COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The State Fire Marshal and the Columbia/Boone County Health Department gave the Boone County Fair the green light to open the carnival rides and food vendors this week at the Boone County Fairgrounds.
Gus Guadamuz, Supervisor of Missouri's Amusement Ride Safety Unit, said all rides have to go through two levels of inspections before they can open. "The first inspection is made by a private third party inspector to inspect the ride thoroughly before the ride is permitted, after this the state will do spot inspections after they're set up," Guadamuz said.
Before rides open at the Boone County Fair, Guadamuz says he contacts the ride operators while setting up to make sure the rides are properly spaced, that there are no tree limbs or power lines that could interfere, double-checking that the ride generators are grounded and making sure there are no tripping hazards to ensure the safety of the public.
When doing spot checks after rides are set up, Guadamuz says they focus on checking lat bars, seat belts, making sure things are all operating in good condition, making sure rides are stable and level, checking to ensure emergency stops are in reach of all operators, the rigging and cabling of systems, the mechanical hydraulic systems, eliminate sharp objects, fencing around the rides, and proper spacing between rides.
Guadamuz says the state also makes sure that ride height and weight requirements are being followed at events. He said he will be at the Boone County Fair multiple times this week to make sure that safety factors remain in place.
Sara Humm with the Columbia/Boone County Health Department also said food vendors at the fair have to go through an inspection process.
"We do inspect all of them before they are able to sell any food to make sure that they are doing things safely and that they're reducing any risks of foodborne illness and things like that," Humm said.
To her knowledge, Humm said no food vendors at the fair had any issues in passing inspection.
Carnival doors open Tuesday at 4 p.m. and tickets are $10 at the gate, but kids six and under get in for free. The event is set to run to 10 p.m. each night through Saturday.