Mister Unsafe here. –
Sure there may be nothing wrong with taking a certification program even if said program really does not have the authority to give a certification. The other problem has been all along whether it has been the long held consultants or now IAHA, the way things are doe in Texas vs the way things are done in New England are completely different. They assume different capital investments and understand different overall start up incomes.
Instead of listening to hours of concern over sprinlkler systems, their cost and design criteria, you must be headed in a different direction and simply make sure the fire department has enough equipment and good access to your event. If they have limited access, then not only will you need a sprinkler system but will have to install a $200,000 water tower to feed the system and maintain a head pressure. Because the water infastructure in Texas is also different.
So the IAHA has adopted the New England and supposedly national standards that simply do not apply in Texas due to limited resources. The end result is everyone with a Gypsy show spouts off the standards of New England to horrify the responcibilities one must face to open a haunt and then they come to Texas and set up unannounced to take advantage of not having to face these same standards.
Plus in all of the above sitations, you have dedicated time, travel and paid for a course or paid a consultant when you could or should be investing in the licensing and requirements process locally.
If you listen to the national standard over and over you won't ever start until you have the investment level of Six Flags. Yet for some reason there are about 75 events in Texas with about 25 of them only advertising locally.
A perfect example is, because of the bureocity in Pennsylvania, vehicle inspections are ever 6 months and the state wide requirment involves tearing off each wheel and measuring every piece of the brake and steering components play and even a brand new car might not pass this inspection. The govenment doesn't feel people are capable of taking reasonable care of themselves or even if they can there is state income being derived from this process to do something. The body must have absolutely no holes in it or body work must be done.
In Texas, they inspection is done if the lights all work and the car does stop. In Texas people rely even more on their vehicles and do infact take care of them with out big brother makin sure they have done so.
The relyability of the haunts are of a similar thing. Those who are being responcible and rely on these for income and lack of liabiltiy and do not wat to endager anyone are doing what they can in Texas with the resources that are available and are just as safe as anywhere else. It just did not require 4 levels of government involvement.
There are so many buildings that do not have a water line that can feed a sprinkler system so does that mean you can't have a business? Well, it seems to me there are businesses all over. There are alot more fire departments and equipment that can move around with trained peronel to take care of this. So this is who you need to organize with.
You over design the inside of the haunt to allow a central access of lots of people and hoses and equipment. You have lots of fire extinguishers.
Texas likewise does not have the inspectors running around enforcing the mobile amusement ride standards that Florida has established where everything electrically must be of industrial quality and no wooden structure may be used.
So how many hours and dollars are you going to invest in wiring up a ferris wheel or merry go round when you are intended on building a haunted house?
IAHA has only recently in the last year or two decided to take this program of education to the masses like the consultants of old have for the last 25 years. They mean well but, here in the real world, I walked into a Texas event with the rules of a New England event and a Florida amusement and sounded ridiculous here locally. The alternatives to the 100 rules offered by the locals were a big relief and all resonable, responcible and safe. They are all far more brilliant and with concern for everone involved than a rule book. It is all common sense.
In summation, just talk to the local dudes and don't let the "industry" freak you out with every possible scenario known to modern man.
In Texas, there don't seem to be very many sprinkler companies. Only last year did they run fire hydrants past our building and they are painted black. That means they are not capable of putting out 250 gallons of water per minute and even though they are there, fires are still fought by hooking 4 trucks with water tanks and pumps up in series. But, there are still businesses and homes here.
As another alternative, many have swimming pools or small ponds to insure a souce of water for a fire that can be picked up by a pumper truck.
There are alternatives to lots of things proposed as absolutely necessary but, I'm not saying for fear that some national organization dawns arm bands and tries to do something about it. The warning sign will be when they begin the IAHA youth. Your very children could be telling the father land what you are doing.
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