I know it’s supposed to be Fixed-it Friday but since it’s also Halloween I couldn’t resist writing about haunted houses. Fixed-it Friday will be back next week!
Last weekend our church had a Halloween party with a haunted house for the kids. Because (as Popeye always said) “I yam what I yam,” I wondered about the egress plans if there was an emergency. Maybe a maze made of cardboard and sheets with no open flames in a church basement for 3 hours with lots of adult supervision isn’t a huge concern, but haunted houses have become big business. I get scared just looking at this list on The Raven and Black Cat blog, which includes this line…The haunted houses on our list cater to adult audiences and involve waivers, extreme physical contact, safe words, abduction, violence, nudity and electric shock. EEK!
Earlier this week I ran across an interesting series of videos on a tragedy that occured 30 years ago, in the Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure. Eight teenagers were killed in that fire. A main focus area during the investigation was whether a sprinkler system would have prevented these fatalities, but there were egress issues that had a major impact on the occupants’ ability to escape. The video segments are on Youtube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. NFPA Journal ran a story about the Haunted Castle earlier this year, which is available here.
The good news is that many code officials are focused on these special amusement buildings, and jurisdictions often have their own requirements in addition to those now included in the codes. I wrote about some of those requirements in another Halloween post, available here, and there are some photos from a special amusements building on this post called Wreckreation. If you missed last year’s Halloween post on Specifying Zombie-Resistant Door Openings, it remains one of my most-read posts of all time!
And just for fun, I watched one of Ellen’s annual videos of her staff going through a haunted house, and noticed many marked exits along the route. Great job, Universal Studios!