Category Archives: Uncategorized

  • 0

WHAT THE INSPECTOR EXPECTS

Category : Uncategorized

Haunts must apply for a permit before beginning construction. A fire inspector will visit the site as soon as it is ready to open (at least a week before opening). He or she will point out anything that needs to be added, changed or updated. Another inspection to check any changes will occur before the final permit is awarded allowing the haunt to open. Every inspector is different. Below are the most common conditions that an inspector will expect.

  1. 2A10 BC Fire extinguishers have been properly placed and serviced yearly.
  2. Egress lighting is in place and tested.
  3. Exits are clearly marked and accessible.
  4. Props, costumes and building materials are fire retardant. Be prepared for inspector to test materials.
  5. All area is clear of debris and trip hazards.
  6. Plugs are UL listed and have the proper cords and plug bars.
  7. The building has sprinkler system in place.
  8. The haunt has a safety and evacuation plan on site with scheduled drills.
  9. All sounds and effects can be turned off while house lights are turned on from one central location.
  10. There is a first aid kit on site.

Some areas also require haunts to be inspected by the local building department and/or be handicap accessible.

After final inspection, the inspector will determine occupancy rate and issue the final permit. The haunt must maintain this occupancy and conduct inspections to maintain the safety conditions. 

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House gets loose in the Hi Tech Haunts work shop. Yikes.

 

 


  • 0

5 STEPS TO BUILDING A WALL

Category : Uncategorized

There are many ways to put walls together for a haunted house. The following is a popular system that not only creates strong walls that are easy to put together, but also provides a system for easy storage.

Make sure you have the correct tools before building a wall. It is better to use a screw gun and screws rather than a hammer and nails to build the walls. Screws keep the walls firmly in place and can be removed after the Halloween season so that the walls are easy to disassemble. If you use a hammer and nails, the walls will be torn apart when you try to take them down. Also, be sure to wear safety gloves and goggles to prevent injuries while building your attraction. It is best to work in teams to be sure the walls or beams do not fall and cause injury. Also use sturdy saw horses to support the walls rather than substituting tables, chairs or buckets to serve as work tables.

Here are the basic steps for assembling a wall that will be strong, stable and as easy to store.

  1. Each wall will use two 8 foot long and two 43″ long  2″x 3″ kiln dried boards.
  2. Attach an 8 foot 2″x 3″ board to the face of a 4’x 8′ sheet of OSB plywood. Be sure to overhang the board on the side edge of the plywood by 1¼’. The end result will be that half of the 2″x 3″ board will be sticking out on the side of the plywood.
  3. Attach the face of the top and bottom 43″ boards to the face of the plywood with the edge of the boards flush to the edge of the plywood. Butt one end of the 43″ board up against the side 8 foot board that you attached in step #1.
  4. Attach the other side board while pushing it tight against the top and bottom boards from Step 2.
  5. The plywood can be any thickness but ½” is recommended. Attach the 2″x 3″ boards with 1¼ gold deck screws. Place at 90 degree angles to turn the walls into hallway corners. The overlapping 2″x 3″ boards work as a grove and lip to fit together which makes for a smooth wall and strong hallways.

After the Halloween season, unscrew the deck screws and take them all the way out. Then stack and store the boards.

Be sure to download the attached chart that demonstrates each step with a visual chart to help guide you through the steps. Always wear safety goggles and gloves when working with the tools necessary to build these walls.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House helps with wall construction. Yikes.


  • 0

TOP 5 TOOLS OF THE TRADE

Category : Uncategorized

There are many tools that are beneficial to creating a haunted house. To maintain a safe environment, it is important to use the correct tools and keep an organized shop with well-maintained equipment. Here are some of the main tools to use while building a haunted house.

  1. Fireproofing. Fire-treated plastics, fireproofed props and fireproofing sprays should be a main tool at any haunt. One of the most dangerous things commonly used in a haunted house are non-treated materials such as sheets, newspapers, trash bags, and blankets. In home haunts, bedding nailed to plywood is a common sight and can lead to a very dangerous situation if a guest tries to run through the soft “wall.” Making sure all materials are fire proofed within a haunted house should be a top priority. Special care should also be used in making sure that props, cloth or plastic are not near heat that originates from items such as lighting equipment, projectors, compressors, fog machines and/or any electrical devices. Paint additive and black duck tape are two important tools for every haunt. Paint additive comes in powder form and can easily be added to the base paint for the haunt walls. The paint adds thickness to the paint and allows better coverage while adding a layer of fire proofing to the haunt. Fireproofed black duck tape is a “must have” at any haunt. Place a roll by every exit for quick fixes and added safety.
  1. During the run of the haunt, it is important to keep hand held screwdrivers, plyers, duct tapes, and cutters for quick fixes and reinforcements. It is important to check the back of every wall and clip off any screws or nails that have gone through the wall and are sticking out the other side. A flashlight is also a very important tool to have on hand. Flashlights should be placed next to every fire extinguisher and at every exit. Every actor and crew member should also carry a small flashlight.
  1. Ladders are the most common tool on a job site as well as one of the most dangerous. There are so many details regarding ladder safety that Hi Tech Haunts has another article covering the usage of ladders. A recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals that 43 percent of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder. Please check out Hi Tech Haunt’s tips about ladder safety.
  1. A manual staple gun is one of the most important tools at a haunt. Staple guns are easy to use and hold things in place securely and discreetly. It is important to keep staple guns handy during the run of the haunt for quick fixes and additional decorations.
  1. A cordless drill with screws is the main tool for a haunted house. Using a screw gun rather than a hammer and nails is a more efficient way to build a haunted house. Screws hold walls together easily and prevent the sliding that can occur with nails. It is also easier to dissemble a haunt by reversing the screw fun rather than trying to pull out an embedded nail. Using screws prevents damage to the walls and makes it easier to take a haunt apart and reuse the supplies year after year.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House gets loose in the Hi Tech Haunts work shop. Yikes.


  • 0

TOP 5 TIPS FOR LADDER SAFETY

Category : Uncategorized

Seems easy enough, right? Using a ladder. What could happen? Check out the ladder mishaps on You Tube. Hilarious. And although ladder falls make for viral videos, a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals that a fall off a ladder is very easy and it often can be deadly. The study, published in a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), found that falls remain a leading cause of unintentional injury and mortality nationwide, and 43 percent of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder. Among workers, approximately 20 percent of fall injuries involve ladders, and among construction workers, an estimated 81 percent of fall injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms involve a ladder. One of the most common tools on a job site, ladders can also be one of the most dangerous. Part of their danger comes from their familiarity. Most people have a ladder at home so they don’t treat it with the same respect as they would a buzz saw or even a power drill. Consequently, it is easy to use a ladder improperly. Here are five tips for ladder safety. How many do you practice? Or not?

  1. Get the right sized ladder. It might sound obvious but it is easy to get a ladder that is too tall and hits the ceiling. A ladder that is too tall can result in head injuries by getting you too close to an obstruction that gets in the way. The most common ladders are step ladders. These are ladders that fold out and stand by themselves. They come in 4 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet, 10 feet, 12 feet, 14 feet and 16 feet. For ladders that are 8 feet and up, a second person should stand at the bottom of the ladder to hold it in place. A lot of people get hurt on the 4 and 6 foot ladders because they feel they are not that far off the ground so they take risks while on the ladder. Using a step ladder that is too small increases the temptation to stand on the edge and reach too far. Small step ladders are often the worst culprits regarding injuries. Serving as easy-to-grab solution to the hard to reach spot, they end up as the ultimate trip hazard.
  1. After step ladders, the most common ladder is an extension ladder. These ladders lean up again walls. They start around 12 feet and go up to 36 feet. These ladders are dangerous because most people do not take the time to make sure the supporting surface is secure. It is simple to lean the ladder too much or not enough, causing the ladder to buckle if it leans too much or to fall over backwards if it’s leaning too little. To see if an extension ladder is resting against a wall at the proper angle, put your toes against the feet of the ladder and extend your arms straight out. You should be able to comfortably rest your hands on the rung in front of you. When you’re on the ladder, keep a hand on a rung whenever possible. To properly use an extension ladder, the top should be tied off on the left and on the right to keep the ladder from sliding. Setting a ladder against unstable walls/places is also hazardous. When in the throes of construction, it is easy to set a ladder against a wall that isn’t quite ready to maintain your weight. Be sure you have a strong ladder and a strong wall.
  1. The last type of commonly used ladder is a fold up ladder. They usually fold in 4 places and can be set up in many different positions. Because of all of the hinges, they are not good for any heavy work. They are convenient because they are easy to store and will work well for small jobs that are close to the ground. With all ladders, make sure all the joints of the ladder are in good working order and are locked in place before putting any weight on the steps. And if the ladder is retractable, make sure all joints are firmly in place before use. Replace ladders that have rusted out. When using any ladder, maintain a steady center of gravity by keeping your belt buckle within the ladder’s sides. Wearing a tool belt to keep your hands free is also recommended.
  1. Using random items as ladders is practically a rite of passage in a haunted house. Haunted house builders are the ultimate do-it-yourselfers. Paint cans turned over. Chairs pulled to the side. Random desks, props, tables…. all tempting as an easy thing to climb on to reach a quick fix or a last minute task. As a haunt owner, if you use this method of building, you can bet your staff/crew will too, so set the example and prevent injuries across the board. It is tempting to save time by using random items as ladders, but think how much time will be wasted if you break your arm.
  1. What is one of the most common mistakes on the job site? Leaving things on top of a ladder and walking away. This creates a lot of headaches. Literally. Someone sets a heavy tool, like a hammer or staple gun on the top step of a ladder, finishes the job and leaves the tool on top. Then someone else moves the ladder and the tool ends up falling from the ladder and hitting them on the top of the head. Not good.

Since ladders are one of the most common tools on the site, using them improperly can lead to the most common of injuries. Building a haunt requires more than just brains on display. Use the brain in your head as well.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House assists Hi Tech Haunts Founder, Colin David in a safety demonstration with ladders. Yikes.

 


  • 0

TOP 5 REASONS TO HAVE A SAFETY PLAN

Category : Uncategorized

Are you a haunt owner? Do you have a haunt in your home? If you answered yes, do you have a safety plan in place? Why is this important? Here’s why:

5. The haunt industry is growing at a rapid rate. Haunts are popping up everywhere. Theme parks are adding Halloween Haunts to their seasonal operations. Escape rooms are appearing everywhere and running year long scares. The haunt industry is a $7 billion industry. Yes. 7 billion. And what is accompanying this growth? More people. More money. More frivolous lawsuits. Lawyers are actually taking out ads looking for people that have been injured in haunts. It isn’t a problem until it’s a problem. Then it’s a real problem.

4. If you run a home haunt, you don’t need to have a fire inspection because your haunt is on private property. While this might seem like a good thing, not being inspected could set you up for accidents. And it is likely that your haunt is not covered by your home owner’s insurance.

3. City officials do not want to be liable for accidents taking place at stand-alone haunts. They are cracking down on inspections. If you do not have a safety plan in place, you could be liable or shut down before you get to scare a single guest. Advertising that you have a safety plan in place is a good marketing tool as it informs the public that you have taken the time to insure their safety.

2. Protect yourself, your staff and your guests. Just like Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your haunt, you are not liable for guests that put themselves in danger by not following the rules, show up inebriated or behave badly around others. Having a safety plan in place not only helps protect you from being targeted, it also gives you a way to train your staff about what to do in an emergency. It will help you think through your volunteer practices and create a way to consistently run your attraction efficiently and professionally.

1. Peace of mind. If the unthinkable happens, having a safety plan in place will provide those involved with the peace of mind of knowing they did everything they could to prevent injury and/or disasters. While it might not seem important ahead of time, it could very well become the most important factor during an emergency situation.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House is let loose in the shop. Yikes.

 


  • 0

TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

Category : Uncategorized

You’ve seen them. They’re everywhere. And they’re a critical feature of a haunt. Zombies? Nope. Fire extinguishers. Every haunts needs them. And not just one that you dug out from the back of your garage. They need to be properly placed, in good working order and, even more important, the staff/crew needs to know how to use them.

What are the top five things every haunter should know about fire extinguishers? Funny you should ask. Here they are:
5. Fire extinguishers should be placed at every exit. It is always better to have too many than not enough.

4. There should be a flashlight placed next to each fire extinguisher. Preferably, a flashlight that glows in the dark so it’s easy to find during a power outage. Strategically placed glow in the dark tape can also aide in this regard. Every actor and crew member should also carry a small flashlight on their person in the event of a power outage.

3. Haunts need to have 2A10 BC Fire Extinguishers. They can be purchased at a hardware store such as Lowes and/or Home Depot. They also need to be serviced annually. The fire marshal will probably (hopefully) check the date on the fire extinguisher to be sure it’s up to code. If you purchase them at Home Depot or Lowes, make sure to tape a copy of the receipt to the extinguishers which makes them good for a year. After they are serviced, the extinguisher company will tag them with an update.

2. The fire extinguishers need to be easily accessible. They should be placed just above door knob height so everyone can reach them and in a place where people won’t set things in front, on or around them. The staff/crew at the haunt needs to know how to use them. They also know the following PASS system of fire extinguisher operations.

  1. Pull the pin to discharge the extinguisher.
  2. Aim at the BASE of the flames.
  3. Squeeze the top handle or lever to release the extinguishing foam.
  4. Sweep from side to side on the fire until it goes out.

1. The most important thing about fire extinguishers is to make sure that everyone on site knows that the first rule of fire safety is that exiting the premises is far more important than fighting a fire. Getting out of the building is the first priority and they should only attempt to put out the fire if it is small and manageable.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video here as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House demonstrates how not to use a flashlight with your fire extinguisher. Yikes.


  • 0

TOP 5 TIPS REGARDING ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Category : Uncategorized

Electrical fires are very common and a threat to the safety of a haunted house. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, in the United States, 50,900 fires each year are attributed to electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in 490 deaths and 1,440 injuries.  Arcing faults are a major cause of these fires. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that AFCIs could prevent more than 50 percent of the electrical fires that occur every year. About 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. Here are five things to consider regarding the electrical practice in a haunt.

5. Having a plan is very important. Electrical mistakes are easy to make and often become an issue when builders are in a hurry and/or don’t create an electrical plan ahead of time. This is especially true if multiple people are creating scenes within the haunt. It is possible for each person to create a scene and then look for the nearest plug to bring their scene to life. This can lead to power failures. A circuit chart demonstrating that the load on each circuit does not exceed the breaker amperage should also be completed.

4. Every outlet in the haunt should be tested with a simple three pronged tester that lights up to indicate that they are wired correctly and working properly. All of the building outlets should be securely mounted with proper covers. All of the 120v outlets should have the ability to accommodate three prongs. Grounded GFCI outlets must be used any scene that has moisture, such as dry ice or mist.

3. It’s best to use LED lights within all the special effects lighting in the haunt. LED lights don’t get hot and use about 3 watts to produce 60 watts of light. To prevent fires, be sure not to place cloth or untreated props near the lights.

2. All extension cords must be UL Certified and have a minimum 12 gauge with two prongs and a ground. Cutting off the ground (3rd prong) from plugs, 2 pronged lamp cords, and/or 3 pronged to 2 pronged adapters is not allowed.

1. It is important to create a “power station” so that all of the power can be turned on and off from one location in order to control the lights and sounds. The house lights should also be accessible from that station to turn on lights in case of an emergency. The switch for this station should be rated to handle the load applied to that switch. Commercial power cords and commercial power strips that have their own power switch should be used to get electricity to run from the power station to the various scenes. Small, household extension cords are not recommended for haunted houses, even if they’re home haunts. The power station should also have a fire extinguisher, duct tape and a flashlight nearby as well as an emergency plan posted.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun.
Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House helps Colin David demonstrate electrical safety. Not.

 


  • 0

TOP 5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT EMERGENCY EXITS

Category : Uncategorized

The most important thing in an emergency is the ability to evacuate a haunted house thoroughly and efficiently. People volunteer to get disoriented in haunted houses because they trust that the people running the attraction will keep them safe and get them out if there is an emergency. Consequently, it is very important to take their trust seriously.

Here are five tips to consider regarding emergency exits.

5. All exits must be unlocked at all times. It is important to be sure that the exits are free and unobstructed by materials, equipment, locked doors, or dead-end corridors. This is especially important in a maze. The actual exit must not be obstructed. Exit routes must have ceilings at least 7 ft., 6 in. high. An exit access must be at least 28 inches wide at all points. Make sure that props and/or scenes that project into the exit do not reduce its width.

4. Every haunt needs to have multiple exits as far away from each other as possible to give a variety of ways to escape. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has many rules about exits within building. The following are some of the rules that should be considered when building a haunted house. All exits to the outside must be protected by a self-closing, approved fire door that remains closed or automatically closes in an emergency. Exit discharge areas must be large enough to accommodate people likely to use the exit route. Exit route doors must unlock from the inside. They must be free of devices or alarms that could restrict use of the exit route if the device or alarm fails. Exit routes can be connected to rooms only by side-hinged doors, which must swing out in the direction of travel if the room may be occupied by more than 50 people. Hi Tech Haunts recommends that all haunt owners look through the emergency recommendations provided by OSHA.

3. Install egress lights in every scene. Egress lights are two white lights that are mounted on one box. They have batteries but are plugged into the system and remain off as long as the power is on. If the power is cut, the batteries operate the lights and turn them on to provide light so that people can find their way out. Egress lights should have a test button and should be tested on a regular basis to insure they are working properly.

2. Make sure that every exit is clearly marked with exit signs. Exit signs that light up should be placed at every exit to the outside of the building. These signs are hard wired but also have a battery back up in case the power fails. Like egress lights, they should have a test button and be tested on a regular basis. Additional exit signs with arrows toward the main exits should be placed throughout the haunt. It is also a good idea to place exit signs with arrows at ground level in the event people have to crawl out of the haunt during a fire. Be sure to put a sign on any dead ends or false doors that say, “not an exit” to avoid confusion in an emergency.

1.Everyone working the haunted house, including the actors and the crew, need to know where all of the exits are. They need to know where to go if their first choice of an exit is blocked. They also need to know where each exit leads to be able to choose the best exit with each situation. The staff of the haunted house should each be given a copy of the safety plan. Fire drills should be practiced with one member of the staff choosing to be the “fire.” This trains the staff to practice exiting the building depending upon where the fire is located.

DOWNLOAD A HAND OUT WITH THIS INFORMATION TO INCLUDE IN YOUR SAFETY PLAN

Joining Hi Tech Haunts’ Safety Blueprint Program Community is a way to start building a safety plan. Hi Tech Haunts provides check lists and downloads that can be printed and circulated among staff as well as kept on site at a haunt.

Every haunt, home and/or commercial, should have a Fire Safety Plan on site and all crew/staff/volunteers should be trained and familiar with the safety plan. To join our professional community, click here or text HITECHHAUNTS to 44222. You can begin building your plan by receiving safety downloads, check lists, tips, discounts and freebies! Although Hi Tech Haunts is not responsible for the safety of your attraction, we can provide materials to make it easier for you to create a safety plan.

Stay tuned for the Safety Blueprint Program, a webinar series that covers the ins and outs of inspections and safety. Please contact us with questions and/or suggestions. Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about creating programs to support you, your work and your guests.

While Hi Tech Haunts is passionate about safety, we also like to have fun. Enjoy the video as Bones from MOTEL 6 Feet Under’s Haunted House is let loose in the shop. Yikes.


  • -

WHAT IF

Category : Uncategorized

What if you decided to build a haunted house? What if you knew that you were uniquely talented to scare the bejesus out of your neighbors? What if all your friends had the same opinion of you? What if your talented friends wanted to get involved in the project?

What if your haunted house had a specific theme? What if that theme had rarely been exploited in the past? What if you not only had a theme, but you were hell bent on telling a compelling story? What if the story was so good that could turn your haunted house into a movie? What if you wrote the story before beginning to design the experience?

What if you viewed your haunted house as its own self-contained world of horror? What if you viewed the whole attraction as a hellish experience for your guests? What if your guests became totally immersed in your world? What if they felt as though they were stepping into a Stephen King novel?

What if you exploited the senses to their fullest in your haunted house? What if you decided to incorporate four, even all five senses in the experience? What if the lighting was theatrical in quality and interactive in nature? What if the light shifted as the story progressed?

What if your guests were greeted with a beverage tied to the story? What if the sound was immersive? What if accompanying music set the tone for the storytelling? What if sound effects rose and fell in a cacophony or ordered chaos? What if your characters each had their own unique voice? What if bits of dialogue helped flesh out the telling?

What if certain items were designed to be touched? What if jets of air gave the impression that something unseen was touching your guests? What if your actors used lighting, sound and touch to their greatest effect?

What if it smelled like a haunted house? What if the story included fire and the room reeked of burning material? What if the distinct smell of perfume fleshed out one of your characters? What if you used her smell – and her unique voice – to later imply that the same character was behind a closed door?

What if someone explained that surprise is a random startling where suspense intensifies surprise because of the building anticipation? What if you were determined to use suspense instead of the standard cheap thrills?

What if you decided not to use graphic blood and guts scenes? What if all the horror was implied? What if you used humor to balance the intensity? What if one moment, guests were laughing and the next terrified?

What if you decided against the cliché hockey masks for costumes? What if you knew exactly where to find custom masks for your characters? What if the clothing was custom and uniquely designed for your story? What if your actors all had stage experience? What if you directed them with the flare of a Hollywood director?

What if everyone tied to the project wanted this to be a haunted house like no other? What if the guests left the building muttering, “Wow”? What if they left with a satisfied smile on their faces? What if at the end of the night, you did the same? What if?


  • -

Storytellers

Category : Uncategorized

TOP TEN REASONS TO WORK AT A HAUNTED HOUSE

Or how to find happiness as a haunt employee

  1. Being a zombie at work is rewarded. So many jobs are imprisonment. So many people are zombies at work and zombies at home, slogging through a job they hate to collapse in front of the TV at night. Their zombie-inspired existence is depressing. Ours is hilarious. We giggle and shake with anticipation of embracing our zombie-ness.
  1. There is not a desk in sight. And if there is, it’s covered with rust and body parts to create a horrific office scene that poor 9-5 drones will relate to. If we’re wearing a tie, it’s askew and doubles as a noose.
“Read More”

BUILD A SAFETY PLAN FOR YOUR HAUNT!