View Full Version : Smoke Detectors

09-07-2008, 09:27 PM
I need some advice, I overlooked a minor detail. We moved out of our youth club into a vacant factory. I assumed smoke detectors were in place, wrong.

So reading through the Indiana Fire Code for Haunted Houses and it looks like I need an detector every 25 linear feet. They need to be interconnected as well.

That adds up to about 50 detectors in our 40,000 sq ft. building.

What I have researched so far is a $18 detector that needs hard wiring into the electrical system and to each other to create the system where if one goes off they all go off.


Wireless battery powered detectors at $37 that need no wireing at all, much quicker set up.

What have all of you done and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

One other note, the use of this building is not guaranteed for next year, it is currently for sale.

Jim Warfield
09-07-2008, 10:18 PM
The residential smoke detectors I am familiar with can not have 50 of them on one circuit.
Read the directions very carefully.
If your building has very high or steeply angled ceilings, other certain methods will probably be needed when installing them.
Do you really need 40,000 sq. feet?
It takes alot to fill that much space.
alot of stuff, alot of work. (alot of money)

09-07-2008, 11:57 PM
The building is 40,000 square feet, but the actual square footage that guest walk in is about 15 to 20 thousand square feet. We already have it filled, and have already spent a lot of money, although not as much as you might expect. My wife is so good at getting deals, mostly free stuff.

We have enough walls, props and decorations to fill over 2 semi trailers full, which we might have to use if the building were in sells.

If I had realized the smoke detector issue, I would have kept the haunt in a couple of the main rooms and not used dead space in the middle. But not knowing, I designed the path to stay on the outside of the big rooms with the middle open for our supervisors to walk. Basically the scenes are all side by side forming a big square with their backs to the middle dead space, but the maze is built to bring the guest to the middle scene, then take them back to the outside before coming back to the middle for the next scene. So the guest walk 150-200 feet of maze to get to the next scene which is 10 feet from the first.

It helps us access each scene without traveling through the maze, but doesn't utilize all the space realy well, so we have this type set up in almost every section of the building.

09-08-2008, 07:06 AM
Could you sketch out what that looks like? It sounds like a really great way to get more bang for your space. (Being a home haunter, we lack a lot of space.)

09-08-2008, 09:07 AM
Smoke detectors are useless if you are running fog in the building. You might want to ask for a variance if you are using foggers. Is the building sprinkled with heat activated heads? Get a dialog going with your fire marshals. See what avenues other than smoke detectors they can suggest. Be creative.

Matt Marich
09-08-2008, 12:21 PM
Most Municipalities won't let you wire it yourself, you need to hire a pro company that is licensed and bonded. In case you can work this out, I have used the following system from Mcmaster Carr with great success. Remember that they might call for an anounciator as well.


14" W X 14" H X 4-1/2" D Control Panel for Smoke Detector System