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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I couldn't figure out where to post this so I apologize if this is in the wrong category. I'm researching places for my first pro haunt and have done my homework on the fire code aspect including talking to the fire marshall. However when searching the real estate agent mentioned that I would need to find a place that is wheelchair accessible.

I don't think my haunt would really be wheel chair accessible because it required ducking and such, so my question is what do other pro haunts do to bypass this requirement or law? I'm not trying to discriminate, however I couldn't imagine that every single business out there is wheel chair friendly. What have other pro haunts encountered in their state?
 

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Up here it is different from county to county, the last haunt i worked at was accesable. Wheel chair ramps up to the different attraction and hallways were no less then 4' wide and doorways were no less than 36".

That haunt had 3 attractions and only one wasn't accesable becuase it was a pitch black maze.
 

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The haunt I am working now in a different county is not accesable, it could be but someof the passage ways get to tight. I didnt design it so I hope there are no problems come inspection time. In some places the fire marshal wants the hallways to be a certain dimension so that if there is a problem they can get in and out, otherwise I have heard a story or two about a haunt that got serverly damaged when the fire department got out there axes to gain better access to a victim they were assisting on a rescue call.
 

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I have run into this problem as well, My problem is that my haunt sets at the bottom of 2 stairwells. And we were told we would have to make it handicap accessible. I did not want to create a ramp for this purpose,so we were instructed we would have to find a way to do this. I employ some big boys for my haunt, and I am no sissy at 6' 1" weighing in at 260. And I am the shortest one there,bigger is always better. we carried the patrons to the basement,with their chairs. And they wheeled their way through it. We have incorporated a very strict no fire policy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can't imagine temp haunts need to worry about this?
That's what I thought too. The fire marshall said they don't require it, but the ADA might.

Up here it is different from county to county, the last haunt i worked at was accesable. Wheel chair ramps up to the different attraction and hallways were no less then 4' wide and doorways were no less than 36".

That haunt had 3 attractions and only one wasn't accesable becuase it was a pitch black maze.
There will be pitch black sections in mine.

The haunt I am working now in a different county is not accesable, it could be but someof the passage ways get to tight. I didnt design it so I hope there are no problems come inspection time. In some places the fire marshal wants the hallways to be a certain dimension so that if there is a problem they can get in and out, otherwise I have heard a story or two about a haunt that got serverly damaged when the fire department got out there axes to gain better access to a victim they were assisting on a rescue call.
Yeah my fire marshall require certain widths and heights but they don't require me to make it wheelchair accessible.

I have run into this problem as well, My problem is that my haunt sets at the bottom of 2 stairwells. And we were told we would have to make it handicap accessible. I did not want to create a ramp for this purpose,so we were instructed we would have to find a way to do this. I employ some big boys for my haunt, and I am no sissy at 6' 1" weighing in at 260. And I am the shortest one there,bigger is always better. we carried the patrons to the basement,with their chairs. And they wheeled their way through it. We have incorporated a very strict no fire policy.
Yeah a building I'm looking at has no ramp and one set of stairs. ^btw you are some big boys! I bet you guys scare the life out of some people! :eek:
 

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I would make the haunt as ADA compliant as possible, if you are charging money to get in, then all it will take is the first person complaining and the potential law suits would be a whole lot more than you would make from the haunt.
Making the haunt accessable to all means more money for you, and much better press coverage for the haunt. Even with a dark maze, if you can get a wheelchair through it then it's up to the customer to decide whether or not to go for it.
 

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Also if you are in a basement try to make sure that you have one entrance and one exit.
We actually got by with what we are doing only because the stairway to our haunt is over 8ft wide, so the patrons can go either way on the staircase. we just have to make sure the stairway is clear of all debris, which of course is a given in any haunt. And we had to make sure the exit sign was well lit. And visible from 50 feet. We also had to install handrails on both sides of the staircase,and make sure that both ends of the rails
were turned into the walls at a 45 degree angle.
 

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My recommendation is to do everything you can to comply with ADA, even if you don't have to.
You'll find if you get just one disabled person to come and visit it will be worth the effort.
I'll second that Jeff. Mine is always handicapped accessible. I recall one year a woman in a wheel chair came by with 9 little girls and asked if they could go through without her since she was in the chair. I looked her in the eye and said "absolutely not, you're going through also". Greatest feeling in the world seeing that woman smile.
 

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This thread has been helpful in my research. In our lovely state most of the local haunted houses were shut down even a small one at a pumpkin patch and temporary ones because of fire codes and such. So now the nearest one is a few hours away. My goal is to eventually have a local haunt. I know it may take another year or two but I am patient
 

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Black rose it is always best to go to your local fire chief and get the do's and don't from
him. That way you can comply to the best of your ability,and if you buy anything that says it is fireproof,(ALWAYS !!!!!!!!!!!) retain the original packaging,they will ask you for the proof. Best to do it right the first time,because tearing it all down and redoing is absolutely no fun. Have learned this from personal experience............
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Good stuff to know. I found a place that has no ramp in the front but has a very long ramp in the back where the loading dock is. I think this would be a good start for a handicap access for wheelchairs. It also has a bathroom with railing and such around it that is quite wide so I'm hoping this would be sufficient. The front is only stair access going up however.

I definitely want to do anything I can to assist those that are handicapped. I just don't understand how it is entirely possible if I incorporate things like a claustrophobia room? A wheel chair would rip the material like nothing. Do you just shut off that portion of the house in the instance someone with a wheelchair comes in?

Tattman98...if you don't mind me asking what things did they make you tear down for? Was it only because of the lack of fireproofing evidence from packaging? Did anything else get brought up by them as a negative thing? I just want to make sure I can soak up all the information possible before I build.

I will be charging for entrance so I want to make sure everything is done the right way.
 

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With bars in the bathroom, you would think there should be a ramp in the front.

With a claustrophobic room, creat another path that would bypass the room, or that portion. When we were at Busch Gardens, they had a seperate path in areas that a wheelchair would not go, and an assistant to inform them. Unfortunately, some scenes had to be missed. But, our wheelchair was accessible to all the haunts.
 

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Actually Abundant meat,that was the first year we did anything like that for the public.
And we did not contact the proper authorities before we set up. They came down and inspected us,and found we did not use fireproof plastic. So we had to tear all the plastic down purchase fireproof plastic and basically start all over. It was an expensive lesson to learn,but we did and have been haunting for many years now. We now have one of the safest Moose basements in the area. We have installed new hand railings,rewired most of the basement so that it was up to code,had all fire extinguishers replaced or recharged.
And even applied a no slip strip to the stairs going down to the haunt. And if we use any cardboard or material that is not fireproof we spray it down with a fire retardant spray,that cost us about 70.00 dollars a gallon. but it will go a long way if used correctly. Since that first year we keep learning to keep up with the codes in our area.
It might be kind of a PITA, but we have learned to cooperate with our local fire chief and building inspector. They are only doing their job to keep the public safe.
 
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