What each ride at the State Fair must go through before it's allowed to operate

Diane Wilson Image
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
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NC State Fair: North Carolina Department of Labor inspects nearly 100 rides.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- We're just days away from the opening of the North Carolina State Fair. Organizers and vendors have been busy preparing for the fair's return, but first they must pass a critical step--inspection.

Tuesday was rides inspection day by North Carolina Department of Labor. Safety is the top priority when it comes to the State Fair, especially the rides.

Inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Labor inspect close to one hundred rides. Inspectors only certify those rides that meet the manufacturer's specifications 100%.

In North Carolina, rides are inspected each time they are moved and reassembled at different locations across the state. Inspections last anywhere from an hour up to seven hours depending on the ride as coasters take the longest to inspect since there are so many parts and pieces.

Yure Dixon an inspector with the state says, "We look at every piece. When they crane it from the time it comes off the trailer, from the top until it comes to the ground. We look at it and inspect it for cracks. We're looking for missing bolts. We would go around and check any type of safety cable and make sure that the tubs are secured, and that the seats are secured. Make sure that there's no broken fiberglass that's going to pinch anybody."

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Dixon is one of the dozen inspectors with the NC Department of Labor checking all 97 rides here at the State Fair. The inspection includes looking at the history of the ride, and repairs made in the past. After the ride gets a full inspection, inspectors watch closely.

"We'll cut the power on and we'll do a full cycle to see how the ride runs normally, and we'll check every safety device whether it be a micro switch, a lap bar, a deck sensor, any proximity switch," Dixon adds. Once the ride passes inspection, it gets a sticker to show the ride is certified.

Once the fair opens on Thursday, state inspectors stay on the grounds to make sure every ride operator continues to follow the rules.

Dixon says, "We go around three times a day to make sure like daily logs and maintenance is being done. We watch the operation of the ride, we check on the ride operators to make sure they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. "

The biggest tip for fairgoers when it comes to ride safety is to pay attention to the height and weight requirements, don't get upset if you're turned away from a ride as it's for your safety.

Any rides that do not pass are not allowed to open until the issues have been addressed and given a new passing inspection.

This year's new rides include Air Maxx, Crazy Cabs, Techno Jump, Wave Swinger 2 and Wipe Out.

SEE ALSO: BBB NC State Fair warning: Beware of fake tickets, know rules before buying from vendors

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