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Discussion Starter #1
We're gearing up to do a walk through our garage this year and one thing that keeps gnawing at me is the liability.

Lighting will be moderate (not too dark but enough to set the scene with black lights and LED spot lights). I'm going to put reflective tape on floor for walk path.

We're going to only let small groups in at a time and I'm even considering trailing them as an usher with an usher like flashlight. The entry and exit points will be illuminated, and I'm even wondering about having a panic button with X10 to turn on all garage lights.

I was going to have a recording playing at entrance where people queue up for haunt rules and have a scary sign with the typical 'enter at your own risk' verbiage.

I feel like some of this is over the top but given our society, some of it seems to be a necessity.

What are some other things you've done for your haunt?
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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Safety first, scare second. I remove the hazards or create barriers between the ToTs and the hazards. All those signs and warnings are irrelevant if someone gets hurt because you were negligent.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree in that I'll be looking to minimize ways someone can get hurt/injured, but sometimes if feels like you're just negligent for even hosting the event given the way some people are.
 

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Yep, you are feeling the same as I have all these years. You are taking a risk and you never know if one day your luck is going to run out. To make you feel better I've had a walk-through haunt for the last 6 years with an average of 400 ToTs going through a year and not one incident. BUT, was terrified that one year IT would happen and that would probably suck the fun out of it complety foerever. I will not lie here - now that I've 'retired' from home haunting it is a relief not to have this particular worry any more. If you want to do this it is good (as it sounds like you are) to know clear-eyed what you are getting into. There are some things that can help ease the worry.

Like Scatterbrains says: safety first. Plan everything in mind of keeping the ToTs safe and limiting areas where a sue-happy person might take advantage. We posted before the entrance a few signs saying that they are being video taped for a family YouTube video. That also tells Yahoo's that there will be taped evidence also. Had four cameras in different parts of the haunt. Never had to 'roll' tape but was nice to have it in case it was needed.

Check with your homeowners insurance to see that you are covered. There was a bit of back and forth with mine but in the end they did state I was covered as long as I follow a few rules. 1) Don't advertise 2) No donations/money asked and 3) no food (that's a weird one - but oh well). The thing is here - I never trusted that if I did indeed file a claim that I would be covered. Saying that I was covered and following through are two different things.

The thing to make you feel better about all this: I've been here on the forums since '07 and not once have a I heard about a fellow home haunter getting sued. So, you have that going for you ;)
 

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FWIW...leaving your porch light on on Halloween and just answer the door for ToTs puts you at the same risk if someone trips walking up the steps.
 

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An important line to add to your rules: No masks may be worn inside!

We've all see kids that can't walk a straight line down the middle of the street in daylight with a mask on (and some without). You don't want to tempt fate by having them stumble around in your garage. They can't see the scares as well with a mask on either.
 

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Have the fire marshal come out and do a walk through inspection. Fix all issues that need to be addressed. Have him wright out a report. Ask him to comeback out again for a re-inspection that all issues have been fixed. Save a copy for your records. Make sure your home owners or renters insurance covers medical costs in case somebody gets hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for the feedback.

Terra- I've watched your vids and was planning on following your lead on a few items. And yes, we were going to put some web cams up not only to capture some good laughs but also as a record of events.

Screaming Demons- Excellent idea regarding the masks cause that was on my mind as I recall last year how a few ToTs stumbled around and it was weighing on me on how to make sure someone doesn't get startled and stumble around. I'd been dwelling on this to the point of designing the layout such that the props would be strategically placed so that if would scare people along the path. Meaning, if they stumble to one side away from the prop, that's because I want them to go in that direction and force them through the haunt.

We did a haunt last year where people came through the backyard and most everyone was well mannered, but we did have a point where a bunch of teens came through once and then came again later and the 2nd time they came in and went running around screaming and carrying on. Before I could react to what just happened they then ran out the exit. So I'm also contemplating this scenario as well.
 

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Just throwing in that the "no food" from the insurance company is probably to avoid any allergy or other food-related issues. There's a ton of things that could go wrong in this avenue so might as well just say "no food" and be done with it.

good luck with your haunt!
 
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