Oh yeah, how about the need for sprinklers?
So in a few years, I hope to have my own permanent place. As I dream about this, I was wondering how or what the stipulation is for haunts to be handicapped access. I always make my halls 4' wide and because of my location there are no steps. However, I have visited many haunts that halls are closer to 3' wide and some that are ever more narrow. I have also seen many haunts with steps that one must climb. How do these haunts get by?
Thanks so much!
Some simply do the bare minimum or have marshalls that will not care. Depends on the inspector fire marshall I guess.
Tis always good to design in your safety. 48 inches wide, ramps, ADA access, emergency exits, emergency lighting, minimum use of foam, use fire retardent, sprinkler systems. Simple basics that should be done...
a lot depends on your actual location. As an example I have rules that change from the city to the county. So I can have a major rule change just by crossing the street. It also depends on the structure you are in. Buildings, tents and trailers have similar but different requirements.
If possible go with minimum 42 in halls.
ADA requirements as fal as ramps go depends again on the structure.
ADA compliancy is regulated for PERMANENT structures. A fact many seem to overlook. SO if you are in a building, you must follow ADA because the building is permanent. If you are in a tent or trailer you are a TEMPORARY structure so you do not need to follow ADA. Look at the traveling carnival that goes through town. They are certainly NOT ADA compliant.
Let me preface that statement. While you may not be required by federal standards you MAY be required by local overrides, again check.
Another consideration is local concern. You may have a local handicapped association that is very active. They may go after you because you are not allowing their members access. While in the right, would you want to fight local resentment? Something you would have weigh yourself.
Sprinklers are usually required on a structure over 1,000 sq ft. A building may already contain sprinklers, a tent may or may not require them, again you need to check locally.
The haunt itself must have walls and door ways at least this 42 inches and if your floor is level, you have it. However, then you get into other facilities such as the bathrooms being compliant.
If there is some raised portion such as a bridge or ramps heading into a vortex, to be ADA, the ramps must be no steeper in or out than a drop of 6 inches per 8 feet. This takes up lots of floor space and must be of a construction to handle the weight of many people so technically you are getting into metal frames.
We even had a bridge cross way that was maybe 18 inches off the ground and it was ADA compliant. The only wheel chair that ever transversed it was one of the disabled fire fighters that was volunteering with us. No customers arrived and no one ever asked if we were accessable.
Even with raised portions of your event, you simply add a by pass that is at floor level.
The sprinkler system is a whole nother issue unto itself and not part of the ADA stipulations or concerns.
In green bay we are not required to be handicapped accessable. I would love to be but you've been through our place and it just couldnt be possible. Also, as long as we have everything fire proofed and and fire extinguishers we did not need a sprinkler system even though we have a two story perminate structure.
I would be careful, MMManiac. Already heard of a case on here about a building previously passed that they suddenly changed the rules and required a sprinkler system.
You may want to set aside money for one and install eventually.
We are on the second story of a downtown building and I researched this a few years ago through several soucres including a call to the ADA. The event being temporary is what allows us not to have to be ADA compliant along with the building being grandfathered because of its age. If we change the building at all, then we could be required to make it compliant. We have had tunnels and bridges in the past that we got customers around for whatever reason came up.
As far as safety is concerned, we have to be equipped with a smoke alarm system, fire extinguishers, exit signage and lighting, emergency lighting, a copy of the floor plan in the local fire house, and safety training each night.
A sprinkler system and full fire system are on the future list.
We have gone beyond the minimum requirements in many respects. We replaced teh Exit lights with battery backup units. The smoke detector system is supplemented by a single relay for all on house lights with three locations for activation. Instead of four fire extinguishers, this past year we added 25 more. Enough for nearly every room. We added a few extra emergency lights with more on this year's agenda. We trained a few of our key people to be Red Cross First Aid/CPR certified. This was because of finding out about Bob Turner's Haunted Hydro CPR rescue.
Our whole haunt was rewired completely this past year to nearly eliminate the number of power strips we were using. Yes, they are legal in Indiana as long as they are power strips, but extension cords are not.
In the design of the rewiring, we now have every room equipped with four circuits. An emergency light circuit, a house light circuit, and two prop circuits. The house light circuit is relay controlled now. They all go through a relay panel ahead of the main power panel so that when the fire alarm system is installed, all props can be powered off, the emergency lights energized and the house lights turned on. We will be installing relays through all the air lines to de-energize the air to the props as well.
A long way from the BOO! in the dark twenty years ago!
I believe to have handicap access to your events is great news for business but I dont think that many people will be handicap going through these events. to change events to grant access could cost to much money and the overall effect. Having said that, two of our four events are handicap accessible. In our haunted house we stuck with the minimum width 27" wide hallways in someparts. It varies throughtout the event. Sprinklers and any fire mandated equipment I a must and be up to code every year.
Last edited by ReedSBF; 02-15-2008 at 08:19 PM.
Our fire marshalls are very strict, so our hallways had to be at least 3 ft wide, etc... however we still had a scene or 2 that had elevation to it. We either built a ramp into the scene and out, or used stairs and made sure that there was a fire exit right before the scene, and then right after. This created a typ4e of bypass and the customer only missed one scene.
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