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News from DCA - Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 5, 2006



CITY INSPECTING AMUSEMENT RIDES AT FESTIVALS, STREET FAIRS AND BLOCK PARTIES TO ENSURE SAFE SUMMER

DCA Posts List of Licensed Rides Online for Parents and Event Organizers;
Safety Tips Issued to Ensure Summer Season is Fun and Safe

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Department of Buildings (Buildings) today kicked off the summer street fair and block party season with a reminder for ride operators and event organizers: all rides at popular street fairs, block parties, and carnivals need to be licensed and safe. The City inspects and licenses amusement rides at events citywide throughout the summer to prevent serious safety risks. The DCA will also post a list of licensed rides online at www.nyc.gov/consumers, which will be updated weekly. The announcement was made at St. Columba Church in Manhattan, where rides got a full inspection in preparation for its annual festival.

Temporary rides including, but not limited to, Ferris Wheels, Swings, Tilt-a-Whirls, and Carousels, that are erected for each special event, street fair or block party must be licensed by the DCA and pass inspection by Building’s Elevator Division and Electrical Inspection Units each time they relocate. Operators of popular inflatable bouncers and slides, like the Moonwalk or Super Slide, must also be licensed and comply with standard manufacturer's safety requirements, as well as ensure each ride is properly secured.

The DCA has already handled approximately 25 applications for temporary rides at street fairs, carnivals, or block parties this year. In addition, more than 230 portable and inflatable rides are licensed. Buildings inspectors will perform more than 2,000 total inspections during the amusement park/carnival season, including unannounced spot checks. DCA and Buildings have made it easier than ever for safe rides to get licensed now requiring only 12 days notice to perform inspections and process license applications for temporary rides.

"Summer in the City is all about festivals and block parties and we want to make sure rides are safe and secure," said Consumer Affairs Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. "Making sure operators are appropriately licensed provides parents, caregivers, and event organizers with peace of mind that rides have been inspected and are insured."

"Last year, the amusement ride season was both fun and safe, thanks to the cooperation of the rider vendors and operators, and the agencies that regulate them – the Department of Buildings and the Department of Consumer Affairs. We hope to get this year off to another great, safe start so that everyone can enjoy New York City’s street fairs, block parties and carnivals," said Buildings Commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster, FAIA.

"Street fairs and block parties are two of the great things about summer in the City, and amusement rides are one of their biggest draws," said Jonathan Greenspun, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit.  "In order to ensure a great summer season we need to make sure rides are licensed and secure.  Together with our partners at Consumer Affairs and the Department of Buildings, we look forward to a successful, safe summer."

"We share the same common goal of making the industry safer; and licensing rides helps ensures that," said Scott Weisberg of R.O.A.R. (Responsible Operators of Amusement Rentals), and owner of Scott's Magic and Entertainment Company. "It’s crucial that ride operators be licensed, trained, insured, and tether equipment properly."

All operators for portable and inflatable amusement rides are required to have a one-year license from the DCA and carry appropriate insurance. Truck-mounted rides must pass inspection by the Building's Elevator Division and Electrical Inspection Units. Operators who operate without a license face fines, and rides without a license must be taken down.

Complete license applications, and safety tips from Buildings, are available by calling 311 within New York City (212-NEW-YORK outside), or on the DCA website at www.nyc.gov/consumers. The Mayor's Community Assistance Unit (CAU) issues permits for street fairs and block parties throughout the City, and more information can be found at www.nyc.gov/cau.