa Clauses and snowmen, inflatables come with unique challenges. If you’re planning to make a larger than life statement with inflatable ornaments this year, you’ll want to keep in mind these best practices for setup, care, safety and takedown.

Before you shop for the perfect display or start preparing a site for setup, it’s important to check for any restrictions. Certain community ordinances or homeowner’s associations may highly regulate inflatables. Think requiring special dates and hours, prohibiting displays from being set a certain distance from the sidewalk or limiting each household to a specific size or number of ornaments. Sadly, some communities have banned inflatable lawn decorations altogether. Not complying could land you a hefty fine, not to mention the disappointment of prematurely taking down your display. Don’t be that guy—always check!

Choose a Flat, Level Surface
Inflatables should always be set up on flat, level ground, and away from any bushes or shrubbery that could poke holes in or otherwise damage them. You’ll want to be sure that there’s nothing sharp under the inflatables as well, so it’s a good idea to clear away any snow, leaves or debris before setup time.

Test Outdoor Outlets
Any outdoor electrical equipment you use for your inflatables should be in great shape and capable of holding its own against the elements. Your outdoor outlets should be fully functioning and any extension cords you use will need to be approved for outdoor use.

Create a Thoughtful Display
If you’ve checked your community restrictions and found that you have the freedom to create a display with as many inflatables as you want, then you’re really only limited by the size of your yard, right? Well, sort of. There are a few other practicalities to keep in mind. First, you should make sure that your home’s outdoor power supply can handle all your inflatables’ motors without overcrowding circuits or outlets. Next you’ll need to be careful not to overcrowd the actual space in your yard. Remember, inflatables tend to sway on windy days, and you won’t want them bumping or rubbing against each other. Even with cohesive scenes, you’ll want to space them a few feet apart. Lastly, you’ll need to ensure inflatables are staked down and secure so that you don’t risk having casualties.

How to Set Up Your Inflatables
Follow these simple instructions and your inflatable setup will go off without a hitch:

  1. If your inflatable is brand new, don’t throw away the box or instructions! The original packaging is perfect for safely storing all pieces in one place and the instructions are crucial for next year.
  2. Read all directions carefully before you get started. Different inflatable manufacturers have different requirements. The size, shape and fabric of each ornament need to be taken into account individually for proper handling.
  3. Lay your decoration out in the approximate location you want it to be.
  4. If your inflatable spent time in storage, inspect it for holes, tears or dirt. Mild soap and water on a rag and a little elbow grease should take care of most stains.
  5. Close all vents and zippers on the inflatable.
  6. Carefully fasten the blower motor to the ground based on manufacturer instructions.
  7. Attach the power cord, plug it into the blower and inflate the ornament. You may need to make minor adjustments to be sure it’s situated the way you’d like.
  8. Stretch out the tethers till they’re taut and secure them. Be sure to test your inflatable’s stability. It should be stable and secure with a few gentle tugs.
  9. Revisit your display periodically throughout the holiday season. High winds can loosen tethers, fall limbs and kick up debris, so you’ll want to make sure everything is still safe and secure.

Note:Pick prime hours to display your ornaments. Running blower motors for more than three hours at a time can quickly burn them out. It’s best to deflate your display overnight, and you’ll also want to avoid inflating before, during or just after inclement weather.

Take-down Time
When the holiday season is over, you’ll need to grab that original box we told you to save and fit your decoration and all its parts back in. If it’s too late for the original packaging, a medium sized plastic storage bin with a secure lid works great. To simplify the process, pack each decoration in its own bin, place the instructions and smaller pieces in a Ziploc bag and label the outside of the bin carefully.

 

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