LC Fire Prevention Bureau and city enforcing Mardi Gras float safety

Float Safety

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The Mardi Gras Southwest La. Board and the city of Lake Charles are working together to enforce safety on floats during carnival season.

Secretary of the Mardi Gras SWLA Board and Parade Chairperson Rebecca Moss said there will be an inspection of the floats before they roll down the parade routes.

With help from the Lake Charles Fire Prevention Bureau, a checklist was made for fire prevention float safety. Moss said all float decorations must be fire retardant, but with only a few days until the first parade takes route, this particular mandatory regulation will be put off until the 2013 Mardi Gras season.

Moss said there are a few regulations that will be enforced this year. Each float needs to have a properly ventilated generator, larger floats need at least two fire extinguishers while smaller floats need at least one, and extension cords should not run across float decorations, along with two extra ladders on board.

"For this year we will implement that you have to have a safety route. Not only do you have to have your original on and off route, you have to have an additional ladder, and it has to be able to access your entire float," Moss said.

The regulations by the Lake Charles Fire Prevention Bureau for float safety that will be enforced for next season include:

-          Maintenance—Float and tow vehicle are in good working order.

-          Decorations—all decorative materials used are flame retardant.

-          Vision/Communication—Driver has proper 180 degree vision (or spotters) or communication with float riders.

-          Fire Suppression—Large floats have at least two five pound ABC fire extinguishers. Small floats have at least one fire extinguisher.

-          Riders—Float riders have sturdy support handrails or other means to prevent falls. Riders shall have secondary means of escape in the event of emergency. Example: ladder

-          Generator—portable generator is securely mounted and separated from combustible materials.

-          Wiring—All electrical wiring must be of the appropriate type to be used and must properly secured.

-          Exits—Doors to floats shall remain unlocked at all times while occupied.

"There are so many floats now and there are so many people on these floats for fire prevention and fire safety, it's imperative that everyone have safe Mardi Gras and it's just another way we can help to secure this safety," Moss said.

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