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Fire Marshal question

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  • Fire Marshal question

    So my fire marshal is requiring that a "licensed design professional" do a complete set of prints for my haunt layout including any applicable codes and how they will be satisfied. Who is this licensed design professional? I've had an engineer draw up the plans....he shot them down. I've contacted 3 separate architechs who all said they don't do anything like that and don't know anyone they could refer me to. Who have you guys used to do these drawings?? Its the last hurdle on our checklist and time is ticking

  • #2
    Strange title...

    All I have seen asked for is "sealed" plans from an architect. Although, one place I was looking to open, the fire marshal did mention the architect including all mechanicals in the drawings. like Sprinklers, heat ducts, water and sewer lines, etc.

    My suggestion would be to simply ask him what the hell he means and what his actual requirements are. If he won't share that with you, then it sounds like he's just being intentionally vague to make you fail, which would just be a crap move.
    Chief Engineer/Co-Creative Director
    HUSH Haunted Attraction



    • #3
      Design Professional.....

      A Design Professional is simply an Architect. Any licensed Architect can properly plan and draw a set of acceptable plans for you. I've used Architects on several of our builds. I'm not sure why the Architects you spoke to said they couldn't do that? Seems strange? Unless they think it is something they'll have to spend to much time researching codes for a "Dark Attraction" and it is out of the ordinary. These codes are listed in the UBC (Universal Building Code). An architect would need to visit the site, take measurements and draw the plans according to the UBC. However, considering we are in the middle of September, it seems like you are starting way to late to make it for this year. An Architect will take a couple of weeks, plan reviews can take up to three weeks and generally you'll receive a correction list and that will need to go back to the Architect...more time! On our last build (30,000',it took nearly 4 months to obtain all the permits from start to finish than 5 months to build it out!

      If it is drawn by a licensed professional and sealed by the same, a Fire Marshall (or any code official) has to accept it. If they do not, you can file a formal complaint with your states DCA (Dept. of Community Affairs) who oversees all construction officials. Unfortunately, because of some arrogant Fire Marshall, we needed to go that route once and he was over ruled by the DCA. It is a time consuming, aggravating, confusing journey to navigate through the permitting process and many officials simply hate these attractions so they throw roadblocks at you hoping you'll throw the towel in. You really need to know the codes and your rights to get these permits relatively quickly. I have been in the building business for 32+ years and know the UBC well. I have dealt with every type of code officials you can imagine...the process can really drive any sane person crazy! lol It is probably why I am getting more and more people every year contacting me to handle this process for them.

      Hope this helps clarify things for you.

      Good luck with your project.
      Jim Pashley
      855-NJ HAUNT


      • #4
        Yeah, ask him if he doesn't want the people you find, who he DOES like. No doubt they won't be cheap, but at least he can't shoot them down if he recommended them.


        • #5
          We had to do this when we moved to a new location in a smaller city. It took the architect about a month to draw up the plans another month to get on the docket so we could present them to the city which left us just a month for the build. Really sucked. They were very strict through every process. The next year they were a little easier to work with, but still a challenge. They wouldn’t allow any signs directing people to us either. Glad we aren’t in that city anymore. Wish you luck, you might consider relocating to another city. It wasn’t worth it for us, too costly to operate there and the restrictions were numerous. Unfortunately the fire marshal rules the nest.

          Also, the architect had to be licensed in that city.

          On a side note, we had to charge a little more because of all the added expenses and a "professional" reviewer said we were charging to much (increased our ticket price from $18 to $20). I explained that it cost us more to open in this city and he said that shouldn't matter. OK, we'll just leave it at that.



          • #6
            I think what he's asking for is for you to hire an architect to create a blueprint. You need those typically for a building permit.

            They would design your haunted house in cad, and show emergency lights, electric, exits, the maze itself, where any pocket doors might to be, to where each heat detection might be located.

            You should have done this before you built the haunt so it makes it a bit harder but you can still get this done.

            Larry Kirchner