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Haunted House Plastic- Spooky Yet Safe!

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Wed, May 13, 2015 @ 03:47

Remember 1984 when eight young people died at Six Flags in the Haunted Castle when a fire broke out in the haunt? It only took three and a half minutes after the fire began for the entire attraction to be engulfed by flames.  It was this incident that prompted several changes to the NFPA 101, Life Safety Code.

When you are planning your Haunted House- begin by consulting with your local fire authority. Their guidelines will provide fire safety standards and regulations for the construction and operation of temporary haunted attractions/events that are open to the public. Generally these guidelines will apply not only to temporary haunted houses, but ghost walks and similar entertainment venues where combustible decorative materials and distracting audio/visual effects are present.Your haunted house may have to conform to the International Building Code for temporary buildings or structures. 

In California for example, the requirements listed in the guideline were derived from the California Building Code (CBC), California Fire Code (CFC), and California Code of Regulations, Title 19.  Check with your municipality for a similar document.

Why is this imperative....aside from the obvious that lives must be protected, the fire marshal can shut you down on the spot if you don't meet the necessary criteria. In many states, a fire safety inspection is required prior to occupancy.

Below are images of the haunted Castle at Six Flags before and after the fire.



Black plastic is a favorite for creating walls and covering ceilings. The key is to make sure it is certified, "fire retardant"  Here is what the California fire safety manual states:

"All decorative materials (decorations, drapes, backdrops, and props) shall be either inherently flame retardant and labeled as such, or treated with a flame retardant registered with the California State Fire Marshal. Any material not appropriately labeled or certified as fire retardant shall be flame tested and approved by OCFA."

If you are going to use black plastic sheeting, insure that it is fire retardant. Make sure the rolls come with the appropriate documents certify that the plastic is fire retardant and will not burn and add to a fire should one develop. 

Some states require the following: "Avoid use of combustible material in displays.  If used, combustibles must be treated with an approved commercial flame‐retardant treatment.  Samples of all such materials must be submitted to this office for flame tests prior to use."  

Be ready to provide a piece of the black plastic sheeting to the fire marshal should he/she want to test it to make sure it is fire retardant.  To see the difference between fire retardant plastic and non-fire retardant plastic sheeting when a flame is present, click here to watch this short demonstration video. 

With a little planning, your haunted house can be a smashing success!  

And now for a little trivia:

Below is a quick internet search for the figures.  They may not be entirely current- but never the less, they are entertaining!

How many haunted attractions exist in the United States?

The Haunted House Industry estimates there are between 1,200- 2,000  haunted attractions charging admission. In addition it is estimated that over 300 amusement facilities producing some sort of Halloween or Haunted House event. Additionally it is estimated there are over 1000 charity attractions.

What is the attendance figures for these Halloween events?

It is estimated that typical haunted attractions average around 8,000 paid guests. A major amusement park such as Knotts Scary Farms attracts over 300,000 paid guests in October alone. On a busy night the mega amusement parks like Universal might host over 35,000 guests!

Click for pricing/ info Search for Greenhouse Plastic, tapes, fire retardant films, plastic sheeting Home page plastic sheeting, tapes, strapping fire retardant films greenhouse plastic Plastic Sheeting Thickness chart. How thick is best for you?


Tags: FR Plastic, Halloween Black Fire Retardant Plastic

Crawl Space Vapor Barrier Encapsulation Tips

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Mon, May 11, 2015 @ 01:08

Do you have a crawl space vapor barrier in your crawl space?  Is your crawl space encapsulated? Does it look anything like the picture below?  Does it small like old moldy sox, dead rodents or worse?  Just because you have plastic sheeting/ crawl space vapor barrier on the floor doesn't mean your crawl space is correctly encapsulated.

 What is the definition of "encapsulation"?

It is, "to enclose or to be enclosed in or as if in a capsule".  The idea being you want the crawl space to become sealed in a sense so it can keep out moisture, mold and hazardous gases such as methane, radon, etc.

Tip #1: Use engineered plastic sheeting that is designed to hold up year after year- blocking out mold, radon, water vapor and the like. (Click here to see crawl space vapor barriers)  In the image directly below, a 6 mil "visqueen" was used.  Chances are good the home owner did this job himself.  He bought big box store plastic, and merely laid it on his crawl space.  This plastic is maybe 4 years old. It has torn, and started to decay.  Nowhere was this so called vapor barrier taped to the walls, and the seams were not taped  closed.

crawl space torn visqueen resized 600

Tip #2:  Tape the vapor barrier to the walls and colums. As you can see from the images below, the plastic sheeting is pulling away from the post. Somehow, laying it next to the column or post just doesn't do the job. You need to use a proper sealing tape designed for this job.

Tip #3:  See Tip # 1.  If you have a rocky floor you are sealing, you must select a vapor barrier that holds up to rocks.  It's even more important if you plan to store things in your crawl space, and people will be walking around down there.

Crawl space encapsulation nightmare! resized 600

Tip 4:  Properly tape the seams closed.  We recommend a minimum of  6" of overlap taped to the length of the seam.

Crawlspace encapsuation/ sealing done wrong

Tip #5:  Got Mold?  Crawl spaces are a breeding ground for mold.  Mold like dark, damp places to breed. It also likes the off-gases from visqueen. Don't waste your money on the wrong vapor barrier.  Make sure the liner you select won't decompose and let the mold take over your crawl space.

Tip #6: If you live in an area that has radon, please make sure you protect yourself and your family from the effects of radon Raven Industries  VaporBlock 20+ is a heavy duty liner that is tested to insure it is the highest quality vapor barrier you can get to block radon and methane gas.

Crawl Space encapsulation

Tip #7: If you are buying a home that is brand new construction, make sure you have the builder provide you with proof that the home is radon free.

Click for pricing/ info Search for Greenhouse Plastic, tapes, fire retardant films, plastic sheeting Home page plastic sheeting, tapes, strapping fire retardant films greenhouse plastic Plastic Sheeting Thickness chart. How thick is best for you?



Tags: crawlspace liner