View Full Version : Safety, fire safety, and permits for an OUTDOOR haunt??

11-04-2010, 02:56 PM
As a long-time member of this forum, and a subscriber to Hauntworld magazine and Haunted Attraction magazine, I have read many articles and forum posts regarding safety, fire safety, permits, etc. for indoor haunts, but I have found very little information regarding these topics for OUTDOOR haunts.

Did I just miss this information, or does it not exist? Perhaps someone could write a magazine article about it? Or perhaps there could be a seminar about it at a haunt convention? Or possibly outdoor haunters on the forums might be willing to share some insight with us?? I'm quite certain I'm not the only person who views the outdoor haunt as the most feasible path towards entering the industry (for those of us who don't have $250,000 to invest in Year 1 of our haunts). Thanks for your time!

Mike Goff
11-04-2010, 04:42 PM
We started out as an outdoor attraction, and have added 3 haunted houses since then.
I have never read Nevada's code, but in the State of Ohio, the fire marshal's office has no jurisdiction, and the building official will only care about bridges and platforms.
That doesn't mean that they should not be in the loop when it comes to planning your event. If for some reason you have a fire, or need a rescue squad for any number of reasons, it will be the fire dept. that responds. It is a great idea to discuss these possibilities with your local fire department before hand. In most cases, fire departments can be very helpful in teaching you how to make your outdoor event safer, and easier to extract persons needing medical attention.
It is also wise to include them, because if they feel like you have somehow circumvented their authority, by doing an outdoor event, they have buddies in the Zoning department that can shut you down. I would recomend that you demonstrate to them, that you are serious about safety, and want their input. Get them on your side right away. Eventually, you will probably want to add a building or two, when you do, you will already have established a good relationship with your inspector and chief.

I agree, that an outdoor attraction has many advantages for someone starting up, but there are also many disadvantages, that I have yet to overcome. Our outdoor haunt takes twice as many actors to operate than what one of our indoor haunts take. It is much more difficult to achieve a high level of intensity(If that is what you are into). There is also many safety considerations that you don't have inside, like ground hog holes magically appearing overnight, and eye level branches.

Good luck!

11-05-2010, 11:42 AM
Here in NC no rules for outside haunts.So we have made our own.We treat our outside part same as the indoor part.Fire extingquishers every so often quick ways to get in and out of trail wide enough for a gurney just in case someone has a heart attack or something so rescue workers would have an easy path.No smoking ,lighters or open fires.Also light being able to white light your trail makes it much better in a emergency easy to see and everyone is alerted that something is going on.Plus sticks rocks bees snakes mud just to name a few things safety is more the issue outside than fire.

11-05-2010, 08:21 PM
Thank you both for the input!

11-08-2010, 04:25 PM
Anyone else have suggestions?

BTW... Just so you all know, I would definitely NOT be starting an outdoor haunt as a way to circumvent safety. It is simply the most cost-effective way to start, or so I've been told. I've been hanging around the industry long enough to know that safety comes first, and that there is no higher priority.