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I was thinking that to be on the safe side, liability speaking, once my haunt is up to go thru it with the eyes of an idiot to make sure it's "safe". Like if little tommy decides to poke something will he get electricuted? What are some of the incidents that have happened at your haunt that you never expected someone to be dumb enough to do? For instance I had a mom get upset because her tot fell when trying to climb over the faux fence I had put up.
 

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I had one kid get so scared he fell down and rolled down the steps of the porch. I was freaking out but parents were standing at the bottom of the stairs laughing like it was the best thing ever. Luckily they were nice people and enjoyed halloween like I do.
 

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Not the best or anything but my friend came to my house it was very dark and she fell on the stairs(only 2 stairs) she said she didnt see them maybe more lights this year :)
 

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The first thing that comes to mind, I'm sure I'll think of more later. I had skull sconces on the wall leading down into the basement where the haunt is. I had battery operated GLASS bulb candles in the sconces. I had walked the entire haunt including the steps, with no problem. I however am not an eight year old glued to the wall heading down into the unknown. The third or fourth kid managed to knock two candles down. Shattered bulb glass is hard to clean up with little to no light.
 

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don't know the size and style of haunt you are talking about, but yea, we try to keep certain restrictions in play.

If it looks like it could be leaned on (fence, fake walls, etc) - people will. Test all your walkways for 'reach limits'. Can anyone reach a prop, lamp, heat source, outlet, wire, etc. If so, add more fencing or barriers. If you have 'startle' props, are all the walls/fences around that area (and to its rear) sturdy. A truly frightened TOT of any age/size, has lots of strength when trying to run or jump away from a startle. Adrenalin is a fun chemical, aint it?

Of course idiots have a cunning way of challenging any proofing set before them.

Have clear signs for exit/keep out areas. Hangin props are especially tempting for 10-14 yo boys. They love to 'jump up' and try and touch stuff. If putting something over a walkway, put it high and sturdy.

One issue I have (with a neighborhood front yard setup), is 'friend access'. What I mean is I may have a friend stop by, or the kids of friends - and I may show them a 'backstage' view or walk them around something. If other guests see this, esp kids, they all think they should be allowed back there. Keep any restrictions applied to all, and give any special tours after the big crowds are gone. I also purposely invite some of the neighbor kids to help build or layout the display. These often take their access abit for granted and breach certain safety barriers.

Our worst incident was long long ago at our first house. We had a blacklight on the ground uplighting something in a flower bushes. A 2yo toddler got over there, reached thru the small area and touched the bare bulb. You all know how hot UV gets...Nothing became of it, but we have stayed on edge for the lawsuit lurking TOT ever since.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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Nothing that could be tripped on, pulled down or fallen through. Or catch fire. Or impale someone.

This is why I don't do a walkthrough. ;)

One thing I do remember - don't aim blacklights where anyone can stare directly into them. They don't trigger the pupil contraction response, so you can get permanent retina damage.
 

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You got a lawsuit over one stupid 2 year old and the parents that cant take care of him/her and should have watched that 2 year olds every move?Hope they lost,some punks they are.
 

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No matter how OBVIOUS it might seem to stay on the path, there is always someone who will wander into a 'no-people' zone. I had a large cemmie with a 27" fence. The fence was low so that even little kids could see everything.

I was shocked to see a PARENT lift his little child OVER the fence so the kid could explore the cemmie. HELLO! Massive amounts of electrical cords on wet grass! Naturally, Junior trips and then Dad goes in to retrieve him... kicking out several connections.

:mad::mad::mad:
 

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I enjoy the haunts that put up a sign at the entrance saying by entering our haunt you agree we're not responsible for anything you break, falls, heart attacks, seizures, peed pants etc. :D blah blah blah, be careful, watch your step, dont climb on the props...

The best you could do is the obvious... make sure things aren't going to topple over when someone tugs at them. make sure cords are hidden so as not to be tripped over. clear paths, signs for idiot parents (like boo who?'s) about tossing their kids over the fence haha... make sure there are no nails sticking out or sharp edges on things...

FrankiesGirl - good note about the black lights! Perhaps that is how i've gotten my specs.
 

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we had a girl run screaming from our haunt across the neighbor's yard in total darkness. She couldn't see that the yard was terraced and it was a 5 foot drop straight off to the sidewalk. Two broken wrists :( The following year the neighbor put up caution tape so people couldn't run across their yard.

I am careful at my haunt because i have 8 steps up to the walkway from the sidewalk, then another 4 up to the porch. I scare kids right before they start up the porch steps so someone doesn't fall down them trying to get away. You have to be careful because kids like to mess with props, and little kids like to touch things like lightbulbs.
 

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The only idiot proofing idea I can offer is - Liability Insurance. A lot. Nobody should run a public haunt with enough insurance to cover themselves.
 

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I have only one step up to my door, but I painted the vertical face of it in washable white, then painted "STEP" in large white letters on the pavement in front of it.

After building my wood frame for my walkthru, I found that several of the screws had poked out the other side of the wood. I pushed layers of cardboard and duct tape over the pointy ends until it was covered and safe.

I even spray painted neon orange paint on my grass near a small cement edge so they could see the difference that was otherwise obscured in the dark.

Even so, people still tripped on the single step and stumbled on the uneven edge. Luckily no-one was poked by a screw tip.

I've come to the conclusion that for us home haunters there is really is no practical way to completely idiot-proof your haunt. As others have said, someone will always go over the fence, around the barrier, pull on something, or not watch their kids. I've never had a "Rules" poster for my haunt, but I probably will this year.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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I've only had what I would call one bad experience....a kid ran from the neighbors, through my yard to the porch...well my yard is littered with electrical wiring, lights and a tiki torches, so there were lots of ways for him to get hurt or props to get damaged...

yeah, I yelled at him. But other than that, I've had no problems.

I put rope light on my driveway last year to kinda mark the boundaries of where ToTs and parents could go and it worked great. This year, I plan to have them walk around the house, so I plan on laying out a path with rope light that will keep the ToTs away from dangers like banging their head on my deck, tripping on the entrance to the shed or falling down the back steps. By placing props where I don't want ToTs to go, their natural inclination will be to give the scary stuff a wide berth.
 
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