in light of what we seen and heard from this past week, it has come to my mind about fire extinguishers in the haunt. now to know what kind to use or have right now is on my mind. i know that in every person's mind right now is that we should get a lot of them and call it good right? wrong.. they are any types of fire extinguishers out there.
here is some ideas that can help us out, train your actors and security how to use them. show them how to use and know where they are in the haunt at all times.
Know the exits!! it's like the movie "the great escape" know how to get out fast!!
what kind should you have or use, if your in a indoor haunt? = your answers here
what kind should you use or have if you are a outdoors haunt? = your answers here
At our ticket window incase someone's car caught on fire in the parking lot.
I keep some for external use even though it is an indoor haunt, incase the exterior was somehow burning.
Being a fire marshal, anytime I see a fire related question I just feel like I am morally obligated to give my 2 cents. haha Allen is right about the size of the extinguisher, anything smaller is going to do more harm than good in most cases. The codes that most jurisdictions follow actually says that fire extinguishers should be placed conspicuosly where the maximum travel distance to the nearest extinguisher is 50 ft. So, this basically means every 100 linear feet (of walking distance not building). Mazes eat up 100 linear feet quick! I also recommend doing a small safety class with employees before start night that just goes over where extinguishers are, where paths of egress are (exits), and how to use a fire extinguisher. I like to light a small pan of diesel fuel on fire and let each employee who wants to try it actually use a fire extinguisher. Most people suprisingly have never used one. Use the acronym P.A.S.S. (Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the trigger, and Sweep the nozzle at the base of the fire) The fire marshal will LOVE to see that you taught this brief class and get your employees to sign it, this may make him more forgiving of other things. Conspicuous in the code means that they can not be painted to blend in with the wall or hidden behind props and walls, they are supposed to be visible to someone who is in the area for the first time to be able to identify and use. However, all of this being said, accidents happen, fires occur all of the time, and a fire extinguisher on the wall will not prevent fires or prevent them from spreading, but that extra few minutes to hang an extinguisher or make a fire exit could be the difference in saving a life. Property is replacable, and though years of hard work are terrible to see go up in flames, it is good to know that nobody was injured. Ok my fire safety soap box is done!
To SCfearfarm.. I have a question or 2.. seeing as though as you emetioned you are a fire marshal.
You said ... "The codes that most jurisdictions follow actually says that fire extinguishers should be placed conspicuosly where the maximum travel distance to the nearest extinguisher is 50 ft."
I have had some discussions with our building insppectors in the area here ( Lockport,NY) while we were trying to design for an indoor haunt and they said the same thing..
When you ( or they) say every 50 feet.... and I see you mentioned 100 linear feet... but my one question being is that if we put a fire extinguisher at one pint .. and say measure 50 (NON LINEANR) fet and put anther one at one point and so on and so on.. is that acceptable ??
Also..As im sure your aware by having to have the extinguishers "consipicuous" especially for the public visting what is supposed to be a "Dark" attracion. by putting a sing say in the middle of a dark hall way it really runes the effct we are trying to create for that area. So i guess my question is dos it have to be visible for EVEYRONE (public and staff) or can it be done in a such a way that staff is awayre as to where they are..
The reason I ask these question is due to the fact I have worked and attended many Haunted attractions and I never in all the years seen a sign like they have stuck to a wall in a dark area especially where the patron woudl normally travel to go thru the attractions... I have sen them mounted and "signed" in the "actor fast ways" or around the perimeter walls of the building where the attraction is happening.
Just curious to your take and opinion on the above.
Keep in mind that codes are written with an intended purpose usually because of something bad that happened in the past, but different fire marshals read them differently and interpret them differently (kind of like interpretation of the bible I guess) haha But for the 50 ft. rule it is pretty straight forward....I would not write you up for having one 52 ft. away instead of 50, however they do not have to be every 50 ft. in the structure, the code says that the maximum travel distance is 50 ft. which means that if you measure 100 linear feet and put an extinguisher then no matter where your staff or customers are they can either turn back to the one that is 50 ft. behind them or go ahead to the one 50 ft. ahead of them (meaning every 100 linear feet) I hope that makes since to you, this is a common misconception because we are thinking 50 ft. in front of us, but forget that we can also turn around and get the one 30 ft. behind us. A good rule of thumb is to put them where your fire exits are. On the conspicuous placement part.....this is really going to be up to how your fire marshal wants to make it. The way I look at it is that I can often go into an office building with people who have worked there for 15 years and ask them how many fire extinguishers are in the hallway outside and they can not tell me....because we see fire extinguishers so much that you forget they are even there, even with the big tacky stickers or signs on the wall. I am in the haunt business as well, and I understand nothing kills a detailed wall like a bright red fire extinguisher on the wall. For me there is no exception on marking fire exits, (I'm sure you have, but if you've never read about the six flags haunted castle fire in 1984 you should read the reports, its scary) but most all of the haunted attractions that I have been to I notice fire exits, maybe it is just because I am looking for them. The reason I don't like painting or blending extinguishers in is because I have been to a haunted house that actually used a spent fire extinguisher and painted it silver and screwed it to the wall and put some hoses coming out of it in a boiler type room as a prop. The general public may or may not know if it is a prop or if it is even a fire extinguisher. It is going to be up to your fire marshal to decide on what he/she wants, because each building is very different and each fire marshals attitude and interpretation is very different. I dont think as many people as you think would notice them if you put it in the back corner of a non-focus wall unless they need one. Even if they do, what they can complain about you keeping their safety priority? However, if you would like to place them in actor areas only... the way to properly pursuade the fire marshal (and I would probably buy this one haha) is to tell him your ultimate goal is to get every occupant outside of the building safely and quickly and you don't want any customer taking a chance on getting hurt putting out a fire so you put them in actor areas because they are trained on how to use them. Ask your fire marshal or building official for a copy of the page in the International Fire Code or International Building Code 2009 edition that deals with special amusement buildings. It falls under a temporary special amusement if it used for under 90days a year. If the attraction is under 1000 sq. ft. then all of the sprinkler rules and most other rules do not apply, and if he gives you an occupancy load of 50 people or more then you will need a copy of the chapter in the International Fire Code on Assembly Rated Occupancies that will give you all of the rules to follow as far as paths of egress width etc. Hope this helped! If you have any more questions let me know!
Matt the last part was great thanks for the info.
Matt & Allen, thanks for your input.
IN regards to extinguisers we have a unique situation, in the dark, the whole prop or no prop thing.
The first year of operation we placed them as required. The first weekend I had THREE extinguishes fired
off by customers!!! I pulled everyone and placed them in actor positions.
Year two I explained the situation to the Fire Marshall. Since safety is the main concern, I explained that
customers fired off extinguisers so in case of a real emergency we might be unprotected!!
My suggestion was to put an extinguisher at EVERY actor position.
This way they are in control of one of our people. The customer doesn't have to fumble in the dark in
case of a real emergency. While there might be one maybe two situations where there may be more than 100 linear ft
having one at EVERY actor positon puts more extinguishers on property than is required.
Work with your inspector. This is much more effective than just putting an extinguisher a set number of feet in the total dark!!
Ask to have your cast trained to use the extinguishers. The ultimate goal is safety.
I can't believe that the customers would do that! but some people would be dumb to do that. what did Fire Marshall say about it by the way? also what did you do to the customers?
I have been rethinking my haunt on this right now, it's good to plan ahead on this. so i can hopefully get it right the first time.. with room to fix and so on.
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