The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS), Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) and Indiana State Police (ISP) remind all Hoosiers to remember basic safety tips to ensure that everyone enjoys their time at the county fair and other local festivals and carnivals that are part of Indiana's summertime tradition.
General Safety Tips
- Pay attention to weather forecasts and prepare appropriately.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where you will go if you need to seek shelter from an unexpected thunderstorm.
- Be sure to use sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Remember, even on overcast days UV rays are still powerful enough to burn skin so use sunscreen.
- On hot days, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Wear closed toe shoes like tennis shoes, not flip-flops or sandals, to protect your feet.
- Remember "If you see something, say something." If you see people or activities that seem suspicious, report your observations to the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center at 877-226-1026. If you believe danger is imminent, contact local security or call 911.
Safety tips for kids and caregivers
Teach kids to stay calm and stay put if they become separated from parents or other caregivers. Knowing what to do in this scary situation will help prevent a lost child from panicking, and help safety officials locate them faster.
- Keep a watchful eye on children. It's easy for children and caregivers to become separated in large crowds.
- Have an established family meeting location where you will reconnect if separated.
- Check with county fair organizers and ask for ‘missing parent' contact tags your children can wear with your name and cell phone number in case your child becomes separated.
- If you do become separated from your child, notify local security immediately.
Animal Safety Tips
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching animals, and don't consume any food inside of the barns.
- Watch out for animal feces on barn floors and aisle ways when walking or using strollers.
- Animals at the fair are in a noisy, crowded and unfamiliar environment, and may easily become dangerous if they are spooked or scared.
- Avoid running, yelling, talking loudly or making loud noises while in the animal barns.
- Never attempt to pet any animal at the fair without receiving explicit permission from the animal's owner.
Fire Safety Tips
- Be aware of Burn Bans. Dry weather makes it easier for fires to start so make sure all fires are extinguished and dispose of cigarettes properly.
- Ensure all wires being used for fair exhibits are away from flammable materials such as cloth or hay.
- If camping, be aware of burn bans that may be in your county and what you are allowed/not allowed to burn.
- If parking on grass lots while attending the fair, avoid parking on tall dry grass. Park on mowed grass whenever possible.
- Use caution refilling generators. Exhaust can be very hot. Make sure the exhaust vent is pointing up in the air and not down at the ground, where it could catch dry grass or other flammables on fire.
- To find the current list of Burn Bans, visit this website .
Amusement Ride Safety Tips
- Don't board a ride if you see broken parts, signs of improper maintenance, or an inattentive operator. Report your observations to the ride operator or call IDHS amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
- Every ride should have a prominently displayed, current permit issued by IDHS. If the ride has no such permit, call the amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
- Read all posted rules and listen to instructions given by ride operators.
- Watch the ride with your child before boarding. Point out the operator and the entrance and exit locations prior to riding. Make sure they understand the instructions and warnings fully.
- Obey minimum height, age, and weight restrictions. Never sneak children onto rides if they are too small or too young. A smaller/younger child may not be physically or developmentally able to stay safely seated.
- If you can't count on your child to stay seated with hands and feet inside, don't let them ride.
- Keep all body parts (hands, arms, legs, long hair, etc.) inside the ride at all times. If you have long hair, keep it pulled up with a hat or hair tie.
- Always use the safety equipment provided (seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar, etc.).
- Remain in the ride until it comes to a complete stop at the unloading point. If a ride stops temporarily due to mechanical failure or other reasons, stay seated and wait for an operator to give you further instructions.
- Know your physical conditions and limitations. If you suspect that your health could be at risk for any reason, or that you could aggravate a pre-existing condition of any kind, do not ride.
- Additional ride safety tips are available at GetPrepared.in.gov.
IDHS coordinates the certification of all emergency medical services personnel in Indiana, and oversees the regular inspection of emergency medical transports and the required medical equipment. The Indiana State Building Commissioner's Office, charged with permitting and inspecting amusement rides in Indiana, is also a division of IDHS.