Originally Posted by Tom
We're on good terms with our county fire marshall. He came through this year and noticed a few things that he didn't mention last year, in the first 1/5th of the haunt that didn't change at all.
Inspector: "I thought you said you didn't change anything in this section, this is certainly new! (Referring to a Distortions Gargoyle Shock)
Me: "You're starting to slip old man, not only was that here last year, it's been here for the last TWO years."
Inspector: "It really sucks getting old!"
He missed a particular extension cord that he wasn't happy with, two years in a row. It happens, a piece of camo netting came down, exposed the cord and he "caught us" on it. Was I intentionally trying to hide it, no. Was the cord fine for the load that was being applied to it, yes. Did I replace it anyhow because it took 10 minutes and made him happy? You're damn skippy I did.
As I said, we're on great terms with him, well enough that I we can joke around a bit during the walk through and then catch a smoke and BS in the parking lot after. Does that mean he lets things slide? No. But rather than him jumping down my throat about something, he says just get it fixed and it's done.
Our local building inspector walked through this year (not on the greatest of terms with him) and had my install a number of hardwired lit EXIT signs as well as additional emergency lights, as well as put up some directional arrows and plain old plastic "EXIT" signs throughout the rooms of the haunt. While the scenery and theme of the haunt changes year to year, the general patron flow does not. This hasn't been an issue for the last 8 years, but it was this year.
Between the two above inspectors, it cost us ~1000 in required things to fix it and I lost a day of time. But it's done, they are both satisfied and more importantly, the haunt is safer for the patrons and that is really what it is all about.
The point is, the inspectors, be them local, county or state, fire, amusement, electric or building, are the AHJ for your haunt. They make and enforce the rules. There is no reason to argue with them as more often than not, they have the authority to shut you down and then make your life hell next year.
Also keep in mind, while many times it sucks to have a mile long fix-it list and a few grand in repairs, the long and short of it is that it's safer for the patrons and that is all that matters.
I don't get all of the "ohs my gawd! My inspector sucks!", they're just doing their job, just as a LEO is doing his as he pulls you over for doing 25 over the speed limit.
We get inspected by four different inspections every year, local building, county fire, electrical and myself (state amusement attraction). You tend to learn what you inspector hates and what he likes. Do it his way and there are no issues.
Last edited by Brandon_K; 09-25-2011 at 12:27 AM.
Operations Manager & Technical Director