Zoning Regulations (Pulling Permits) for Inflatables

Am I Allowed to Use Advertising Inflatables for My Business?

The zoning of inflatable outdoor advertising falls to each, individual city.  That, in and of itself, should be enough to tell you this is a complicated issue. Policies for using inflatables oftentimes fall under the city’s sign ordinance. Oftentimes policies are ambiguous, referring to inflatables as “ambient” balloons or devices, which could apply to either helium or cold-air inflatables. Other cities are more specific.

Just as the definition of inflatables is confusing, actual regulations can be just as frustrating to comprehend. So what is a business to do? Here is some information we've gathered over the years from a variety of sources. This information does not equate to suggestions from Landmark Creations but is rather a list of facts and opinions for you to take into consideration when researching the zoning regulations in your town.

Usually, the city’s planning department is in charge of offering permits so they are always a good source for information. Some cities post their regulations and applications on their websites. Normally, one of three things is found. Each city either:
   1. Bans the use of inflatable advertising. (Like Burnsville, Minnesota where Landmark is located.)
   2. Has restrictions on the content, size, or duration of inflatable use.
   3. Has no restrictions whatsoever.

If a business owner is inclined to understand their city’s policy (as opposed to hoping for the best) s/he typically chooses:
   1. To follow the city’s regulations to the letter (which means not using inflatables in cities where this is banned).
   2. To purchase and install the inflatable unless or until the business is asked to take it down.

When businesses think about using outdoor inflatables they might consider how long the inflatable will be needed and whether or not inflatables are legal in their city.  We have been told that in cities where inflatables are not allowed, businesses find the increased revenue inflatable advertising generates more than compensates for any fine they may incur.

Before making any decision, it’s a good idea to call the zoning office or city hall. You can always call anonymously or do your research via the Internet so as not to make your business suspect. We have also been told that many inflatable users take a brief tour of their areas in search of inflatable advertising that is currently in use. This is a good indicator of whether others in your city have chosen to use inflatables. You'll want to have all the facts and opinions before deciding which route to take.

If a business wants to rent an inflatable and have it professionally installed, we've been told that many installers will offer a discount if the business is forced to take down the inflatable prematurely. It’s a good idea to discuss this with the installer prior to the event.

While Landmark Creations never advocates breaking the law, we do encourage you to find out the facts from your local government offices and other business owners in your area. With all the details in hand, you can make the best decision for you and your business.

Custom Inflatables FAQ

What is a cold-air inflatable?

Custom inflatables that are labeled cold-air require a blower system (fan) to keep them upright. Cold-air inflatables include sports tunnels, large product replicas, mascots, rooftop inflatables, etc. Cold-air inflatables do not “fly” or float in the air like helium-filled inflatables.

I’m looking to rent an inflatable (fill-in-the-blank) – can Landmark help me?

Sorry, but no. We do not rent inflatables, each of our structures are custom manufactured for purchase only. We do not have anything in-stock as everything is made to order with your specific needs in mind. We think it’s better that way!

What is included in my inflatable purchase?

Depending upon what you purchase your inflatable can include a blower system, installation hardware, instructions, ground stakes, tethers, cambuckles, a repair kit all wrapped up in a storage bag. We also offer specialty storage and shipping container options upon request.

Do inflatables need constant airflow? How does it stay inflated?

The answer is different depending on the type of inflatable you have. Landmark specializes in cold-air inflatables; this style does require a constant source of airflow. Our custom inflatables come complete with a blower that should be kept running while the inflatable is in use. Sealed inflatables do not require a source of airflow. Helium inflatables do not require a source of airflow, but must be filled with 99% pure helium to remain afloat. The helium will need to be replenished every three to five days.

Does my blower system need to stay plugged in and turned on to keep it inflated?

Yes. Cold-air inflatables require a blower system (fan) to keep it upright. You’ll need to plug in the blower system, turn it on & keep it on as long as your promotion lasts!

How is the blower (fan system) attached?

That depends on the type of blower your inflatable has. For external blowers use the zipper and Velcro strap to simply attach the blower sleeve to the blower tube. Internal blowers are permanently installed in the inflatable. No action is necessary.

Can I hang a custom inflatable from the ceiling (at a trade show, museum, etc.)?

 But of course! Our inflatables can be designed with the blower system placed at the top of the structure allowing it to be hung. An inflatable used in this way will include the hanging hardware required for installation. Note: If you plan to suspend an inflatable at your next trade show review the regulations and requirements of the show prior to purchasing!

Do you provide straps to keep inflatables grounded?

Yes, cold-air shapes do come with tether straps and ground stakes that keep the inflatables secured to the ground or roof can be added to your order as needed.

I can’t use ground stakes at my location? What can I use to secure my inflatable?

Depending upon how large your inflatable is you have a few options: Sandbags, water barrels, stationary items and solid weights are some popular anchoring options. Once an inflatable project is designed we can offer installation advice!

How can I maintain the inflatable and continue using it for years to come?

It is not hard to keep your inflatables in good shape. Just follow these simple steps:

Keep your inflatable away from sharp objects to prevent punctures and tears.
Always completely deflate your inflatable before storing it.
Be sure your inflatable is completely dry before storing it to prevent the development of mold or mildew.
Store your inflatable in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
Each year, do a quick inspection of the blower, tether straps and seams to be sure your inflatable is not in need of repairs.

800.553.3593   |  952.895.0947   |  3240 West Co Rd 42 Burnsville, MN 55337 USA