Haunted Attraction Top 10 Safety Tips

Wed, March 03, 2021
Haunted House Safety 101 
Top 10 Tips by Randy Bates

 
 
Top 10 Fire Safety Tips:
 
Fire safety is THE most important issue facing our industry today. Prevention is the key, and is not that difficult. If you follow these simple, important tips, you will be well on the way to fire prevention in your attraction. 
 
10. Make sure that you have installed up to date fire extinguishers at all exits and in locations manned by actors and staff. Fire extinguishers should be rated ABC (able to extinguish wood and paper fires, electrical fires and flammable liquid fires) and installed per manufacturer’s specifications.
 
9. Check all extinguishers before opening each night. Look at the gauge to see if it has been activated. If the needle is in the green, the extinguisher is ready for use.
 
8. Check the status of your fire alarm system. If there are any bypass lights on, or circuit faults, contact your alarm company immediately. If your alarm system is down for more than 4 hours, you must shut down until repairs can be made. [NFPA Life Safety 101]
 
7. If you have a manual override switch installed, test it each night before the start of operations. Check to make sure all emergency lights come on, and all audio systems are deactivated.
 
6. Check all exits for anything blocking the path to the exit doors. This should be listed on your “Daily Inspection Report” and completed each day before operations begin.
 
5. Make sure that all of the back stage areas are free of flammable materials such as rags, unused costumes, wall treatments, etc. All areas near your electric service panel, air compressors, and other utilities should be clear of obstructions and flammable materials as well.
 
4. When designing your haunted house, keep in mind that you must have an emergency exit within 75 feet of any location in the building. That means that the exits must be a minimum of 150’ apart, as measured by the pathways in your maze.
 
3. Many municipalities have specific building codes for Special Amusement Buildings. Check with the Authority Having Jurisdiction for any additional codes that must be met.
2. When you paint the walls and ceilings of your attraction, add flame retardant to the paint, per manufacturer’s recommendations. This is an inexpensive and easy way to prevent fires, and looks great in any report that you give to your Fire Marshall or building Inspector.
 
1. Apply a generous coat of flame retardant to EVERYTHING in your haunted house. Spray the floors, walls, ceilings, props, and anything else in the building. Don’t forget to coat all actor areas, and any back stage areas as well. This is the most important method of preventing fires, and should be performed at least once a year. I suggest applying the retardant a few days before opening. If you have curtains separating rooms or hallways, coat them twice, as they are very vulnerable to movement, and the degradation of the material. Test material after the application. Make sure that you complete the Application Affidavit that comes with the flame retardant product. This way you will have a record of the application in case any questions or problems arise.

 
            Fire safety is one of the most important aspects of any professional haunted attraction. Check with your local authorities for fire codes, and changes in building codes. NFPA Life Safety 101 specifies all fire safety codes for “special amusement buildings”. 
 
 

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