Depending upon your house and its surroundings it is not always possible or practical to have a trampoline in your backyard.
So should you really deny your children the pleasure of playing on one entirely?
Or can you have a trampoline in your front yard?
That is what we are going to discuss today.
So without further ado, let’s jump on, I mean in!
Can You Have A Trampoline In Your Front Yard?
In theory yes, but you will first need to check you are not breaching any municipal or HOA laws. Even then there is a reasonable chance your insurance company will not cover its use due to the high number of accidents involving trampolines each year. This brings an additional risk of being sued should someone use it and have an accident.
Legally it is extremely unlikely to be a criminal offense to put up a trampoline in your front yard if you own the property in question.
However, there are a few checks you need to make and things you need to consider because just because it is legal does not mean it is without risk.
CHECK 1: Contact Your City Hall
First of all, contact your city hall and explain where you plan to put a trampoline.
Sometimes there will be municipal ordinances that you might be breaching and they should be able to let you know if this is the case or not.
If everything is good from their point of view then…
CHECK 2: Contact Your HOA
Not all neighborhoods are overseen by a homeowners association (HOA), but if you are in a neighborhood that is, what they say goes.
Often anything that is not purely decorative will require some form of approval.
Contact your HOA representative and see what its rules are on having a trampoline in your front yard.
CHECK 3: Contact Your Insurance Company
If things are still looking good then contact your insurance company.
The unfortunate truth is most insurance companies will have an issue with a trampoline in full view of everyone on the front lawn and they most probably won’t insure you for it. Or if they do ,it might be subject to strict regulations, ie putting up a large fence etc.
You might think this is somewhat of an overreaction, but the safety statistics around trampolines are quite scary:
- According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there were 300,000 trampoline-related injuries in 2018.
- More than 100,000 of these required a visit to the emergency room.
- Ninety percent of injuries are suffered by children aged 5 to 14.
- Around one in every 200 injuries lead to permanent neurological damage.
- More than 95% of injuries occur at home.
Source: OrthoInfo website.
So it is probably understandable why they are eyed with such caution.
Now of course, if you still go ahead and put a trampoline up in your front yard and it isn’t covered by insurance that opens you up to a whole range of other issues…
The Real Risk of Having a Trampoline in Your Front Yard…
If you have a trampoline in your front yard, it means it is much more easily accessible to anyone passing by.
Then if they sneak in and jump on the trampoline and hurt themselves, you are still liable, even if they were trespassing.
Of course, the more serious an injury is, the higher the risk is for you.
Criminal Law Lawyer Roy Lee Warren provided his take on this when he was asked if you could be held liable if you put up a trampoline in a yard without a fence around it and a local child walked in uninvited and got hurt using it.
On the Justia website he said:
The issue is really could you be sued and the answer is Yes, you could be. However any recovery would be tough without knowing more. If the trampoline is installed properly and otherwise free of defects any danger would likely be “open and obvious” so there would be a defense to a recovery. You could also require a notice that anyone engaging in activities “assumes the risk”. That would at least discourage anyone from filing suit.Roy Lee Warren, Criminal Law Lawyer
So the bottom line is there is a risk of being sued should the worst happen, and even if you aren’t sued for much, you could face hefty legal expenses at least.
Where To Put A Trampoline: Safety Guidelines
Regardless of where you put a trampoline, there are some important guidelines you want to follow to make sure it is in as safe a place as possible.
- Make sure you have 2m of space around all sides of the trampoline.
- Make sure you have 8m of space above the trampoline.
- Make sure it is on solid, level ground (but not on concrete).
- Make sure there are no overhead hazards such as trees.
- Make sure it is not next to an exterior wall.
- Make sure it is not near a pool.
This image visually gives you an idea of the space you need around a trampoline.
So the answer is yes, in theory, you can have a trampoline in your front yard.
However, when you begin to dig a bit deeper, you can see it brings with it a number of potential problems.
First of all check with your local council to ensure there are no municipal laws preventing it, then if you are part of an HOA you will need to see if they would allow it.
Even then it might be an issue for your insurance company.
Most vitally of all it can be a potential litigation risk regardless of anything else.
If you live in a quiet rural area with neighbors few and far between the risks are considerably lessened.
But if you live in a fairly busy urban area, then even if you meet all safety guidelines and don’t violate any HOA guidelines or local laws it is still a risk to take.