Indiana Department of Homeland Security inspects Indiana State Fair rides

Department of Homeland Security inspected more than 50 rides before the Indiana State Fair opens. (WISH Photo/Nick Natario)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana State Fair midway crews pieced together rides Thursday. As their shirts read, “Think Safety,” a group of state inspectors enforced it.

“We’re making sure nothing got overlooked,” Indiana Department of Homeland Security Chief inspector over elevators and amusement rides Tom Hendricks said. “It gets set up, we’re making sure everything is set up on proper blocking.”

Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) spends hours before the gates open to make sure each ride is safe.

“A lot of times you’re touching, feeling, and making sure the tightness of bolts and connections are tight and boxes fitting,” Indiana Department of Homeland Security inspector team leader, Chris Funkhouser said.

“At the minimum, it’s going to be an hour at any ride we look at,” Hendricks said. “We’ll cycle them and make sure they’re running safely.”

Inspectors watch, listen and look for issues. If there are any, they take photos and get second opinions.

On Thursday, eight IDHS inspectors looked over 54 rides. When the fair opens, two will remain and conduct periodic checks.

Inspectors said parents need to think about safety too.

If your kid is on the ride, watch and listen, and report any issues to operators. Also, as your kid goes to board, check restrictions. If they’re not tall enough, don’t force the issue.

“I’ve got a ten-year-old granddaughter, and a six-year old granddaughter, and I let them ride most of them,” Hendricks said.

Inspectors said if you notice a problem, first talk to the ride operator. If you’re not satisfied, contact IDHS at rides@dhs.in.gov, or call 1-888-203-5020.

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