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Amusement Parks & Theme Park Electrical Inspections

ESI: Electrical Safety Inspections can carry out expert electrical testing and evaluation of any Amusements and Theme Park premises and would be happy to quote for any remedial works as required.Inspection & Testing - Amusement Parks and Theme Parks

Section 740 of BS 7671 Requirements for Electrical Installations recognises that some installations are exposed to many differing and onerous circumstances, as they are frequently installed, dismantled, moved to a new location then installed and operated again.

To compound problems, such installations can be exposed to the elements, open to the general public, house animals and livestock and be operated as a place of work.

The equipment must function without compromising safety, therefore, the installation has to be fit for purpose and be designed to cope with ever-changing conditions.

The permanent electrical installation, from which the temporary system is supplied, or the building in which the temporary system is housed, is excluded from the scope, nor does the scope apply to the internal electrical wiring of machines

Theme Park Electrical Supplies

The nominal supply voltage of temporary electrical installations in booths, stands and amusement devices should not exceed 230/400 V ac or 440 V dc. Supplies can be obtained from a number of sources:

  • From the public network, i.e. the DNO (Distribution Network Operator)
  • Generators, i.e. those mounted on trucks owned by the touring event
  • From privately owned supplies, i.e. a local factory with sufficient spare capacity

There can be any number of electrical sources supplying the temporary system and it is of paramount importance that line and neutral conductors from different sources are not interconnected. Where the supply is obtained from the DNO any instructions given must be adhered to.

Supplies obtained from the DNO would preferably be TN-S but this isn’t always possible.

A TN-S system has the neutral of the source of energy connected with earth at one point only, at, or as near as is reasonably practicable, to the source of supply. The consumer’s main earthing terminal is typically connected to the metallic sheath of the distributor’s SWA service cable.

Where the available supply is TN-C-S, the supply should not be used in that form, i.e. a TT system should be created. The reason is that the ESQCR prohibits the use of a TN-C-S system for the supply of a caravan or similar construction.

Obtaining the correct electrical supply for a temporary event is a matter of safety and should always be provided by a competent electrician.

Inspection & Testing at Theme Parks

The Temporary Installation

The electrical installation between its origin and any electrical equipment should be inspected and tested after each assembly on site. Internal electrical wiring of roller coasters, electric dodgems, etc., are not considered as part of the verification of the electrical installation. In special cases the number of the tests may be modified according to the type of temporary electrical installation.

The HSE offers guidance on the inspection and testing of the temporary electrical installation in the publication HSG 175 – Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks: Guidance on Safe Practice.

The document is the result of work carried out by the Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks Joint Advisory Committee (FJAC) which has worked for over 25 years to continually improve standards and the exchange of information. Fairgrounds and amusement parks have been shown to be relatively safe compared to such activities as driving a car or riding a bicycle but there have been a small number of serious accidents involving the general public and employees.

ESI: Electrical Safety Inspections are able to provide a specialist electrical inspection and testing of amusement arcades, fairgrounds, theme parks and circuses. Why not call us for specialist advice?

Amusement Devices

The Scope of Section 740 does not cover amusement devices but, in law, there is still a requirement to ensure that the devices are fit for use. The Amusement Device Safety Council (ADSC) is the policy making body for safety, self regulation and technical guidance in the UK amusement industry. This committee, in partnership with HSE, develops the policy for, and oversees the Amusement Device Inspection Procedures Scheme (ADIPS). ADIPS is the fairground and amusement park industry’s self regulated safety inspection scheme which registers competent ride inspectors and the rides they inspect.

The purpose of the scheme is to promote and improve fairground and amusement park safety through rules and procedures relating to the annual inspection of the amusement devices.

It is supported by industry associations who require that their members use ADIPS. ADIPS is also available to any operator of amusement devices as it demonstrates ‘best practice’ and their compliance with the Health and Safety at Work (etc) Act.