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Amusement rides in condos and clubs subject to stricter safety rules

The Straits Times | Rachel Au-Yong | Monday, Apr 14, 2014

Mr Victor Zheng, an engineer from the Building and Construction Authority, doing checks on Wild Wild Wet's Torpedo water slide. The Amusement Rides Safety Act was amended on April 1 to include water and land rides in private clubs and residential estates.

SINGAPORE - Thrill-seekers can look forward to safer adventures even when taking rides in clubs and condominiums.

Amusement rides in private spaces are now also required to comply with stricter rules, after the law was amended on April 1.

The attractions too must appoint a qualified ride manager and obtain insurance coverage, among other requirements.

"Safety regulations are not static," said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post yesterday.

"They have to evolve to meet new safety standards, respond to new incidents and keep pace with introduction of new rides."

That is why the Amusement Rides Safety Act was amended to include rides, on land or in water, in private clubs and residential estates.

At least four clubs may be affected, and they have six months to comply.

The Civil Service Club at Bukit Batok, for example, has a water slide at least 5m tall. Any water slide above 5m needs clearance from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

This attraction will now join public rides, such as those from theme park Universal Studios Singapore, that will be subject to surprise audits and regular inspections by engineers from BCA.

The checks range from monthly to every six months, depending on how complicated the attractions are.

Inspections can be laborious.

At Wild Wild Wet's Torpedo - a six-storey high free-fall water slide in Pasir Ris - engineers are harnessed and lowered into a tunnel 85m long.

Each inspection can take two to three hours.

They must check that every piece joins up, there are no tears in the ride's laminates, and its water hydraulics are working.

Engineers also conduct "mystery shopper" spot checks, making sure that safety signboards are in place and ride operators emphasise the safe way to play.

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