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View Full Version : Indiana Fire Marshal holds off enforcing sprinkers....



JamBam
04-21-2011, 08:04 AM
Great news for us. We had been preparing for applying for a variance from the Indiana Building Commission and this morning recieved a fourth letter from the Department of Homeland Security State Fire Marshal's office. The first two had announced fire alarms and fire sprinklers mandatory for Indiana huanted houses for 2011. The third last week was blurry in that there would be grandfathering in based on fire codes from 1998, 2003, and 2008.

Todays letter backs off for 2011 all together while they use this fall for data gathering. "Upon further review of the scope and impact of that policy, I have determined not to implement it during 2011.


While we have been vigilant in improving not only our show but the safety of our haunt, we would have been forced to cease operating at the building we were in because the sprinkler system would have cost about $ 75,000. This is more than what the building is valued at, so there would be no business plan or bank financing that would work.

Our plan to add more to our safety plan and step up what we do above and beyond the minimum of the mandatory codes will be implemented anyway.

Again, great news for Indiana haunted houses today!!!!

screamforadream
04-21-2011, 08:53 AM
Good for you! It's good to see understanding fire marshalls! Honestly, as long as the actors and owners use basic common sense, there isn't an excessive need for a $75,000 sprinkler system. Fire proof as much as you can, keep plenty of fire extinguishers on hand, train actors to accommodate patrons to the nearest emergency exit, have emergency lighting and have good insurance!

I'm still convinced that the biggest push for more fire safety stems from one very recent and distinct incident.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjVXBtMzEes

Raycliff Manor
04-21-2011, 09:13 AM
Congratulations Brett! That is great news. From talking haunt with you, I know you and your team care about the safety of your guests as much as the city and state officials do and you have a plan in place for any emergency.

Kel

Badger
04-21-2011, 09:58 AM
Great news. I knew you were concerned about this. Hope other states follow this example...

annarchy
04-21-2011, 06:51 PM
No offense, but this is not good news. All it takes (God-forbiddin) is an accident that involves fire and no fire suppression and the media will run with this. In turn, it will only draw more attention (overkill, that is) and all fire marshals across the country will dissect us even more. Although I sympathize with the enormous cost you would incurr, I hardly think that posting something like this is a 'gratifying' moment to the industry as a whole. I mean no disrespect...

damon carson
04-22-2011, 02:14 AM
I think it is good for you as long as you are safe in every aspect. Just because they let it go this year doesnt mean they will next year. Better save for next year.?! Have a great season!
Damon
Frightmasters
www.houseoffright.com

shawnc
04-22-2011, 08:43 PM
No offense, but this is not good news. All it takes (God-forbiddin) is an accident that involves fire and no fire suppression and the media will run with this. In turn, it will only draw more attention (overkill, that is) and all fire marshals across the country will dissect us even more. Although I sympathize with the enormous cost you would incurr, I hardly think that posting something like this is a 'gratifying' moment to the industry as a whole. I mean no disrespect...

But then you have to bring up the whole "safety" issue. As many have said before, smoke alarms save lives; fire sprinklers save property. The vast majority of people killed in "fires" die of smoke inhalation. A fire will give off smoke and set off an alarm before it becomes big enough to endanger anyone, and the haunt should have been evacuated long before then.

So are fire inspectors really thinking about this beyond just a knee-jerk reaction, or are they trying to save themselves some work if the building does catch on fire? And whichever is the case, what about just about every other business that doesn't have sprinklers?

annarchy
04-23-2011, 07:11 AM
Shawnc:
I totally agree with you; I'm not implying that the fellow haunter is cutting corners or intentionally jeopordizing safety. But please consider two things: is the media fair and just these days?? IF something happened and people were injured due to smoke inhalation or whatever, do you honestly think they are going to report "that at least the attraction had smoke alarms." ?? C'mon....they'd take this and put a black eye on our industry. The second thing: in regards to other businesses not having sprinkler systems...again, I agree. However, how many other businesses remove customers from reality and place them in a world of make-believe, get their heart rates up and andrenlin, freak them out, turn the lights down low and throw them in a maze??? Hard to compare our industry with too many others out there.

I just feel as an industry whole, we need to all be a little more conscience of everything we do. Not saying we need to "police" or "socialize" the industry, but sometimes our actions can affect others outside of ourselves. I simply feel, in my opinion, that something like this could have negative concequences on the industry as a whole IF something bad happened. Then the media gets on this forum (because it is public) and reads that someone posts a "victory" for not having to have a sprinkler system.

drfrightner
04-23-2011, 08:34 AM
I must admit I don't feel like its great news at all... depending on how the haunt is designed, in a real building or a tent, or simply outside covered with camo I would reserve judgement on whether you should or shouldn't have a sprinkler system. They claim that sprinkler systems really dont' save lives they save property, the smoke kills, but if a sprinkler system can put out a small fire before it becomes a raging one and limits the smoke, who knows. If a fire does happen in a haunt without a sprinkler system then that is exactly what they will blame when its all said and done... and if anyone gets hurt that is exactly what they'll state when they sue the city, fire dept and your business. The good news is the city and fire dept will go down with ya...

I dont' think its a good idea to open inside a big building without one unless you build that haunt with like a 100% fire hallway around the whole entire attraction, built up to the ceiling 3 times thick of sheet rock, and or it was in a tent with 10 zillions exits to the outside of the tent or in a space around 1000 square feet.

Larry

Mike Goff
04-23-2011, 07:43 PM
The Haunt industry is no different than any other industry, in the fact that regulation slams the door shut on new businesses starting up. In many industries corporations actually lobby to have strict regulations imposed, therefore eliminating any competion; They then swallow up the resources of the smaller companies for pennies on the dollar. If it were not for regulations, large companies in many cases would find it difficult to compete with the smaller companies. Small companies are very efficient by necessity. They also have better customer service. Think about it, would you rather be dealing with the owner of small store or an army of minimum wage clerks who cant count your change back correctly. I am not saying that small haunts are better than large ones. I am merely establishing how regulation kills small business and why big business loves regulation.
Here in Ohio, one of the largest fire alarm and security companies practically writes the fire code. Does anyone see a problem with this, or is it just me?
The midwest is full of haunts that are in the 4000 to 5000 sq. feet range. Many of these haunts are lucky if they see 300 customers a night. Based on some of the posts it sounds like many among us think that they should install a sprinkler system that would easily cost more than what they would make in the next decade.
It seems like every few years the subject of an industry induced national standard comes up. It always seems to come from the largest haunts in the largest citys. It comes from far away states, it might as well come from another country, for that matter. Like many, I am from a small town (by choice) I have nothing against the "big city folk", but I cannot relate to them, nor can they relate to me. This is exactly why there should never be an industry wide standard. It's one of those "Don't piss in my yard, and I won't piss in yours" situations.
It is true that there are haunts out there that have no business opening their doors to the public. Luckily these back yard shows don't see many people. The haunt that started this thread is far from back yard. Brett runs a professional show that I would feel more than confident sending my kids to. So on that note, congradulations Brett. I am happy for you, I am happy for the smaller haunts in the industry and I am very happy for the people in the sovereign State of Indiana.

It is refreshing to witness courageous common sense.

sanybell
04-24-2011, 02:47 PM
The media would be all over a fire in a haunt with or without spinklers.. Thats what they do, the media destroyed the real estate market which caused the whole recession crap we here about everyday!! God forbid there was fire in a haunt, it would trickle across the county like a bad case of herpes.

harrishaven
04-24-2011, 03:10 PM
It does not matter the size of the haunt. Whether one sees 300 patrons or 30000. All it will take is for one or two people to get hurt in a fire and I can guarantee that the regulations will fly. I was told by state senators when this conversation came up that if sprinklers are required and in Iowa they are if a haunt is more than 1000 sq ft or there has to be 2 hour firewalls, if small communities do not enforce this and someone got hurt they could and would seriously consider OUTLAWING haunted houses in the state. Also when it comes to life safety issues in codes they cannot be just waived away. Cities and counties are also responsible for what happens at haunted houses in their jurisdictions. They can say no they are not but they are. Because anytime they give an inspection and ok for you to operate it puts them on th ehook if anything happens also. It isn't fair if I am complying with the issue and another haunt the same size doesn't have to but if something happens there they can come back and regulate my haunt again or outlaw me also.

Mike Goff
04-24-2011, 04:33 PM
In my humble opinion, size of haunt does matter, it's a numbers thing. Let's just say that you cross the road 300 times, there is a chance that you could be hit by a car. Now lets say you cross that same road 30,000 times, the odds of you getting hit by a car just went way up. Complicate this whole process by crossing the road faster, and taking more risks in order to achieve the goal of 30,000 road crossings, add in fatigue and I would say that you are talking about 2 completely different situations. Both instances require caution and some common sense, but the risk of one greatly outweighs the other.
Here in Ohio, the official having jurisdiction does have the authority to give a variance on a sprinkler system as long as certain criteria are met. Yes, by doing so, he is taking responsability if something happens. It takes a very courageous, sensible and unselfish person to give these variances. They do not take these variances lightly, they limit occupancy and to some degree, you have to earn their trust.

I believe that there is a greater underlying problem that has been completely overlooked. We as an industry, and a society for that matter, have been conditioned to beg our officials for the right to conduct our business. We cower everytime that "an incident" happens, no matter how great or small. We immediately turn on the perpetrators in an effort to distance ourselves from these inferior haunted house owners. The bigger we get, the more we have to lose, and the more we cower. It is good to some degree that we police our own, but I believe that the most effective way to do this is to educate and not try to disrupt the balance of the free market with a one size fits all building code.

The argument that an incident on the East Coast will have an impact on the West Coast is no different than the justification the government is trying to use about health care, smoking, eating fatty foods, and everything else that free people engage in.
Instead of cowering and turning on each other, why not say it like it is. It is unreasonable to impose an added $100,000 expense on a business that makes $20,000 a year. If your State wants to impose these kinds of restrictions on you, make them explain to the public why they are doing this during a time of economic crises. I don't care much about what happens in other states, I don't stick my nose where it doesn't belong, and I don't care much for when others do it to my State.

Maybe it's just me, but I am really tired of big city people having a say so in what goes on in small town Ohio. We do just fine making our own laws, educating our own kids, and deciding for ourselves what is best for our community.

drfrightner
04-24-2011, 07:43 PM
I DO NOT think every haunted house needs a sprinkler system... especially tent haunted houses. If you build a tent haunted house you could provide 50 exits, so long before any fire would engulf the thing everyone could get out easy. A sprinkler system would just or should I say might save the haunt.

Again let me say that if the person creating the haunted house has half as many brains or experience as I've had with tent haunts they would design their tent show as I'm describing and honestly don't see the need for one. Additionally you can do as we do at Creepyworld and have 1000 square feet or less covered with 20 foot seperation from another maze. This works as well its so short so small nothing comes into play, plus you fire extingshers everywhere.

HOWEVER ... an indoor building you should have a sprinkler system because you might have two maybe three exits and they are not easy to find.

Any haunt who runs their haunt indoors without a sprinkler system is putting their customers lives at stake I feel.

Larry

Karl Fields
04-24-2011, 10:25 PM
HOWEVER ... an indoor building you should have a sprinkler system because you might have two maybe three exits and they are not easy to find.
Any haunt who runs their haunt indoors without a sprinkler system is putting their customers lives at stake I feel.
Larry

There are those that feel that running an indoor haunt "with two or three hard to find exits" is putting customer safety at risk - regardless if they have a sprinkler system or not.

Mike Goff
04-25-2011, 07:00 AM
Some of the criteria for a varience that I was talking about does require you to make sure that no matter where you are at in the building, you have to be with in 50 feet of an emergency exit. The exit must have an exit sign with battery back up lighting. So, is it reckless and irresponsable to not have a sprinkler system when at any given time the customers are 50' away from an exit? Keep in mind that everything in the haunt is flame retardant, and there is a fire alarm that will turn off all effects, and music, and then make an announcement to evacuate the building, before they begin their journey of 50 feet. In my opinion this is far safer than some of the haunts that I have been to that have sprinkler systems and hardly any exits, at least from what I can see. Sprinkler systems are a mechanical device and can fail. I also think that in a panic, customers could stampede trying to find these illusive exits.

I am confident that the inspector and official having jurisdiction are competant enough to determine if a haunt is safe. In fact, I think that they go over board. I also don't believe that the hall monitors of Hauntworld can make a better determination on an attraction that they haven't seen.

Seriously, us small town folk have it covered.

JamBam
04-25-2011, 10:54 AM
The fact that there are so many different haunts in so many different size markets predicates the answers written here by all. For those in the BIG markets that are able to get the highest numbers and profits, take into consideration briefly that if you were under the same conditions as a haunt in smaller markets, your comments would be much different. I wonder, Larry, if the Lemp Brewery tunnels have sprinklers? If you have to put them in, you would have to sprinkle the whole tunnel system on all levels.

The Indiana Fire Marshal office was put into the Homeland Security Department and has always had the safety of the public in mind while treating the haunt owners and operators like fish oil salemen passing through. We have been in contact many years way in advance of opening requesting to see an inspector only to have them show up the day before we open. Sometimes after. The haunts that passed were also dismayed to find out that haunts were allowed to open despite not passing inspection because the law says that the haunt has 30 days to fix the issue and get to stay open through the season anyway. The last two years I applied in February because of the two weekends in March we were open for Ghouls Gone Wild. They came the alst day of September despite the fact that I called the state office in Indianapolis and wanted to make sure they knew I would be open in March and October. The permit is good for the calendar year and if the floor plan isn't changed, then the permit is good. I even talked to the City inspector to make sure he would do a walk through in September without the state in case the state came in March.

The industry has changed since I started with the Jaycees in 1986. Many professional haunts, especially in the bigger cities, have been opened. There have been conventions, trade shows, associations, vendors, and safety manuals as an outgrowth of the change to professional haunts. The old style of black plastic and boo scare volunteers in masks has been transformed into awesome scenes, great actors, and makeup that is sometimes used in modern horror movies. One thing that hasn't kept up is most of the props sold by many vendors at the shows in respect to the flame retardant aspect of foam used in them because of the cost. This needs to become the standard.

The fact that many buildings are without sprinklers for fire safety but doesn't preclude that they can't be operated safely as a haunt. I agree that there are people out there that are putting people at more risk than is acceptable and using materials and practices that are a liability not only to themselves and their customers, but the whole industry.

If you look at the fire in Rhode Island and the changes each state took to restrict haunted houses as a result, it is a lot. I know the season after that tragedy our state inspector must have said "Rhode Island" many, many times. In 2010 at Transworld at one of the seminars on pyrotechnics put on by the guys from New Orleans, it was one of them that said had their been ONE person on fire watch backstage with a fire extinguisher, he felt the whole thing could have been avoided despite the fact taht the whole club had been lined with foam on the walls and ceiling. In the Six Flags Haunted Mansion fire in 1984 killed eight teenagers. It was "a conglomeration of trailers with a grotespue and scary facade." It had no spinklers, but is also had no fire alarms or smoke detectors and none of the exit lights had working bulbs, either. There were many other factors that contributed to the fire spreading like untreated plywood and foam props. There was also a long distance between exits, 450 feet of hall paths actually. Finally, the 1973 fire in a haunt set up in a school killed one person that a PTA was doing started on fire 30 minutes prior to opening. The walls were made of wood frames with flannel cloth as the walls. The flannel was sprayed with black lacquer based paint.

My point in the recap is that the public safety officials of every state have put into place many regulations that if any of those places had used, there may not have been any tragedies. The safety rules that we operate under could be made even better. Sprinklers do have the potential to save lives and property. If they were mandated into every business rather than just haunted houses (and fireworks sales in Indiana recently) it would put many businesses into situations not affordable and building owners left with buildings that would have to be torn down.

The fact is that the haunt operators need to stop shying away from dialogue with the state fire inspectors and rule makers. My contact with several other haunt owners in Indiana recently has not been to try to sidestep safety, but to try to get something that is workable for all. I have started to put together a proposal that will be reviewed by the other Indiana haunt owners and then we will set a meeting up with the Indiana Fire Marshal. This proposal would suggest reformatting the permitting process. It would suggest certified operators be required for each application to be approved. The annual certification would include training in a classroom. Class would include: fire safety, emergency procedures, fire code, allowed materials, non-compliant materials, fire alarm systems, sprinkler rules, haunted house codes and rules, fire retardant usage and requirements. A passing grade of a test would finalize the class. The other proposals would add to the existing requirements of a submitted floor plan. This would include a comprehensive safety manual each haunt would have to have in three places, evacuation drills mandatory weekly, and other rules similar to what is in place in many states: fire alarm with evacuation annunciation, autodialer, house light on relay, props off relay, and air solenoids to turn off all air supply and resevoirs.

The enforcement would have to have the power to prevent a haunt from operating for major issues. The haunts that operate under the radar are actually the ones that will cause the industry problems, not the ones that comply. We had one in Ft Wayne operated by the office of one of our US Senators that I doubt had a permit or inspection.

The goal is to operate as safely as possible with zero incidents.

Jim Warfield
04-25-2011, 01:46 PM
Are numerous around here, a whole deserted college campus of them.
Most were build around 1924-30, concrete, brick, slate roofs, built to "last".
The cost of insulation, thermo pane windows and everything else they would now need is totally cost-prohibitive especially since nobody can come up with a use for them.
Destroy all that very solid work? Sad and abit stupid too.
I am assuming this nation is covered with such propertys as of now.

drfrightner
04-26-2011, 02:44 AM
Brett,

Couple things...

1) Lemp: Has a sprinkler system thanks for asking. If it didn't have a sprinkler system that passes an annual test our haunt would NOT open period end of story. In addition that that the entire place is damp, and made out of solid stone everywhere... the only things that might burn are what we install in there. The place has a fire ext everywhere. The attraction has sprinkler systems, fire alarms, and all sorts of other features including all wood was painted with a fire proof paint not to mention we've drenched the place in about 100 gallons of fire retard. So again thanks for asking.

2) I think the whole conversation is a great one its not an arguement its just a discussion... I think your glee in this fact was misplaced and I think most haunters would agree with me on this. If I'm you running a haunt for charity I dont' want to spend $50k on a sprinkler system, so maybe I'm happy and full of glee myself... I don't deny that.

But lets be honest, your inspector is WRONG end of story! I could care less what his background is... he's wrong and he's setting your haunt, his office, the city and maybe the state and well the whole entire haunt industry up for disaster. The city will be sued for SURE for allowing what boca codes which I think your state follows clearly states that you must have one... so he's flying in the face of the codes your state follows. So good for you someone is letting you fly without following the rules but I think its wrong.

Its a mistake.

3) To state again... I think tent shows should be allowed to roll without them if they design them with exits every 50 feet lets say. With a tent show you can design in as many exits as you want... as a fire fighter lets be honest they aren't worried about your haunt burning down as long as no one gets hurt, as an owners I care more about no one getting hurt, and secondly I hope the fire is contained and put out... a sprinkler system helps acheive these goals.

4) Lastly... let me say if your building is indoors I'd like to know how many exits you have. I doubt more than 2 or 3 and depending on how your maze is designed you might not be making best use of them... a fire breaks out people are rats in a maze with no hope of that sprinkler system kicking in and helping contain the fire. This is not something to be cheering about. But again I understand why you would.

Larry

mindtumor
04-26-2011, 06:35 AM
No offense, but this is not good news. All it takes (God-forbiddin) is an accident that involves fire and no fire suppression and the media will run with this. In turn, it will only draw more attention (overkill, that is) and all fire marshals across the country will dissect us even more. Although I sympathize with the enormous cost you would incurr, I hardly think that posting something like this is a 'gratifying' moment to the industry as a whole. I mean no disrespect...

I agree, how is not having to have a sprinkler system good news and why are the rest of you congratulating him for it? I am a small show and when I first opened up I searched for miles to find a building that had a sprinkler system. I agree that not all of the laws we have to follow are necessary (even though we do follow them) but a sprinkler system should be a no brainer.

JamBam
04-26-2011, 06:43 AM
Larry,
Your fortunate that the lemp tunnels has sprinklers and alarms. The stuff you install is what will burn in a disaster and the smoke is what is deadly.

Don't get me worng here, I do believe that sprinklers are the most effective for putting out fires. In most fires, though, the smoke detectors and fire alarm will provide much earlier detection of any fire. We already have smoke detectors that are all wired together throughout the event. If one goes off, they all alarm. They are tested by the state inspector every year to make sure they do work. I am confident that we could evacuate everyone out of the whole haunt in 30-45 seconds.

If you read the first thread you will find that it is the whole state of Indiana that this was mentioned about. Our city inspector usually is with the state inspector and lets the state rules be the authority. I did talk to the city inspector when I was preparing the variance application and he was willing to write a letter of support for the variance. The Indiana Fire Marshal is the authority here. He has more training than you or I and is the authority for the WHOLE state.

If you also read my last thread you will find that there are some plans to continue to step up what we do already and more.

The fact that I am happy that our haunt and others in Indiana may continue to operate is genuine for the point of being able to stay in business. I am sure you are happy when you are able to avoid such things or not have to spend a lot of money on something. Don't mistake that in any case that I am not concerned for the safety of my staff or customers.

annarchy
04-26-2011, 07:02 AM
Thank you Larry and thank you Mindtumor.
In my humble opinion, this would be a great "rule" or "bylaw" (for lack of better words) that an Association within the haunted attraction industry should set forth.

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 08:04 AM
I, like many others, am in a similar situation as Brett. My area of the country does not have a large enough population to support a super expensive Haunted house. The nearest town is 10 miles away with a population of 30,000. This is a very blue collar community that has fallen on hard times. There is no way that anyone would pay the ticket prices that you find in the large cities. I believe that I could move my show to a larger populated area and probably make a much more prosperous life for myself. The fact is, I am living my version of the American dream. I live on a farm, in a community that I love. I can look out of my kitchen window and see deer, turkey, fox, coyote, and sometimes large birds of prey. My daughter can play outside without fear of perverts and gangs. She can ride her ATV anytime she likes. (Yes, Hall monitors, I make her wear a helmet!) On a side note, I think that there is a greater chance of someone being killed by a gang member in the parking lot of the Darkness, than there is a chance of someone being killed in my haunted house.
I cannot and will not live in, or commute to a large city.

The second aspect of this dilemna is that country people like haunted houses too. Why should they have to drive for hours to attend a haunted house. I believe that by the time October rolls around, gas will exceed $5 per gallon.
So why do we cheer for Bretts victory? It buys him time. It reassures a States right to make it's own decisions.

Many of the people on Hauntworld remind me of a mother jumping on the chance to judge another mother, based on her parenting skills. I think that everyone has their own idea of what is acceptable, and anyone who does not fit into their idea of right and wrong is inferior, and it makes them feel empowered to judge.

I seriously doubt that many of the largest haunts in America started with a sprinkler system. So what are you guys saying? Are you saying that there was a narrow window to get into the Haunted House business, and if you haven't built up your show to the point that you can afford a sprinkler system that's just too bad, you missed your window? If that is what you mean, please say so. It will clarify the whole conversation.

I have no problem, whatsoever, with there being a rule or bylaw that you must have a sprinkler system to be a member of an organization. I have no problem with the existance of haunted organizations as long as they don't represent themselves as speaking on the behalf of all haunted house owners. I speak on my own behalf.

Larry has said that he doesn't think that all haunted houses need a sprinkler system. On this, we agree. I do believe more clarification is needed.

Let's analyze my show, I will be the guinea pig.

My largest haunted house is 4800 square feet. There are 7 emergency exits. The longest distance from any given point to an exit is 42 feet. My occupancy allowed by the great State of Ohio is 35 people at any given time, this does include actors. There are 8 10 pound abc fire extinguishers and a fire watch. The fire watch (who I pay to be there) is a member of the volunteer fire dept. that is stationed 2.5 miles away, he is also a certified inspector, a certified fire alarm installer, and an EMT.
There is a 3 acre pond on the premises. Every 3 years the entire maze is treated with flame retardant chemicals. There is enough emergancy lighting that one could easily read a book anywhere in the building. (I know for a fact that this can't be said about the mega haunts that I have toured during a so called lights on tour) The fire alarm automatically shuts off all effects and makes an announcement to get the hell out. My staff is trained to clear the building on their way out and to not allow any one but myself back into the building until I and I alone have called all clear. If the alarm goes off, I make a final sweep of the entire building.

My building official, my fire chief, my state fire marshal and my insurance agent (which happens to be my fire chief, small town....) are all comfortable with our operation.

I would like to again make the point that local officials are more than competant to enforce existing law and a zero tolerance policy concerning sprinkler systems is not needed and an abomination to freedom and common sense.

mindtumor
04-26-2011, 08:30 AM
Whether you are small or not, I'm surprised people would be so happy this. I would not do a haunt before I would do one in non sprinkled building. I was dirt poor when I started out and still managed to meet this requirement. But if you are allowed not too, whatever. But don't try and tell us all being small makes it too tough to do this. Difficult yeah, but completely possible.

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 08:34 AM
When I built this haunted house, the law stated that haunted houses had to have sprinklers. The law also allowed for a varience on the sprinkler system If #1 the total square footage was less than 5000 square feet. #2 there was an emergency exit within 50 feet no matter where you were at. #3 You have to be able to get a fire truck to the building on all four sides. #4 the official having jurisdiction and the local fire chief both have to agree to it.

I believe that the law has since been changed to include buildings up to 10,000 square feet.

I would also like to point out that in Ohio, they do not allow you to use multiple buildings that are 20 feet apart. They are very clear that you must allow access for a fire truck.
I supose that I could say that Creepyworld does not comply with Ohio code. Good thing for Larry that it doesn't have to. That would really suck if someone 3 states away could shut him down.

mindtumor
04-26-2011, 08:49 AM
I didn't realize everything had to always go back to what Larry is doing or getting away with.

Anyway, if you don't have to have them, cool I guess. My point is its not impossible to start out with low funds and not have a sprinkler system. You might not be able to build on a farm but you most certainly can do a haunt.

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 08:59 AM
Whether you are small or not, I'm surprised people would be so happy this. I would not do a haunt before I would do one in non sprinkled building. I was dirt poor when I started out and still managed to meet this requirement. But if you are allowed not too, whatever. But don't try and tell us all being small makes it too tough to do this. Difficult yeah, but completely possible.

Dude you edited your post as I was answering your question. But anyway, I'm happy because he said that he would have had to shut down without a varience. Nothing is impossible, but there is a huge chance that moving my show to another location would bankrupt me, when in my opinion, and the opinion of my State legislaters, my State fire marshal, my local building official, and my local fire dept. my show is fine. I guess they are not as smart as you.
Yes, State law does allow me to operate without a sprinkler system. Nobody has to like it. It is what the people of Ohio have decided. Ohio also thinks that it is ok to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and make sure you are sitting down.... They allow us to carry guns. You can even buy a machine gun in Ohio. Ohio also has some laws that I don't agree with, like the smoking ban, but they are our laws, they came from legislaters that I had an opportunity to vote for.

My point is, different states have different ideas of what is acceptable. They are populated by different people. If we were all lumped together as the United States, singular not plural, the only people who would have a say so are people in the most populated areas. The fate of the whole country would be determined by California and New York. I know that many would like that, but this country boy is an individual with individual God given rights. I am only being consistant in my beliefs that power should not be centralized.

We all agree that haunted houses should be safe, we just have a different idea of what safe is.

mindtumor
04-26-2011, 09:42 AM
Dude you edited your post as I was answering your question. But anyway, I'm happy because he said that he would have had to shut down without a varience. Nothing is impossible, but there is a huge chance that moving my show to another location would bankrupt me, when in my opinion, and the opinion of my State legislaters, my State fire marshal, my local building official, and my local fire dept. my show is fine. I guess they are not as smart as you.
Yes, State law does allow me to operate without a sprinkler system. Nobody has to like it. It is what the people of Ohio have decided. Ohio also thinks that it is ok to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, and make sure you are sitting down.... They allow us to carry guns. You can even buy a machine gun in Ohio. Ohio also has some laws that I don't agree with, like the smoking ban, but they are our laws, they came from legislaters that I had an opportunity to vote for.

My point is, different states have different ideas of what is acceptable. They are populated by different people. If we were all lumped together as the United States, singular not plural, the only people who would have a say so are people in the most populated areas. The fate of the whole country would be determined by California and New York. I know that many would like that, but this country boy is an individual with individual God given rights. I am only being consistant in my beliefs that power should not be centralized.

We all agree that haunted houses should be safe, we just have a different idea of what safe is.

Where did I say I was smarter than the local officials? I said if you don't have to have them, whatever. Then in the second post I said good for you for not having to have them? Then I said its not impossible to be small and on a small budget to have a sprinker system. None of that was negative but hey if thats how you want to take that go ahead. Congrats on not having to wear a helmet and being able to carry a gun, too. I am glad you decided to share that with me.

I wonder if Larry can carry a gun, after all it all comes back to him right?

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 10:30 AM
The last thing that I want to do is to take this to a negative place. This issue is far more important than my personal feelings or yours for that matter. My comment about you being smarter than them was a response to the sarcasim that was obviously evident somewhere between your edited posts. Larry jumped into this conversation just as you and I did and is subject to scrutiny just as you and I are. Something about stones and a glass house, can't quite remember.
I think that Larry and I probably agree on more things than we disagree on. I have no desire to prove anyone wrong, I would rather lay out my case and possibly change a few minds on the subject. There is, as a matter of fact, much at stake.

I was reading somewhere, someone please help me out on this it is a good example. Anyway, I was reading that this guy had invented a table saw that could sense flesh and would automatically shut power to the blade if you got your fingers too close.
This guy is now lobbying congress to pass a law that all table saws must be equipped with his safety device. The good news is that this is a great invention, the bad news is that it could drive the cost of a table saw to over 1000 dollars.

There are 2 obvious positions that someone could take. #1 you can't put a price on safety, this device could save countless fingers.
#2 it's cost prohibitive, this will keep people from buying table saws.

My position is a little different and probably unpopular as well. I see a guy who is trying to use the system to advance his business. He stands to profit from regulation, just as many large business profit from regulation. I am disgusted that a law maker would even consider the idea that he can tell me what kind of saw that I can buy. (I'm sorry I have this dilusion that I am free) Now if the people of California or Cuba would like to pass this law and make it illegal to sell a Preban configured saw, I will bow out like a gentleman and think to myself damn, just another reason not to live there. However when that fight comes to my state, it's on. I will ademantly oppose any such legislation and I will do my best to reveal the motives of those involved.

as far as bringing up the motorcycle helmets and guns, the analagy fits and as a bonus, it pisses off control freaks. What's life if you can't have a little fun now and then.

mindtumor
04-26-2011, 11:08 AM
There was no sarcasm in the post I edited. It simply asked what state law in Ohio was, not the local law. There was nothing more to it then curiousity. It was asked because the original post was about Indiana and you started talking about Ohio. I was curious what the law was there. There was nothing more to it. When I am being sarcastic, it is blazingly obvious.

drfrightner
04-26-2011, 11:20 AM
Healthy debate, healthy conversation, lets keep it that way please. I have no angery towards anyone just debating the issue. I think and believe that whomever is allowing haunts to open in Indiana are not following building code rules and eventually it will catch up to you. You should plan to install a sprinkler system reguardless of if you slide by this year or not...

Put this into your budget because eventually someone will catch onto this, typically from someone who has one, and is upset you don't... they will rat you out and or make a big deal about it.

Bottom line is you should have one end of story, and that is really nothing you can defend or argue. Whether or not you think it doesn't stop smoke, it is a first step prevention device meant to put out a fire...yes? And you don't have one! And we both know you should. So I'm happy you get to open again, but make plans to install one because one of these days someone will realize you are breaking the rules set by the building code and make you get one. You need one.

To clarify... I do NOT think all haunts need one only if they are tent haunted houses, or very small attractions because you can install multiple exits and when I say multiple I mean as many as you need as many as you want. In an indoor building the cost to do so would be so much money you could install a sprinkler system.

Larry

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 01:16 PM
Ok, I'm glad that we can agree to keep this civil. Thank you for clarifying your position, Larry. It does help with a frame of reference, however, questions remain. I have laid out why i believe that a haunted house can safely operate without a sprinkler system, although I will concede that these cases are few and must meet strict criteria. I have also demonstrated how devistating this would be to small market haunts, and ultimately the industry as a whole.

If I am correct, you believe that tents and small haunts should be given a waiver. It would help if you would define small. I believe that my haunt, 4800 square feet is small by industry standards. You have also made it clear that you think that all haunts in buildings should aspire to achieve a sprinkler system. On this I also agree. There is some confusion on another statement that you made. You said that we both know that you should have a sprinkler system.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but you are making the statement that building haunts should in fact have sprinkler systems, and according to some on this forum, that means regardless of size.
I have learned quite a bit over the years, lurking on Hauntworld and watching the Hauntworld movies, so I do value your opinion. However you have not demonstrated any evidence or studies that support your claim that a sprinkler system in a small haunt will save lives. I personally just can't accept the idea that someone cannot reach that emergency exit that is less than 50 feet away, regardless of which way they go. If this is true, the more callous among us might refer to this as natural selection. Not that I would.

Is there any evidence at all? Being from "The Show Me State" you can appreciate.

I really hate to keep this going, but we are talking about what could be an extinction level event for small market haunts. You big guys can shrug it off as no big deal, but I won't. I will disclose that if I had to do it, I would probably be successful in finding a way, but most wouldn't this would easily wipe out the majority of haunts in my state.

drfrightner
04-26-2011, 01:45 PM
Mike,

Fact is MOST building have sprinkler systems. When I look for a location maybe I see one in ten buildings that do not have them. Almost any business these days for occupancy the building must have a sprinkler system so most buildings have them. I doubt we'll see mid level haunts disappear because of this issue because again most building already have them.

All indoor haunts should have a sprinkler system no exceptions.

Outdoor haunts especially ones in tents should get a waiver because you can create 20 exits lets say in a 40 x 100 tent just an example. In other words you make a turn or two and boom you are out of the tent. In a building you have to go through like 50% of the place to find a way out again should have a sprinkler end of story.

Now let me say if you are getting away without one you are flying in the face of the actual codes that your inspectors are suppose to follow... if they are allowing you to get away with it then I guess good for you. Double up the safety and make sure you do everything you can that no fire will erupt. However let me say I doubt you'll get away with it forever so plan to get one no matter what. One day they'll hit you with it and you'll be caught with your pants down... it will happen one day so just prepare yourself. Nothing wrong with looking into it and getting some bids.

Larry

Mike Goff
04-26-2011, 02:13 PM
Provide evidence that sprinkler systems in small haunts save lives and I swear that I will shut up. You have no idea what kind of buildings are available in my market. Why would law makers write a provision for a variance, if doing so undermines the code? (or flies in the face of it)



For God's sake, someone show me evidence. Who cares about opinion at this point, we have been discussing opinion for days. I'm tired of discussing what if's? I want to hear about a case that someone could not walk 50 feet to save their life.
If it happened, or if it is even remotely possible, someone tell me how. Even if you apply the what if's. What if they trip, and are left for dead? What if they are blind? What if my aunt had balls? Would that make her my uncle?

When has a case occured that they saved lives in a small haunt. Make a believer out of me, and I will shut up. I clearly stated all of the officials that have been in my building and see no problem, legally or moraly.

Please don't get lost in all that I have written, all but one of my questions are rhetorical, concentrate on the EVIDENCE.


Thank you,
Mike Evidence Goff

shawnc
04-26-2011, 05:01 PM
MOST buildings have sprinkler systems? Not where I live.

Interestingly, I live in California - The Regulation State. Not sure how it has slipped by that they haven't required retrofits on every building here yet.

Larry, the abundance of regulations do bring up a good point though. California was the first state you edited when updating your haunt lists. Was that because it took all of five minutes? It's pathetic that the largest state in the country by population seemingly has the lowest number of haunts (except for Rode Island maybe). Yes, safety is the most important thing. But when does it all become too much? Businesses of all types have left my state in droves, heading east, west, south and north, for friendlier locales.

And what's next? Have you seen the ornament fire extinguishers they make for Christmas trees? What's to say that soon fire inspectors won't require an individual automatic extinguisher for every prop, since they are the weak point in most haunts as far as fire-proofing? That will certainly make things safer, but when is it too much?

EDITED: I just checked the list and it looks like I sold Rhode Island short. My apologies to the many haunts there. So that officially make California pathetic place to do business.

drfrightner
04-26-2011, 10:00 PM
Couple things...

You talk about CA... did you know there are TWO STATES in America that MANDATE all new home construction require fire sprinkler systems? TWO STATES... Cali and PA, yes all new home constuction require them flat out. Yeah they are useless so much so that two states not only require them for commerical use but now homes not to mention hotels and down.

Secondly, and I'm just saying ANYONE and I mean ANYONE who thinks a sprinkler system in your haunt is a bad idea, or won't help save your customers is a FLAT OUT MORON IDIOT! PERIOD!

Now I'm not saying you are being required to have them, or you should go out and buy one, I'm simply saying if you think this won't help make your haunt safer, and or protect your customers and you simply the dumbest person in this business. It only makes me imagine just how unsafe your haunt really is that the one thing that can really make your haunt safe you think its useless or simply not needed, I wonder what else you think is not worth the time or effort. This would scare the hell out of me to even think about.

Lastly learn about Sprinkler systems here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_sprinkler_system

Couple things that stand out: They have been in use in the USA since 1852 the first ever built was in 1812 in the UK. Another important fact is they state the following: A commercial sprinkler system is designed to protect the structure and the occupants from a fire. Most residential sprinkler systems are primarily designed to suppress a fire in such a way to allow for the safe escape of the building occupants. While these systems will often also protect the structure from major fire damage, this is a secondary consideration.

Hmmm... protecting the structure is a secondary concern, first concern is to protect the people inside and help them escape.

HELLO... your haunted house is a MAZE and your customer dont' know how to get through and find an exit that easy, a fire could knock out all the lights, elights only help so much, and you think a sprinkler system won't help... HOLY COW!

Lastly, you are flat out wrong about most buildings not having sprinkler systems, almost every single building I've ever looked at had them, and I build attractions for living since 1994 and have installed over 200 attractions. NEVER ONCE did I install an attraction in a building that wasn't required by the government to have a sprinkler system. NO ONE! NOT ONE! If you are getting away with it you are getting away with MURDER... and once a fire does happen and you are hung from the highest tree by the media you'll know what I'm saying.

Larry

Boni
04-27-2011, 06:15 AM
This discussion is very interesting to me, but it has now sunk to name calling and insults.

Please move back into the realm of facts and legitimate information.

Something we need to be careful of is assuming that what we see in our world translates 100% into what others see in theirs. I know there were some assumptions in some of these arguments that do not hold true in my market.

But please keep rolling with good information and refrain from the name calling.

JamBam
04-27-2011, 07:17 AM
Larry, First of all, we agree that sprinklers are the ultimate for safety. There are ways to satisfy the concerns of the authorities at present that can be done without sprinklers. They make those decisions.

Your point that CA and PA are requiring new home construction to have sprinklers is being considered by many other states. What they are NOT doing is requiring every house already built to have them. It wouldn't happen. We have been in this building since 1998. It is part of a downtown block and there is no building in the whole downtown other than the new library and city hall that I know of that has sprinklers. And the city hall building was renovated completely ficve years ago and also houses the fire department.

I agree that any new haunts should have to be in sprinklered buildings. Requiring existing buildings to comply with new regulations of any kind is usually not done. Yes, the haunts are designed to confuse the patron and even staff can be confused by floorplans. That is why the exit rules, smoke alarms, emergency lighting, exit lights, etc are in the rules.

Finally, you have written a bunch of times that we and others are "getting away" with not following code. Here is where you, LARRY, are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. We comply with all rules and laws that Indiana has in place at the present time. The states do have the leeway for implementing wahtever codes they want by law. The state also has in place a variance process as I presume it is in every state that allows the governing authority to grant a variance to those rules and laws. The new regulation that the Indiana State Fire Marshall had announced he was going to implement was going to affect first all existing haunts, then was going to be implemented in four phases depending on when they started, in effect grandfathering those haunts. Now, he has announced that Indiana will hold off for 2011 and gather data. Yes, it may and probably will be put into effect at some point. If any grandfathering or variances are allowed is still up to the state.

Bottom line is that whatever the code is or becomes, if we can't comply to Indiana's requirements, then we won't be open. I won't try to get away with anything.

Mike Goff
04-27-2011, 08:20 AM
Or should I say that mandetory sprinkler laws can be dangerous. Here's how. There is a tipping point at which a buisiness cannot be profitable or even survive. I believe that there are many haunts that fly under the radar, because they just cant swing the money for installation of a system or the rent, on a building that already has a system. These types of haunts are the real death traps, because in an effort to remain incognito, they cut themselves off from the rest of the haunted industry and the very system that was designed to make them safe. They can't install a fire alarm without going through the same channels that would bust them for not having a sprinkler system. By remaining outside the proper channels of govt. they are oblivious to things that we all consider common sense safety measures. This phenomenon is know as an unintended consequence. We country folk are very familiar with unintended consequences, because we are constantly bombarded with large populated areas imposing their wills upon us. We see first hand what kind of havoc is reaped from their good intensions.
These underground haunts are illusive, but do exist. I kind of have reservations about exposing their existance. On one hand, they do need guidance, and I don't want anyone to get hurt. On the other hand, imagine if there were hard proof of bigfoot, he might be hunted to extinction. Argue all you want, they do exist for this very reason. (underground haunts, not bigfoot, the jury is still out on that one)

Another way that sprinklers can be dangerous is that it provides a false sense of security. I have witnessed this first hand in some very big haunted houses. I have seen them do things that I consider very dangerous.

What should be done about these underground haunts? I really wish that I had a good answer, but I won't pretend to. We could pull up the jack boots and run them out of business, or we can try to convey reason to our lawmakers and then invite these illusive creatures into the fold.

I do believe that sprinklers are a good thing, and when I can afford them, I will install a system regardless of requirement. It will be added insurance and peace of mind. I have been in search of a building that has a system, and believe it or not began negotiations on a 29,000 square foot building that has such a system. I am still waiting for a response to my last offer. I have not changed my mind that a small haunt can safely operate without a system, especially since no evidence or studies proving me wrong have been introduced whatsoever.

There are alot of intelligent educated people on this forum, surely someone can show me a study where someone could not successfully navigate their way through 50 feet of hallway. If the lack of response is out of fear of a swift and decisive rebuttal, I assure you, that I am only interested in the truth, and the facts. I feel like I am the one who has walked into the lions den, because it is quite probable that the majority of the participants on this forum do have sprinkler systems. If this were not so, they would probably want to remain low profile. I will concede the fact that a sprinkler system will more than likely put out a fire before the fire dept. arrives on scene. This will greatly minimize any risk to the firemen. It would only be fair to point out that a national 7pm cerfew would greatly reduce crime, therefore minimizing risk to police officers. It all comes down to what a society is willing to accept. How much freedom are you willing to give up in exchange for safety and security?

I am in a unique position, I can legally operate without a sprinkler system and can still relate to haunts who are not legal.

I have great admiration and respect for the haunt owners in large markets. They have taught me a great deal, I have taught them nothing. (I never got the chance) Because of this, I believe that I could move to a large market and give them a run for their money. I also believe that if they came to a small market, they would get their clocks cleaned by those who have mastered the art of making something out of nothing with limited resources.

My governor, my lawmakers, and my inspectors may all be idiots, there are times that I would agree, but they are Ohio's idiots, and as long as outsiders do not try to influence them, we have no problem whatsoever. Let's agree to disagree, like gentlemen.


One last point, since when is it a good thing to invoke California as an example to follow? Have you seen the state of their economy? Seriously?????

badass
04-27-2011, 08:33 AM
read your nfpa 13 which governs sprinklers and the international fire code ..
and of course local zoning codes....which is the law governing the issue

btw..

they all leave the final decision up to the authority having jurisdiction...

sooo the law could say you must have a sprinkler system in a building over a thousand square feet...

but your local inspector could say he wants one in a building less then that..or not at all...its his decision...

ours decided (2 years after all the permits ) that our water line which runs under the state route..needed to be a case bore...which cost a ton more..
and alot of other things which went beyond the scope of the fire code..and always added to the final cost..
but he was the authority having jurisdiction...
it is what it is

badass
04-27-2011, 08:38 AM
read your nfpa 13 which governs sprinklers and the international fire code ..
and of course local zoning codes....which is the law governing the issue

btw..

they all leave the final decision up to the authority having jurisdiction...

sooo the law could say you must have a sprinkler system in a building over a thousand square feet...

but your local inspector could say he wants one in a building less then that..or not at all...its his decision...

ours decided (2 years after all the permits ) that our water line which runs under the state route..needed to be a case bore...which cost a ton more..
and alot of other things which went beyond the scope of the fire code..and always added to the final cost..
but he was the authority having jurisdiction...
it is what it is

drfrightner
04-27-2011, 01:38 PM
Couple things to correct ya hear... no its not up to local authorities there is a few different national building code organizations that your city and or state adopts. Sometimes a smaller town or city might not adopt them because they do not have the manpower to enforce them. If your local town or state adobts say BOCA its like an association and all they do is update and change and write building code books for those who join to enforce. Most states especially throughout the midwest subscribe to BOCA. If your town or city has adopted BOCA it must be strickly enforced, but its up to the local inspectors to enforce. If they are NOT enforcing yeah you get away with murder.

I'm not saying that lots of haunts get away with 100 times more than say I would or Netherworld or the 100's of other haunts I'm merely saying your inspector at ANY TIME can walk into your place and say BOOM you are DONE! You don't comply with BOCA codes and until you do your doors are shut.

THIS WILL HAPPEN it happened to Spookyworld, it happened to my first haunt, (put in a sprinkler or don't open) end of story.

So you can go on dreaming that its not a MUST HAVE for your haunted house, you can go on dreaming no one will ever demand you install one but you are again just dreaming.

If you can go out and buy a ton of props for your haunt, while ignoring a sprinkler system, that is sad. Haunts can burn... look at Talon Falls yes no one got hurt but don't you think he wishes up and down his place didn't burn down. He lost everything, true his place burnt outside, but man OUTSIDE and it burned down, you are INSIDE...

Six Flags fire burned down and several people DEAD! That nightclub that burnt to the ground no sprinkler system 100 people DEAD.

It can happen to you... again if anyone thinks they don't need one, they are an indoor haunt, and or a sprinkler system is worthless. In the words of Mr Bedroom intruder ' you are so dumb, for real!'. Don't say later 'I wish someone would have said something to me...'.

LOL

Larry


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMtZfW2z9dw

Mike Goff
04-27-2011, 03:39 PM
I'm not quite sure if this train has much forward momentum left, but either way, It's time for me to jump. It seems that we have accomplished nothing, we cannot even agree to disagree. There is only so much of dumb, stupid, and idiot that I will listen to without tossing my manners to the wind. I am in no way running from this conversation, I just think that if it is to continue, it should be face to face. I'm the short guy that will be wearing a Scare Fair shirt. I'll be at Hauntcon, Midwest, and Transworld, if anyone would like to continue, perhaps then we can maintain civility, or perhaps not.

I have no doubt that the day will come that all of us will be required to have a sprinkler system, I also believe that we will no longer be able to accept cash, and that we will not be able to open our doors without the approval of our benevolent masters.

It really is amazing how far we have come. I am constantly reminded of this due to the generation gap between myself and my parents. Last summer, I was due to fire treat my haunted house, when my father inlaw asked me what I was doing. The conversation eventually led to the cost, and other things like the fire alarm. When he asked me why I was spending all of this money to do something that no one could see, I told him that it was to make the place safer, to keep it from burning down, with people inside. In a very disgusted tone he said to me, "You mean to tell me that if this place catches on fire, that people aren't smart enough to find thier way out? You've got doors everywhere!" I tried to explain to him that it was much better to be safe than sorry, and that it kept the State and local inspectors off of my back. His exact words were, "Why don't you grow a pair, and tell them to kiss your ass?"

I am not saying that I agree with him, because I really don't want to continue this ridiculous, go no where conversation, but it really dawned on me how much things have changed. My fathers generation was bold and independent. His fathers generation was probably more so. Our generation wimpers and cowers at the thought of the media.

I'm done now Larry, so go ahead and get the last word.

annarchy
04-27-2011, 04:51 PM
I spoke for the MI Fire Inspectors Conference a few years ago and have opend my doors numerous times for inspectors (50+) to visit, tour, and have a Q & A session. It appeared to me that many inspectors didn't really know what to look for or what exactly to enforce. Correct me if I'm wrong here....but I remember haunted houses run by non-profits that were in, well, houses. Well before all the regulations (which I approve, mind you). Fast forward 30+years, now we have a growing industry, gaining momentum each year, and as a result (like many other industries) many ppl jumping in to the game. We do not fall into one specific BOCA code: public assembly? entertainment? or what? Some of my local inspectors in my surrounding region, have suggested that I (we) write a code for all haunts to follow. Anyone interested???
In my opinion, if you and the inspector do it right from the beginning, you would: FIRST locate a building that has a sprinkler system AND invite the inspector in with you before signing a lease or sale agreement.
For you guys that keep arguing your point of NOT having a system...I'm empathetic to your situation and can only imagine the cost that could be incurred to add it now. Perhaps you search out a building that has a system and move. Passionate haunters about their haunts should also be passionate about the industry as a whole. If so, I believe you would see the "potential" media damage that could be caused to FELLOW haunters in the event something bad happens within your attraction, especially without a sprinkler system. I feel that those of you defending your stand on 'no systems' are being self-centered and not thinking outside yourselves rather than what's best for the industry itself.
So...how about writing a national code??

drfrightner
04-27-2011, 05:13 PM
Mike,

Look and yeah I'm going to say something else because this is a SERIOUS issue... and I'll say it again DUMB! Anyone who thinks a sprinkler system is worthless or needs proof they would help save a life is an IDIOT I dont' care who you are. If we took a poll here and polled people who own haunts, if we polled people who work as a fire fighter, or people who had a loved one who died in the Six Flags fire or the nightclub fire, and ask them what they would do right now if someone made those groups have a fire sprinkler system, what do you think they would say.

I'm asking you... so tell me?

Lastly, I'm not calling YOU dumb, I'm not calling you an idiot, I'm saying ANYONE who thinks they shouldn't have one in an indoor haunted house with only 2 or 3 exits is putting themselves, their customers, and the whole entire industry at RISK, and I'll say its DUMB, STUPID, or whatever 1000 more times... and I'll get an army of owners to back me up on that.

Lastly, I have stated facts, I've set the record straight now 5 million times here, I've given you links to information, quoted things, you can go to the BOCA website, NFPA website you can do whatever you want... you can go and check your local building codes, look them up. DId your town adopt BOCA? Did you know that they might have adopted BOCA but haven't adopted the latest versions, they might still be using 1995 rather than 2008 or 2011 or whatever.

There are a lot of issues out there... but I'm going to say flat out 110% that the rules MOST haunts operate by require them to have a sprinkler system in an indoor building, and when I say MOST I MEAN ALMOST ALL!

So if you think you should be the exception or that guy should be the exception or there could be an exception when across the country people are made to do this its for a reason but just because it sounds fun to do so what do you think that reason is? ... I guess for you or someone else you are the exceptions because you are doing more than the rest of us. NO YOU ARE NOT... no I can't agree to disagree because you are wrong!

This isn't an issue like what is better google or yahoo what is better radio or tv, this is life or death.

There is no agree to disagree you do everything you can to be a responsible haunt owner operator and do everything you can to make your haunted house as safe as possible... not having or think you don't need a sprinkler system is WRONG! DEAD WRONG with NO PUN intended.

Larry

PS: I'm not calling ANYONE on these forums or ANY haunt owner dumb or anything else... I'm stating a FACT if you think your haunt doesn't need a sprinkler system that it wouldn't be worth a dime to improve your haunts safety ... that is dumb without question. Now if you are one of those haunts who realize yeah it would make my haunt safer, you realize that but you could just never afford one, and right now you are doing everything you can to make your haunt safe and your local inspector allows that... no you are not dumb. However the people who would sit here and say they would not make your haunt safer, or they wouldn't save a life, or whatever ... OMG silly behond anything I've ever heard. That is what I'm saying, not calling ANYONE on here dumb.

drfrightner
04-27-2011, 05:47 PM
Resources:

http://www.iccsafe.org/GR/Pages/adoptions.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Building_Code

http://www.standard-building-code.com/boca-codes.shtml (buy a copy of the book) (look up special amusement / haunted houses)

http://www.nfpa.org/itemdetailjournal.asp?categoryID=1506&itemID=36230 (article about haunted houes which states the following rules for haunted houses) (what does it say about a haunted house and sprinkler systems... read on) No bully tactics just facts! You wanted facts here they are ... clear as day.

patrons an additional tool to assist them in finding their way out under emergency conditions.
Special amusement buildings
Chapter 12 Section 12.4.7 and Chapter 13, Section 13.4.7 are identical, deal with the life-safety requirements for Special Amusement Buildings, and state the following:

12/13.4.7.1* General. Special amusement buildings, regardless of occupant load, shall meet the requirements for assembly occupancies in addition to the requirements of 12/13.4.7, unless the special amusement building is a multilevel play structure that is not more than 10 feet (3,050 millimeters) in height and has aggregate horizontal projections not exceeding 160 feet2 (15 meters2).

12/13.4.7.2* Automatic Sprinklers. Every special amusement building, other than buildings or structures not exceeding 10 feet (3,050 millimeters) in height and not exceeding 160 feet2 (15 meters2) in aggregate horizontal projection, shall be protected throughout by an approved, supervised automatic sprinkler system installed and maintained in accordance with Section 9.7.

12/13.4.7.3 Temporary Water Supply. Where the special amusement building required to be sprinklered by 12/13.4.7.2 is movable or portable, the sprinkler water supply shall be permitted to be provided by an approved temporary means.

12/13.4.7.4 Smoke Detection. Where the nature of the special amusement building is such that it operates in reduced lighting levels, the building shall be protected throughout by an approved automatic smoke detection system in accordance with Section 9.6.

12/13.4.7.5 Alarm Initiation. Actuation of any smoke detection system device shall sound an alarm at a constantly attended location on the premises.

12/13.4.7.6 Illumination. Actuation of the automatic sprinkler system, or any other suppression system, or actuation of a smoke detection system having an approved verification or cross-zoning operation capability shall provide for the following:
(1) Increase in illumination in the means of egress to that required by Section 7.8
(2) Termination of any conflicting or confusing sounds and visuals
12/13.4.7.7 Exit Marking.
12/13.4.7.7.1 Exit marking shall be in accordance with Section 7.10.
12/13.4.7.7.2 Floor proximity exit signs shall be provided in accordance with 7.10.1.6.
12/13.4.7.7.3* In special amusement buildings where mazes, mirrors, or other designs are used to confound the egress path, approved directional exit marking that becomes apparent in an emergency shall be provided.
12/13.4.7.8 Interior Finish. Interior wall and ceiling finish materials complying with Section 10.2 shall be A throughout.

Mike Goff
04-27-2011, 08:03 PM
After quite some time on the phone with Larry, I believe that we are now on the same terms. Larry has shown me a way to install a sprinkler system that will not bankrupt me. The last time that I got a quote from a sprinkler company we were talking in the range of $160,000. I have invested 13 years, and my life's savings into my show, walking away was not an option. $160,000 is not something that I have on hand, or could even borrow at this point. It was cost prohibitive for me a small business. That has been my point all along. You just can't spend money that you don't have. I still think that a small haunt can operate safely without a system, but now that I know I can afford one, I will do it for that added protection.

To me, it was a shocking revelation to find out that I can have a compliant sprinkler system without being ass raped. With the exception of discussing an intrusive government, I wish that I had been given this information sooner. This is the proper way to continue this discussion. I would like to hear more about cost saving ways to install a sprinkler. those of you who know, please share.

For years, all that I have heard from the Haunted community is get a sprinkler, get a sprinkler. So what do I do, I get quotes, ass raping quotes. I have never had anyone explain to me, how to go about it. Thank you Larry, in spite of the fact that a few hours ago, I thought you were a douche bag. You have done what no one else has ever offered. You actually gave me usable information.

As far as me not caring about the industry, I do, this is why I fiercely defend small market haunts, even at the risk of excommunication from the rest of the industry. I have been accused of being too individual. Hell yes I am an individual, with individual rights.


The only other issue that I have is this. I hear time and time again, You can't put a price on safety. I could not disagree more. Safety is extremely important, but when the price of safety is freedom, the price is too high. Freedom has been bought with blood. So please find another way to phrase the importance of safety. It may sound petty, but to this former marine, it is heart wrenching and disgusting at the same time.

mindtumor
04-28-2011, 07:09 AM
Mike,


Did you know that they might have adopted BOCA but haven't adopted the latest versions, they might still be using 1995 rather than 2008 or 2011 or whatever.

.

This is very true and I can personally say it happened to me. Wrong code book was being looked at by an inspector because someone borrowed the updated one without informing him. Luckily, he caught the mistake quick enough and got with me immediately.

mindtumor
04-28-2011, 07:15 AM
[QUOTE=Mike Goff;117466]
For years, all that I have heard from the Haunted community is get a sprinkler, get a sprinkler. So what do I do, I get quotes, ass raping quotes. I have never had anyone explain to me, how to go about it. Thank you Larry, in spite of the fact that a few hours ago, I thought you were a douche bag. You have done what no one else has ever offered. You actually gave me usable information.

[/QUOTE

Some people around here don't like to hear it, but Larry is very helpful and friendly when you talk to him. Its easy to figure that out when you talk to him personally.

badass
04-28-2011, 09:58 AM
heres an interesting story which applies..


my wife n i walked out of our home
to go somewhere
once my wife n i were in our car
i said i wanted to make a quick sandwich..
and went back inside..
our dryer belt had caught fire..
and our home..(which we had just walked out of and everything was fine) was engulfed in smoke..
soon as the first smoke hits your lungs...Blam its over
you cant see or breath..

just an fyi..

our city has adopted ifc and boca
and we r sprinklered
btw
our authority having jurisdiction
has made us apply to lotsa of their own views about nfpa codes
and has made us do more then required
i remember talking to Larry about it ..

btw
when you r the one who cant breath or see and r crawling looking for the way out..
hopefully u see the light

mindtumor
04-28-2011, 10:18 AM
Good point, and that is definately something to think about. Good story to directly apply to the conversation. Hopefully, your house was ok.

JamBam
04-28-2011, 10:40 AM
This thread was started because I was relieved that the Indiana Fire Marshall rescinded the implementation of adopting sprinkler rules for all haunts irregardless of any grandfathering for the 2011 season. They are going to get more info. The "glee" was not in getting out of being safe, but rather not having to possibly shut down or move because of it. Safety has become a priority with me as with the rest of the industry. I have been in haunting 25 years and have seen great improvements in everything. The regulations have changed because of incidents in 1973, 1984 at haunts and 2000 at a nightclub.

The comments have indeed been great discussion on an issue that we all find controversial, not only in what is needed, but in dealing with the authorities. The associations have been split internally on whether to take the top off the potentially pandoras box and address the issue with state and national authorities. In my state I feel that it is time to have discussions between the haunt operators and the state fire marshall. Most other industries have spokemen, advocates, lobbyists, and experts weigh in on their own fate and it is time to do that in our state.

I think everyone agrees that sprinklers are at the top of the preferred list of items, followed by smoke/fire alarms. The state and local authorities make the final decision on what is mandatory and optional.

The haunt operators that work within the rules, laws, and standards will pay a steep price if someone gets hurt. I feel that it will not from those like us, but the new, inexperienced, or get rich quick schemers. Indiana's Fire Marshall put out an article last year for the public to check the permit of haunts before they enter and to report those without permits. We need to do the same if a permit is not known. Maybe we should have to put our permit number in our advertising like the gaming events. Bottom line is that we all have to help keep the industry safe or it will not be good.

drfrightner
04-28-2011, 12:09 PM
I really like the comments here... and the discussion and its nothing person I don't think against anyone.

Couple things though... I'm always trying to be helpful my comments I make are intended to help. A lot of times you read posts back and forth and you just never know what someone is really saying... you can always pick up a phone and call me 314 504 3970.

If or when I feel like I've said something and someone clearly doesn't understand my intent and or I think I've offended someone I'll pick up a phone and call them and explain. It was nice talking to Mike and I'm glad I was able to explain about how to get a sprinkler system. I've learned a lot from installing over 200 plus attractions and dealing with all sorts of different inspectors.

Let me just say in response to Mikes comments about defending 'small market haunts'...

Guess what Mike... we are ALL SMALL market haunts, or should I say small business owners and operators and all of us have to abide by whatever our local inspectors want us to do. No matter how big your haunt is we are still all small fish in a big pond. I have to deal with all sorts of things myself, and as I explained to you the first year we opened darkness in the new building these guys kept adding stuff everytime my eyes opened and wouldn't let us open for the first 3 weeks we advertised. We opened THREE weeks late... I got sick of it and I was mad and at the end of the rope.

I had to go all the way to the top to resolve the issues... it was all because of some stupid article stating 'HAUNTED HOUSE BURNS DOWN' when all it was was a vacant building that a charity haunt had used the year before. There was NO haunt inside, it was august but the media just ran with the idea... next thing you know all the news outlets want to do safety stories on haunts driving our local inspectors crazy so they put the screws to me.

It was totally unfair... it cost me something like $80,000 MORE to open than expected.

One stupid story... now understand why I say one fire in a haunt that doesn't have a sprinkler system what they could do to ALL OF US!

I don't want to imagine it! I really don't!

Larry

Spikerip
05-04-2011, 11:31 AM
We're looking for a new location for our haunt. We started with a list of 16 potential locations and quickly eliminated 14 of them because they didn't have sprinklers. Since we know they are required, there isn't any reason for us not to move into a location without them.

I'm currently tracking down a supplier that carries individual units that mount to the ceiling and disperse a chemical instead of water. This way we would avoid running water lines throughout the building. I'm trying to get them to take a booth at MHC. I could consider many more locations if we were able to install this type of a system.

At our last building we had a sprinkler system and 18 chemical fire extinguishers and the FM still made us purchase 4 water pressure extinguishers. I told him that if we had a fire; we wouldn't be attempting to put it out; instead we would be getting everyone out of the damn building and let the fire dept put out the fire. We were in the middle of two fire stations, both within 5 minutes of our building.

For those with an existing building without sprinklers; I understand you feelings. Getting everyone out should be priority #1. Proper training and hold fire drills often to ensure everyone's safety. It's a shame our government feels they need to get involved in every aspect of our lives. I'm sure glad I don't live in CA.

Spike

JamBam
02-22-2012, 01:05 PM
I have a meeting set up with the state fire marshal and dir of building enforcement on March 13 to talk about fire code and regulations.

Trying to get the word out to Indiana haunts to contact me if interested in participating? There is limited space at the first meeting and I need to tell them how many are coming a few days ahead.

We intend on getting a solid relationship built between haunt owners and the fire marshals office. Brett 260-437-5598 brettmolitor@yahoo.com

Thanks,

Brett