Top 5 Tips Regarding Electrical Safety When Building a Haunted House

Electrical fires are very common and a threat to the safety of a haunted house. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, in the United States, 50,900 fires each year are attributed to electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in 490 deaths and 1,440 injuries. Arcing faults are a major cause of these fires. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that AFCIs could prevent more than 50 percent of the electrical fires that occur every year. About 3,300 residential fires originate in extension cords each year, killing 50 people and injuring about 270 others. Here are five things to consider regarding the electrical practice in a haunt.

1. Having a plan is very important. Electrical mistakes are easy to make and often become an issue when builders are in a hurry and/or don’t create an electrical plan ahead of time. This is especially true if multiple people are creating scenes within the haunt. It is possible for each person to create a scene and then look for the nearest plug to bring their scene to life. This can lead to power failures. A circuit chart demonstrating that the load on each circuit does not exceed the breaker amperage should also be completed.

2. Every outlet in the haunt should be tested with a simple three pronged tester that lights up to indicate that they are wired correctly and working properly. All of the building outlets should be securely mounted with proper covers. All of the 120v outlets should have the ability to accommodate three prongs. Grounded GFCI outlets must be used any scene that has moisture, such as dry ice or mist.

3. It’s best to use LED lights within all the special effects lighting in the haunt. LED lights don’t get hot and use about 3 watts to produce 60 watts of light. To prevent fires, be sure not to place cloth or untreated props near the lights.

4. All extension cords must be UL Certified, a minimum 12 gauge with two prongs and a ground. Cutting off the ground (3rd prong) from plugs, 2 pronged lamp cords, and/or 3 pronged to 2 pronged adapters is not allowed.

5. It is important to create a “power station” so that all of the power can be turned on and off from one location in order to control the lights and sounds. The house lights should also be accessible from that station to turn on lights in case of an emergency. The switch for this station should be rated to handle the load applied to that switch. Commercial power cords and commercial power strips that have their own power switch should be used to get electricity to run from the power station to the various scenes. Small, household extension cords are not recommended for haunted houses, even if they’re home haunts. The power station should also have a fire extinguisher, duct tape and a flashlight nearby as well as an emergency plan posted.

10 Questions to Ask Before Signing a Theatre Rental Agreement

A theatrical stage can showcase any type of performance: a play, a concert, an employee recognition ceremony, or a production by an acting troupe, to name a few. For these events, a theatre rental may be the right solution. It’s a good idea to ask these questions before making your final theatre selection and signing the rental agreement.

1. How Large Is The Stage?

Words like “spacious” or “medium” are relative. Ask for exact dimensions. The stage needs to accommodate everyone comfortably and safely. If only a few people will be in the spotlight at a time, then a smaller space will do.

2. What Is The Audience Seating Capacity?

If seating is permanent, get an exact count. If folding chairs or other portable seats are to be brought in, get an accurate range, and find out who is responsible for supplying seating and setting it up.

3. What Backstage Resources Are Present?

To better plan the logistics of your production, know how many dressing rooms are present and what amenities they include. How many tables, chairs, and mirrors does each room have? Are there showers? How many bathrooms are backstage? You may also need a waiting area or space to hold props.

4. What Technical Equipment Is Available?

Lighting equipment and soundboards will likely be supplied, but you may need additional equipment including computers, fog machines, or special microphones. Find out what equipment is available and whether or not training is provided. In addition, ask what equipment you’re allowed to bring.

5. What Is Included In The Theatre Rental Price?

Find out what is and isn’t included in the quoted price. Some places offer a basic package with add-ons, while others give personalized quotes based on your specific needs.

6. Does The Theatre Provide Any Staff Members?

It takes a lot of work and many people to successfully run a production. Roles may include house manager, stage manager, and technical staff to operate lighting and sound systems, ushers, porters, and more. Does the facility provide any of these? Are there additional costs for staff members?

7. Can Food And Beverages Be Served?

If you’re interested in serving food and drinks, find out if you’re allowed. Whether it’s just popcorn and soda or a fully catered affair, check the theatre’s policy beforehand. If food is allowed, the facility may have a list of preferred vendors.

8. Who Is Responsible For Handling Ticketing?

This differs from place to place. Some locations require you to use their box office and ticketing systems. Others do not provide ticketing services and require you to bring your own computers and ticket printers.

9. Is The Theatre Accessible?

Does the theatre rental accommodate guests in wheelchairs? Are assistive listening devices available for anyone who’s hearing impaired? Are there more ways in which the theatre is accessible? Check beforehand to avoid surprises.

10. Can The Location Accommodate Your Time Requirements?

Whether you need the space for an hour, an evening, or every weekend during three consecutive months, find out if your preferred location can accommodate your schedule.

Negotiate the Best Prices for Your Professional Entertainment Package

Everyone knows the event just won’t be as good if you skimp on entertainment. You can order a cheaper menu, select fewer decorations, or even wear clothing off the rack, but if you use cheap entertainment, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. The rule here is select the best you can find, and find better, cheaper ways, to get the best to perform at your event.

1 – Perhaps a Two-fer Deal is Possible

If you’re flying the cover band in for your event and there’s a similar event in your community for the next day, perhaps you can share the cost with another ‘event host’ and both of you get a great break in the price? Fly them in and out once and pay for the show twice? Ask the scheduling agent if that’s a possibility when you start planning your event, then check the schedules of your venues. There may be more than one party where your entertainment could play!

2 – Plan Your Event Closer to the Entertainment

If you’re planning on everyone traveling anyway, why don’t you schedule your event in one of the entertainment centers so the bands don’t have to travel? An event located central to specific entertainment venues maybe cheaper and more fun than the original venue anyway. Think about it. The cost of travel for attendees may not be any real difference, and it may be cheaper to hire the band if they don’t have to fly to your location. Research Venues!

3 – Consider a Smaller Band

Travel arrangements for five people and instruments, plus sound equipment is far cheaper than travel for ten. Rethink the numbers of people in the band? Do you really NEED backup singers for your cozy evening concert, or is a one man band, with an extra singer more than enough entertainment for your crowd? Are you going to dance? Will the dance band be as important as the talent of the singer who is showing up? Perhaps you only need a singer with a couple of back up people. Your agent will know who best suits your venue and expectations.

If all else fails, ask the agent if they can’t give you a break in price. Negotiation is important, and everybody does it. Don’t hesitate to ask for that lower price if you have a limited budget and require an adjustment in costs. It’s all part of the deal.

3 Reasons Why to Hire a Show Band and a Tribute Artist

If the median age of your executive team is 27, Elvis entering the room probably isn’t going to have an impact on the masses. Unless of course, he arrives with Taylor Swift!

When show-stopping tribute artists walk into a fully entertained room full of executives, there may be a slight stir near the back of the room. If the tribute artist has a microphone, he might enter as the band ‘plays his song’. The words lilting above the music, rising in volume as he walks toward the stage. People in the audience will notice as he walks past, shaking hands, smiling, making his way through the crowd. And then…

He introduces his best friend… The one who has known his secret for the past forty years, the boss. The boss and the tribute artist have a short exchange midway through the song – the band takes a break – and conversation continues. The team building begins, as those attending this event get a glimpse of the fun, entertaining, and even exciting exchange of personal discussion becomes the figurative most memorable moment of the entire weekend.

As the music picks up, a second tribute artist enters the room, dancing through the crowd, singing her number one hit, and the evening explodes with transformational energy, taking what was a weekend training session to a new level. A motivational high, made memorable by the voices and appearances of celebrity show-stopping tribute artists. Your event just became the talk of the season.

1 – Never Settle for Less Than The Best

Top-shelf Cover Bands know how to fill up the room, keep the energy flowing, and motivate a crowd to action with the right songs, the best music, and on-stage dance routines designed to entice dancers on to the dance floor. Your team won’t be able to resist adding their moves to the motion of the room. Energy becomes motivation, and life outside the room takes a break while your team takes an opportunity to become better friends, and build life-long relationships.

2 – Ice Breaking Themed Presentation Matters

Show bands offer so many opportunities to blend top 40 tunes with theme planned events, period swing music, and polished performances. Adding a tribute artist to a show band presentation, keeps the action going during breaks, and motivates your attendees to become part of the show. Everyone wants to meet the tribute artist! Make a memory with key recognition factors, celebrity status, and lifetime favorite memories.

3 – Let the Rat Pack Dominate Your Presentation

Filling up the show band break time with a meeting of Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe might seem over-the-top in some circles, but not yours. Your audience deserves the best. Memories that stroll into a room, dance off into the night, and lead them back in time to an event that will motivate them for years to come. Your event will never be forgotten.