Fair rides go through numerous inspections

The rides undergo numerous inspections.

CALDWELL - In the wake of a tragedy at the Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, KTVB wanted to know what lengths Idaho regulators go to - to make sure rides at our fairs are safe.

When we think of fairs we think of fun and food and 4-H.

But whenever news of incidents on carnival rides surface, it often leaves us scared or worried, wanting to know what safety measures are out there.

Danny Brown operates the amusement company contracted for the Canyon County Fair, which opened on Thursday. He says safety is one of their main priorities.

Carnival amusement rides can be exhilarating but they are also temporary.

“I've always been raised never to trust them," said one fair goer. "They can miss a bolt, there's so many things that can go wrong with the machine that's packed on a trailer."

Assembled and disassembled quickly, rides are moved from fair to fair and from state to state.

The carnival at Canyon County Fair has been set up for about a day and a half.

“In the back of my head, it still scares me because anything could be possible, but anything is possible anywhere I guess, so I still ride them,” said another fair goer.

In Idaho, the State Division of Building Safety is required to send out people to make sure these mobile rides pass an electrical safety check.

However, they are not charged with managing the safety of the carnival rides, that's the amusement company's job.

Danny Brown, the owner of Brown's Amusements out of Arizona, says they inspect all of their rides every day.

They take safety courses in the winter, and maintain the equipment throughout the year.

Brown says his staff examines the rides thoroughly about twice a day before opening and while the carnival is running.

“If they hear something different they know it, and we can take care of it, we carry our own shop, our own tools, our own supplies, we can repair things if something needs to be repaired,” said Brown.

Plus, he says they hire external inspectors who run thorough inspections about half a dozen times during the fair season.

In addition, he says the fire marshal comes out to make sure everything is up to code.

Browns Amusements has a ride made by the same company and similar to the Fireball in Ohio that malfunctioned, killing one person and leaving several injured. But theirs is about a year old and built completely different, Brown said.

“We went over today and tore the back of the car apart and inspected all of that, wanted to make sure,” he said.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are no mandatory safety standards for mobile rides, but the agency can create mandatory standards if necessary.

“Carnivals are safer say than amusement parks because we take the device apart every week put them all back together every week, so we know if there is something going on,” said Brown. “Going down the highway in a car is a bigger chance of getting hurt out here.”

Every state, county, and city has different inspections, regulations and requirements for mobile carnival rides.

According to the Outdoor Amusement Business Association, the chance of serious injury on an amusement ride is one in 9 million.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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