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Safety Tips for Visiting Carnivals and Amusement Parks

Summer is here, and the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) wants to ensure that Michiganders are safety-minded when visiting one of the state’s many carnivals and amusement parks.

“Protecting people is top of mind for all of us at LARA, even when it comes to summer fun,” said LARA Director Marlon Brown. “We want everyone to enjoy the thrill of carnival and amusement rides while also being safe and having some peace of mind.”

Rides are inspected by LARA’s Bureau of Construction Codes (BCC). The bureau currently oversees the operation of approximately 200 carnival and amusement companies and 900 carnival rides.

“We want you and your families to enjoy the rides this summer, and the first step of that is safety,” said BCC Director Andrew Brisbo. "Our lift ride inspection team works yearly to ensure that amusement parks and other fixed locations with rides comply with all rules and regulations.”

Inspections are conducted at minimum once a year to confirm compliance with the Michigan Carnival Amusement Safety Act and the Carnival Amusement Safety General Rules. Any rides found to be out of compliance may be issued violation notices or marked out of service and will not be operational.

When strapping in at your local carnival or amusement park, LARA encourages you and your loved ones to follow these protocols:

  • Look for an updated ride inspection sticker (see image below). 
  • Know the rules of the ride; listen to verbal or recorded instructions.
  • Respect the ride envelope, DO NOT ENTER the ride perimeter as defined by perimeter fencing unless instructed to do so.
  • Observe all age, height, and weight restrictions. Know the safest riding position for the children.
  • Never seat a child on your lap unless ride operators indicate it’s safe to do so.
  • Securely latch seat belts, shoulder harnesses, and lap bars before the ride begins. Hold on to handrails; use grab bars.
  • Keep hands, arms, legs, and feet inside the ride at all times. Do not ride with hands in the air. Secure loose hair, clothing, and belongings. Never stand up on a moving ride.
  • Stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop and you are instructed to exit.
  • Patrons with heart conditions, pregnancy, or back/neck injuries should heed any warning signs posted.
  • Report any unsafe behavior or conditions on a ride to a ride supervisor or manager immediately.
  • Report injuries to a ride supervisor.

Visit Michigan’s Carnival-Amusement Safety Program for additional information, along with guidelines for those needing to have their rides inspected.

A Certification of Ride Inspection Label