By: Andy Alcock
November 5, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - Allan Harrison of Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services spent part of Tuesday morning inspecting a ride called the Fire Ball.
It's one of more than 50 rides his agency will inspect before the start of the North Florida Fair on Thursday.
"We start out when the rides are reassembled," said Harrison. "We make sure we look for any cracks in the structure, any materials that have rust or corosion," he said.
Inspectors also make sure the rides have plenty of clearance from other rides or structures.
And they check to see if the parts are properly fastened.
"We'll make sure these have the washers on both sides and they're metric 8.8 bolts and they hold the carrier on," Harrison said as he showed us part of the Fire Ball ride.
Safety has grabbed the national spotlight after Timothy Tuttero of Quitman was accused of tampering with a ride called the Vortex at the North Carolina State Fair.
Five people reportedly fell 30 feet from the ride to the ground.
While that ride won't be at the North Florida Fair, Harrison says anything can happen even with inspections.
"I will say the company here has a good track record in Florida," said Harrison.
As for the Fire Ball, Harrison completed his inspection and gave it the yellow seal of approval.
"The inspection went real well," he said. "But there are times you can go to one ride, you might have to make three or four visits back because there's repair has to be done," he said.
Harrison also tells us its important for people attending the fair to check the safety signs for rides including height requirements.
He also recommends watching a ride first to make sure it's one you want to experience.