Prevent a Nightmare: Haunted Houses on Safety Street
BY CHRISTINE TORRES
Published October 18, 2017
DuraLabel stock is used in warehouses and industrial zones, but here’s one place you never saw coming … unhallowed grounds where demented creatures delight - haunted houses! Meticulous planning at the beginning stages of design takes a lot into consideration, and safety is on the list. Let Graphic Products help provide you with the safety solutions you need in your haunted house without hindering those creepy, creative vibes.
Enter If You Dare
Nobody really expects to be completely safe in a haunted house; but safety is a primary concern for the people trying to scare those who dare to enter. Drafting your plans for a haunted house starts from the ground, or body burial site, up.
Brett Bertolino is director of operations at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site’s popular haunted house attractions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eastern State has vaulted, sky-lit cells that once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including "Slick Willie" Sutton and "Scarface" Al Capone. There are six houses, all which rank among the top haunted attractions in the nation, and Bertolino says safety starts at the beginning with conveying the rules to guests. “We really start in the parking lot. We look at issues from the time they come to the parking lot to the time they leave.”
Parking lot signage, he said, focuses on what cannot be permitted or allowed in the buildings. Once inside the haunted houses, groups of guests are taken to a “batching room” of at least 50 people at a time for further rule explanations as well as what people can expect. “We realize that people learn in different ways,” Bertolino said. A staff member explains the rules, a character acts out the rules and the rules are written behind them on signage. Bertolino and his staff are looking into laminated sheets of the rules in different languages as well.
Whatever your haunted house theme, use creative and fun signs that can add to your message. Use large sign printing stock to produce signs to warn a guest as they enter a zombie feeding area or to beware of Frankenstein crossings. For added safety in your haunted hood, make a sign to warn drivers to watch out for children.
Watch Your Step
Floor marking that is durable and multifunctional is essential in the grandest attractions for optimal wayfinding. A variety of colors and materials can help in situations such as to communicate to employees dressed as evil clowns down a path or direct them where to stand for optimal scaring tactics. Floor markings can also keep workers on a boundary to protect themselves from a jumpy, thrill-seeking guest. We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of scared people behaving oddly. Versatile wayfinding materials for intentionally poorly lit areas are also effective for safety, should an emergency occur, to help employees and guests know what line to follow for a fire exit, to mark paths to emergency kits and more.
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While frightening patrons is the goal of any worthwhile haunted house, the fear of falling down a flight of stairs isn’t typically on the list of spooky effects. Fortunately, glow-in-the-dark, reflective or anti-slip floor marking tapes can help keep the soon-to-be-frightened keep their footing without losing the haunted ambiance.
“We use the grip type tape on steps and ramps. We only really use glow tape on a step that a visitor wouldn’t see” (for example, in a stair area an employee would access) so as to keep the integrity of the spooky environment, Bertolino said. After all, it is a historic penitentiary.
Glow in the dark tape can be used for dependable luminescence and safety, but it can also add a scary vibe to a more kid-friendly haunted house. For the safety of the sweaty guest wobbly with fear, line stairs, ramps, handrails, and other slippery areas with anti-slip glow tape for added grip and foot traction.
Jump at the Opportunity for Safety
Let us be your ghoulish guide for all your haunted house safety needs. Graphic Products has been providing safety and visual communication solutions since 1970. Our company is home of DuraLabel - the global leader in industrial label and sign printers. Our PathFinder brand offers a suite of floor marking, wayfinding, and safety tapes for limitless creativity and safety solutions.