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asanve
10-22-2008, 10:46 AM
When running a home haunt, is there any general set of guidelines that will help ensure that you won't get closed down by the fire department or city, or in any other kind of trouble? For example, do all electrical items need to be on surge protector power strips? Do we need to have fire extinguishers in various locations throughout the house? What about extra insurance of some sort? Any input will be very much appreciated. We live in the sue-happy state of California so I don't know if different rules apply in different states.

craigsrobotics
10-22-2008, 11:21 AM
on your local government...some require documents on fire-retardant materials used in your haunt, and require that all props and materials be fire-retardant, a floor plan layout, fire extinguishers every so many feet, no trip/fall hazards, emergency exits clearly posted, graded walkways (i.e. no slopes or uneven footing)...some require temporary permits to operate, and inspections by local fire department and electrical inspections for temporary installations. Again, it depends on your local government. I'd check with the local court house to obtain documentation on temporary structure requirements for entertainment purposes.

Oh, and be prepared to deal with unruley patrons on your property (post signs and warnings and "at your own risk" explanations)...and be prepared to deal with pissed off neighbors...watch out for noise ordinances, and hire a police officer for security. I'd go as far as talking to your immediate neighbors to see if they object (parking will also be a nightmare in front of peoples' houses)....You want to also check with your homeowners insurance company to see if that type of event is covered, otherwise, you may be looking at dealing with a hefty lawsuit if someone gets hurt on your property...it's a big financial risk to allow strangers on your property.

UnDeRTaKer313
10-22-2008, 12:47 PM
WHATEVER YOU DO DONT get a complaint from a neighbor to the city.
what you should do is go around and tell every neighor what you are doing and ask for there coroperation. This will ensure that the haunt will not get the zoning and building inspectors attention.
just make sure that if you talk to any building inspectors, insurance, fire or zoning down play the whole thing. Ensure them that it is just decoratio and that it will be down right after halloween and that it is just for close friends and neighbors.

also if you know you got a inspector coming take down all of the plastic anything that could represent a roof.

i ran into more problems than you could possibly imagine but we got through them all

asanve
10-22-2008, 08:50 PM
WHATEVER YOU DO DONT get a complaint from a neighbor to the city.
what you should do is go around and tell every neighor what you are doing and ask for there coroperation. This will ensure that the haunt will not get the zoning and building inspectors attention.
just make sure that if you talk to any building inspectors, insurance, fire or zoning down play the whole thing. Ensure them that it is just decoratio and that it will be down right after halloween and that it is just for close friends and neighbors.

also if you know you got a inspector coming take down all of the plastic anything that could represent a roof.

i ran into more problems than you could possibly imagine but we got through them all

Thanks for the input. The neighbors are cool--we only have 5 houses on our street and were on 1-1/4 acre lots each so there is plenty of room between all of us. They know it goes on and some even come visit. What is the deal with plastic that you're talking about? Any particular kinds of plastic or just how you are using plastic? Can you be more specific please? Thanks.

gregsalyers
10-22-2008, 09:10 PM
Some cities are just cool about it. Mine stopped doing thier annual haunted house and started supporting mine...(I didn't even ask) They are even providing police for crowd control

UnDeRTaKer313
10-23-2008, 05:02 AM
all the plastic sheeting and tarps and stuff just use it sparingling
and dont use any kind of roof!

craigsrobotics
10-23-2008, 09:20 AM
I wouldn't try to "spoof" the haunt to avoid authorities...man, if someone gets hurt on your property, you could lose it all, buddy. Do it correctly, do it legally, or it will bite you in the azz eventually...all it takes is one person to drop a dime on you, one person to get hurt, or a have a fight break out and the cops show up, and you're screwed if you don't have the proper paperwork or permits. You may want to consider donating a portion of proceeds to a local church or charity. That always helps!! As for the black plastic sheeting, you can buy the fire-retardant type from Home Depot, or buy fire retardant spray and coat the sheeting. Don't cut corners for safety's sake!!!