Policy AgeRestrictions

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Approved: 2013-FEB-02



The minimum age of membership is 18.

Restricted Areas Defined

Workshop: From the north wall of the member storage/loft to the garage doors. Includes woodshop, toolroom, CNC, and auto bays.

Attic: To the right of the entrance to the loft.

Caution Areas Defined

Chemistry/Loft: There are two primary areas, one in the classroom, the second in the loft (once the biolab is setup). These areas are known to have potentially dangerous chemicals out in the open, and are not located in restricted areas.


Guardians of any person under 18 must sign a waiver on their behalf, and present the waiver to an officer. Guardians present with any children under 14 must be shown the location of MSDS binders and notified of the caution areas.

No member is obligated to supervise anyone under 18 in any of the restricted spaces.


  • Children under the age of 14 are never allowed in any of the restricted areas without member supervision while dangerous equipment is running.
  • Children under the age of 14 with member supervision are allowed in the workshop for Freeside events with proper safety gear.
  • Children under the age of 14 are not allowed to use any power tool or cutting tool anywhere at Freeside without direct 1:1 supervision of a member, guardian (with member approval), or Freeside sponsored instructor as part of a demonstration or class.
  • Youth between the ages of 14 and 17 are allowed in the restricted areas with member supervision and proper safety gear.


Timothy is a 10 year old with a crutch and a tin cup. He is never allowed in the workshop area without a member, if the danger sign is lit and/or dangerous equipment is running.

Timothy is allowed to scamper out the rear garage door to take a shortcut to MARTA via a hole in the fence, as long as a member escorts him out.

Later that week, a member is going to demo how to weld crutches out of scrap metal to the group Atlanta Street Urchin Little Achievers (ASULA) as part of a fundraiser, and Timothy is allowed in the back with the group to see the sparks fly with UV protection goggles on.

When the demo is over, Timothy goes back to the front of the space. He grabs a clear plastic container of white powder labeled “Ground Turkey” out of the chemistry lab and starts drawing shapes in the powder. The group guide and guardian notices, and looks up the material in the MSDS binder to see if it is toxic and medical attention is warranted.

Some time passes and now Timothy is 16, and drives his guardian’s Escalade to Freeside. The guardian presents a signed waiver to an officer. Timothy is allowed in the workshop to build wooden ducks with secret compartments while a member is present.

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