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Parade Float Safety Tips

Posted by paradefloats on May 24, 2012

Parades are a blast. There are decorations, treats, costumes, music, and always something to celebrate. But with celebration also comes responsibility. Parade safety is extremely important. You want the parade to be an event that people remember for all the right reasons- not because something went horribly wrong. Make sure you’re well-prepared when it comes to parade safety.

Choosing Safe Decorations

While sparkle and pizazz are what make some floats better than others, you have to draw the line somewhere. Never allow any sort of flame to be a part of someone’s decorations in the parade. Even a sparkler gone awry could cause a catastrophe if it comes in contact with a paper streamer. All parts of the parade float should be flame resistant or fire retardant. There are multiple sprays and coatings that can be used on the float to make sure it is safe from fire.

Make sure each float is given a thorough inspection before the start of the parade. If anything looks unsafe, have it removed or do not allow the float to be in the parade. There are plenty of ways to be creative with paint and floral sheeting without involving fire.

Still, have fire extinguishers ready in case something goes wrong.

Safe Costuming

Costumes mixed with machinery are a potential for disaster. No costumes in the parade should extend more than a few feet from the person wearing the costume and definitely shouldn’t drag on the ground. Things like long scarves or dresses could get caught in wheels.

If you’re parade is at night, make sure none of the costumes are dark colors.

Flat Bed and Car Safety

First of all, every driver in the parade must have a valid driver’s license. Make sure they know that drinking, smoking or texting/talking on a cellphone is strictly prohibited while driving in the parade.

Children on floats or in trucks should always be seated and under adult supervision. Anyone standing should have some sort of support that will prevent them from falling. Do not allow people to jump on and off the float while it is in motion.

Set a speed limit for your floats. There’s typically no reason any vehicle or float should go faster than around 5 mph.

Distributing Favors and Candy

Most parades and/or communities have outlawed throwing candy or favors to the crowd in a parade. It’s just too dangerous and unfortunately the act has resulted in injuries and even death. If you insist on passing out goodies, make sure your parade participants literally walk up to people in the crowd and hand them the treats. There’s no reason to give anyone in the crowd a reason to run into the street.

Be Ready for the Worst

As they say, “Better safe than sorry!” Have first-aid kits available at various spots along the parade route. It’s also not a bad idea to make sure law enforcement is aware of your parade and will help with crowd control. They may even suggest an EMS be nearby in case of an emergency.

Law enforcement can also fill you in ahead of time of local parade rules and regulations.

Whether you’re in the parade or running it, make sure you put safety first. Here is a checklist to help you remember these safety tips:

Parade Safety Checklist

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Safety Tips for Parade Day

Posted by paradefloats on July 27, 2007

Spirit Float

Ensure a successful parade day from start to finish by preparing everyone involved with your float with appropriate safety information.

Keep everything in order by designating a student or volunteer to serve as the “float safety officer” to enforce and keep track of safety rules. This will help cut down on miscommunication about safety procedures.

Practice float escape plans in case of an emergency. Make sure everyone knows how to properly and safely get off the float in a hurry.

Make sure there is at least on fire extinguisher on the float and that the safety officer (or each student) knows how to use it.

Know the parade route and go over any potential trouble spots with the group.

Attach “slow moving” caution signs to the back of your trailer to keep your float safe on the way to the parade.

Secure all decorations firmly to the float. Tie all riders with a safety harness or have something stable for them to hold so they are not in danger of falling down or being thrown from the float.

Check all electrical equipment prior to the parade. Make sure there are no leaks and that all equipment is in proper operating condition.

Have a back-up plan in case of bad weather.

Have fun!

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