After the deadly Ohio State Fair accident, should parents keep their kids off of rides forever? A safety expert EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com what people to do to keep their children safe at amusement parks and fairs.
After witnessing the blood-chilling tragedy that took the life of Tyler Jarrell, 18, it would make sense for people to take avoid amusement parks, carnivals and fairgrounds. However, what happened to the Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair was likely an “unknown catastrophic failure of a part or parts of the ride,” Ken Martin, an Amusement Park Safety Analyst and Consultant EXCLUSIVELY tells HollywoodLife.com. While saying it’s “way too early to speculate without the facts of the investigation,” Ken does offer advice for concerned parents who want to keep their kids safe during the summer.
“When you walk into an amusement park or a fairgrounds, the first thing you want to do is go up to someone in charge and ask for any safety information that they can provide you [and have them] tell you what rides may be suitable for you and your party,” Ken tells HollywoodLife.com. “You can also ask to see a safety log. Most likely they won’t share that information with you because there’s no law that says they have to, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.”
“Normally a ride is inspected before they open,” Ken tells HollywoodLife.com. “Carnivals and fairs are a little different because a lot of times they open in the evening hours, but they are usually inspected once a day. Each and every single ride gets inspected mechanically before they’re operated.” The Fire Ball at the Ohio State Fair was “looked at about three or four times” over the course of two days, Michael Vartorella, the chief inspector for the Ohio state of Department of Agriculture, told NBC News.
After checking out the safety log, Ken suggests a parent takes their child to scope out a ride they’re interested in. “You watch that ride with your child to see if it’s something that they can handle,” Ken tells HollywoodLife.com. “You discuss the ride with your child. After you’ve looked at a ride, if there’s anything about it that you don’t think is right, let your gut feeling take over. If there’s a noise that you don’t like and it sounds weird, say something. Go tell someone in control.”
Gov. Kasich's statement on tonight's incident at the Ohio State Fair. pic.twitter.com/PFjfHWMIab
— John Kasich (@JohnKasich) July 27, 2017
BREAKING NEWS – First video from an amusement ride accident at the Ohio State Fair. 1 dead. 5 critically injured. pic.twitter.com/XBGLsAuxBM
— William A Harris (@BillHarrisTV) July 27, 2017
Ken also suggests people keep an eye on the amusement park operators. “You don’t want him smoking a cigarette or looking at the pretty girl or his cell phone. You want to make sure he’s paying attention to your kid,” he says. However, Ken says that most, if not all of the ride operators are hard workers who do their best to ensure the safety of riders. “These people are so familiar with these rides because they work putting them up and down so much and in pitch darkness after the carnival has closed.”
Basically, be vigilant. However, there are things that can’t be prevented. Ken says that Ohio is among the “top 15” states when t comes to the strictest ride regulations. What happened with the Fire Ball, which left one young man dead and seven others severely injured, might have been a freak accident.
Are you still going on any carnival rides after what happened at the Ohio State Fair, HollywoodLifers?