View Full Version : FIRE Regulation changes

RJ Productions
10-04-2011, 03:56 AM
I don't know if this is effecting anyone else, but here there have been some changes in the codes and now they are requiring new automatic voice evac systems. It must be a closed system, interconnected with the smoke alarms.

Here is the issue I have.....code states that when activated the system is to shut off all confusing lights and sounds, then automatically activate a voice announcement system (reasonable so far..) then it must trigger fire "horns and strobes"???????

Lets see turn off all lights and sounds....then activate lights and sounds?????

In an office environment, horns and strobes is NOT normal and signals a situation.

In OUR environment, SILENCE is not normal, horns and strobes means "Oh they must have fixed it..." business as usual!!

Do they even THINK things through before writing codes!! THIS will result is a real mishap should an actual situation occur!!!
Patrons will be confused and think nothing is wrong that the strobes and horns are part of the show!!! SILENCE tells them something is wrong!!!
HORNS, STROBES and ANNOUNCEMENTS will just seem like part of our show!!

Has anyone else had this problem? And how have you addressed it???

10-04-2011, 05:40 AM

A few years ago, Ohio went to that requirement. Check with someone from Ohio like Kelly Collins for more detail. We are ready to go to that with our next upgrade. Maybe Larry has to do that in Missouri since the big thread about fire regulations a few months ago I would think that even if it isn't mandatory code, he would do it anyway.

10-04-2011, 06:33 AM
My entire haunt is wired like that. If a pull station, heat detector, or sprinklers activate the fire alarm then all haunt lighting / sound/ animatronics will shut off. Then the overhead flourescent lights turn on along with the horn strobes and the voice evac recording.

Mike Goff
10-04-2011, 07:00 AM
Brett is correct, we have been doing this for a while. Change always sucks, because we would rather be working on our shows. That being said, it's not that big of a deal, you will get through it. To answer your question, no, I don't think that they really think things through. I don't think that the main function of the code is safety. I think it is all about CYA and certain industries who happen to sell fire safety equipment. But that is just my humble opinion.

Karl Fields
10-04-2011, 09:13 AM
We got hit with that last year. Pretty much the same system that Brian described.
Don't do like we did and just use CAT5. Had to pull it all out and install FPL wiring. Pretty much the same thing (supporting a subset of the electrical industry?) but it is red, comes in various pair combinations and heat protection categories (plenum, duct space, and what not). Don't try to use the EVAC system for announcements, the horn strobe speakers suck!

Does anyone else's system announcements sound like the robot in Lost In Space? "Warning Will Smith, Danger ahead"

10-04-2011, 10:46 AM
They don't write the code they enforce it. The code isn't written for just Haunts either as few businesses mimic us if any. Just work with your Marshall maybe you can push it off a year depending on cost. Maybe Larry could get a fire alarm vendor at Transworld if there isn't one already.

10-22-2011, 08:07 AM
Hi All,

newbie question if you don't mind...

So I assume a safety fire system such as this connects to your main power panel so that it can cut the power to everything and trigger emergency lights... correct? I am planning my first haunt for 2012 now and will be using the Fright ideas controllers primarily. So unless I'm missing something, I won't have a "master" control to kill or disable all the fright ideas controllers... other than to kill the power for the whole house at the source, the main panel. The reason I'm asking for clarification is that I'm checking our buildings now and trying to think forward so I know what is needed to project costs. I've googled what you guys have described above and looked at the website you mentioned, but haven't found any info on this system.

Thanks much!

Mike Goff
10-22-2011, 08:21 AM
The capability of voice evac is in the fire alarm panel. I believe that you can buy add on panels to give an existing panel this ability. The act of turning the effects off can be done by using a subpanel that will house all of the circuit breakers for effects and battery back up lights and exit signs. The subpanel will be fed from the main service panel and route through a shunt trip breaker. When the fire alarm is activated, the shunt trip breaker will throw and shut off the subpanel. You can also put your main lighting on a battery backup or use x10 lighting and interface a module to the alarm that will give an all lights on command. What ever route you go, run it by your building official first. It can be intimidating at first, but it's not that bad and it gives me peace of mind to know that there will be no doubt in someones mind that something is wrong and it is time to get out.
I doubt that any building that you are looking at will be set up this way, unless there was a haunted house in it, before you got it.
If I can be of any help, pm me and I will do what I can. I wish that someone would have given me tips when we went through this.

10-22-2011, 01:54 PM
Thanks for the info Mike. Also, I very much appreciate the PM invite. I'll let you know how it goes.

Yeah, you mentioned wishing someone was able to give tips to you when you were going through this. Sure is great to be here on this forum with you guys. There is a wealth of information here and everyone seems like a great bunch.

Thanks again!

10-22-2011, 02:28 PM
For this sort of system to be installed, the best way is to go with local electrical contractors. Our electrical control system and our fire/evac systems had to be separately engineered by independent firms, then approved by the city, then installed by licensed contractors. For a good size haunt, be prepared to drop $50,000-$75,000 before you even put up a wall.

Mike Goff
10-22-2011, 04:23 PM
In Ohio, it costs 50 bucks to take the installers exam. Once you are certified, you can do the work yourself, but it must be inspected by a third party. If you can wire up a prop, you can probably learn how to wire up a fire alarm. If you go through the bureaucracy it will cost you $50,000 - $70,000. If you do the labor yourself, look at spending a couple thousand bucks on the alarm and a few hundred dollars in drawings. If you have a reasonable building official, a competant plan, and a do or die attitude you can get it done without having your sphincter dilated.
If you don't want to do it yourself, you can find an installer that does side work. This is much more reasonable than going through an engineering firm that knows that they have you over a barrel. Avoid the good ole boy network when ever possible. Unless you are rich and don't care about money.

10-22-2011, 06:32 PM
I'd love to see what 50-70k get you as I believe there are already fire evacuate systems built for things such as schools which as also highly complex and fairly similiar too.

Scare Products has a $3,000 system which does auto or manual system shutoff, emergency announcement and emergency lighting.

10-23-2011, 03:30 PM
I'd love to see what 50-70k get you as I believe there are already fire evacuate systems built for things such as schools which as also highly complex and fairly similiar too.

Scare Products has a $3,000 system which does auto or manual system shutoff, emergency announcement and emergency lighting.

Please link, never saw that one.