View Full Version : Should i add ramps?

11-10-2007, 09:09 AM
My haunt has steps in it :P
at the beginning and at the end.:PP
but the problem is how to i add ramps to steps?
i dont want anybody to trip or get hurt so i should add ramps.
what is your opinion on this???


damon carson
11-10-2007, 11:26 AM
There are haunts w/ stairs. The thing is have them well lit and no scares before or while on the stairs. It may not hurt to have a person not in costume to help people if needed.

11-10-2007, 02:37 PM
I have found that stairs can always lead to safety issues. Numerious haunts in our area have stairs and I have almost tripped on them myself. Actors like to roam! No matter how many time you tell them not to try a scare in a particular area that is always the area they roam too! Then there is the assistant who is not in costume assisting people down stairways, this will take away any atmosphere you have created if you are not careful. I think ramps are the safest way to go, it might cost a little to build but it's a whole lot cheaper than an insurance deductible or hospital bill!

Haunt safe,

11-10-2007, 02:59 PM
Even when there's no scare involved at a set of stairs, they can still be a hazard. Building a ramp will decrease the chance of having a fall, but there are alternative ways of making steps safer for patrons. That is, if being able to place a ramp doesn't seem realistic for whatever reason. By lighting the steps, laying brightly colored tape on each step, telling your actors to not scare in that area, putting up a sign (Watch for Stairs), and having a guide (if there is one) point it out, you can make things much safer. Perhaps not as safe as a ramp, but doing these things will help minimize a fair amount of accidents.

11-10-2007, 04:57 PM
Unusually, I went to at least three houses this season that had dimly lit stairs in at least one scene. I don't know how they get away with it--not only legally, but without incident from patrons falling.

One house forced us to climb at least three or four flights of stairs before the show even started. That was comparatively well-lit, but still seemed a bit risky. Not to mention it seems like it would create a bit of a bottleneck of out of shape patrons desperately gasping their way up to the top!

Yet ANOTHER haunt forced people to climb on top of a bed to get to the next scene. Very unusual, definitely unexpected, but still seems like it's asking for more trouble than it's worth. I haven't heard of any accidents or anything, though, so who knows--maybe I'm just overanalyzing the risks.

Jim Warfield
11-10-2007, 05:32 PM
Fall on your butt on stairs the edge of the stair doesn't feel very nice, the same fall on a ramp you will have better possibilitys of a flatter landing zone waiting for you.
The very first thing I added to my stairway were light switches that operated via a key because certain customers wanted to have extra "fun" by turning off the lights on the stairs!
Explosion-proof cages covering the light bulbs are also necesarry because if a customer can reach a bulb, they will unscrew it, just for something to do.
If your pet Tomcat is sleeping where some people can reach him, they also may decided to throw your cat across the room, just for something to do.
One dignified Sunday-suited Grandpa did two of these three "No-No;s" in one time through my house, nice example for his grandchildren. Crumby old Coot.
Learn from my past problems, hope someone feels I have possibly helped them.

11-10-2007, 06:42 PM
My fire marshal made me take out my ramps to my vortex and put in stairs with hand rails.

I even tried the arguement of "if you was drunk would you rather walk down stairs or ramps?" He said "ramps, but it doesn't apply here." I said "sure it does when you leave a tunnel designed to make you dizzy."

11-10-2007, 06:44 PM
Unusually, I went to at least three houses this season that had dimly lit stairs in at least one scene. I don't know how they get away with it--not only legally, but without incident from patrons falling.

If NY follows the ICC, which most states do now. Then you only need 1 candle of light on stairs. That is not very much.

11-12-2007, 06:05 AM
We are planning to get a vortex for next season and were planning to try to
redo the old part of our haunt to make it wheelchair accessible, I noticed
that many haunts are these days and its only fair to try to make our haunt
wheelchair accessible since even though we are small and out in the stix
in Alabama we have had two disappointed customers already that were in
wheelchairs and could not go through and it was very embarrassing and
But if I go to the trouble to put ramps in and then the Fire Marshall tells
me to take them out I might go nuts.

Some rules are just insane! It sounds like your Fire Marshall is just
a control freak.

11-12-2007, 07:30 AM
We have five sets of stairs in our haunt, and the fire marshal is fine with them. One thing I always do, though, is leave the toe kicks off and light the stairs from underneath. That way, you don't have to flood so much light from above and the light draws attention to watch your step.

Of course, we don't scare on or near the stairs, etc. It's honestly never been a problem.

Greg Chrise
11-12-2007, 06:23 PM
I'm so glad I got to go up to the top of the statue of liberty before they made stairs illegal!!!

Ramps: It depends on what you are considering a safe ramp. The Handicap standard is like 6 inches drop per 8 foot in length? or something like that so a patio up say 2 feet would be a ramp 32 feet long. This can be a very long creepy bridge kind of thing and add to the experience? So many places I see even at restaurants the ramps are 2 foot drop in 8 or 10 foot.

At a local BBQ place they set up cameras to record people walking up and down their front entry stairs. I watched a lady get to the end of the patio and pretty much just do a header like it was a dive into a pool? She stopped and was looking at this obstacle with a big bag of meat in the hand rail hand and fell. Of course there was a half hour of sitting on the ground with a crowd hanging around consoling her?

So I'm wondering if so many places don't have stairs no one knows how to use them anymore?

So they put a ramp and re fashioned the stairs to have 3 handrails. one down each side and one in the center, made them a wider footing so it was more like a tredded terrace than stairs.

At one haunt a clown went after my girl friend's daughter out the door and down the ramps, two sets a 5 foot drop and you would never have known how they got down so quick. There was no falling, it was negotioated just fine. It was so quick they might as well have just jumped 5 feet. The clown was pretty good at running down like it was a skateboard ramp. Like the clown Matrix.

How to build a ramp takes a serious amount of wood and it gets heavy if you intend it to be portable. You end up with the frame that will be the support on the ground, the frame that will be the top of the ramp and every so often, like every 4 foot the heavy lumber that will be the support posts. Then storage is a great hastle as it takes up a lot of space even if you build it in sections and put it up on end. Ones I made had roofing shingles on it for traction but, in retrospect, I might as well have put posts in the ground with concrete then built a proper top frame and it would have been much less material. They were so heavy and awkward and rotted after a few years left outdoors, even though it was all primed and sealed assembly before hand. I ended up moving and leaving them.

So like if you fall face first up a pair of steps you are just a clutz and deserve the injuries you just got but going down stairs requires instructions and an inflateable ramp to evacuate like an air plane?