How to Enhance Haunt Actor Safety

Justin | June 22, 2023

Amidst the sinister ambiance and spine-chilling scares, it’s vital to take steps to prioritize the safety and well-being of your haunt actors. By implementing some basic safety measures, you can ensure a successful event while maintaining the physical and emotional welfare of your actors and staff. In this post, we’ll explore some practical tips for haunt operators and managers to create an environment that allows actors to deliver exceptional scares without compromising their safety.

Fire-performing haunt actor practicing safety & emergency protocols

Proper Training For Your Haunt Actors

Providing thorough training is the cornerstone of ensuring the safety of your haunt actors. Equip them with essential skills and knowledge to handle various scenarios, including emergency situations. Training should cover:

  • Scene-Specific Training: Each actor should be well-versed in the details and intricacies of their assigned role. This includes understanding their physical limitations, scare techniques, and prop handling, ensuring they can perform their role safely and effectively.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Emphasize the importance of effective communication among actors, allowing them to coordinate scares, avoid collisions, and address potential hazards promptly.
  • Emergency Procedures: Prepare actors and staff for potential emergencies, such as fires, power outages, or customer incidents. Provide them with clear protocols and ensure they know exactly what to do in stressful situations.

Appropriate Safety Equipment and Costumes

Actors should be provided with appropriate safety equipment and costumes that ensure both their comfort and safety. Consider the following measures:

  • Protective Gear: If a haunt actor is working with potentially hazardous props or in an environment that poses risks, provide them with safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and knee pads to minimize the chance of injuries.
  • Costumes: Properly fitted attire, proper footwear, and breathable fabrics can prevent discomfort and physical strain during long hours.
  • Visibility Enhancements: When feasible, consider incorporating reflective elements or glow-in-the-dark materials on costumes to improve visibility, especially in dimly lit areas. This can go a long way in preventing actor collisions.
Haunt actor in red hood following haunt safety procedures

Set Design and Maintenance

A haunt’s set design plays a crucial role in maintaining a safe environment for actors and customers alike. Consider the following:

  • Clear Pathways: Design clear and unobstructed pathways throughout the attraction to prevent tripping hazards. Regularly inspect and maintain walkways to ensure their safety.
  • Proper Lighting: Adequate lighting is essential in high risk areas to avoid accidents and falls. High risk areas include spaces with uneven ground or obstacles as well as high-impact scenes. Utilize a combination of atmospheric lighting and direct lighting to maintain visibility and prevent unnecessary risks.
  • Regular Inspections: Conduct frequent inspections of the entire attraction, including walls, props, and structures to identify potential hazards such as exposed nails. Promptly address any issues or repairs needed to maintain a safe environment.
Haunt actor surrounded by smoke while receiving safety training

Actor Support

Caring for your actors' well-being is essential for their safety and the overall success of your haunt. Things to consider include:

  • Breaks and Proper Hydration: Provide rotating breaks for actors to rest, hydrate, and recover from physically demanding performances. And encourage them to stay hydrated throughout their shifts. Extra breaks or rotating spots should be provided for actors that are working in spaces with fog.
  • Open Communication: Create an environment where actors feel comfortable reporting safety concerns, injuries, or incidents. Establish an open-door policy for discussions and address any issues promptly.

Prioritizing the safety of your haunt actors is crucial for delivering a terrifying, yet safe experience. By implementing comprehensive training programs, providing appropriate safety equipment and costumes, maintaining a safe set design, and supporting your actors' well-being, you can enhance the overall safety of your haunted attraction. Remember, a safe environment not only protects your actors but also enhances the enjoyment and satisfaction of your customers, ensuring that everyone has a spook-tacular time.