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When you look at the safety standards with investigative teams, there does seem to be the norm that many groups have no (or very little) safety specific criteria. Just last night a new show aired, which included a search for the Alexa (pronounced aloosha) in the jungles of South America. The team encountered, a pit viper, giant poisonous spiders and scorpions. This isn't even taking into consideration they dove underwater in caves...all in the darkness of night.

I give them credit, they had a medic with them. The reason they stated for this was to monitor how team members felt in relation to the atmosphere. Some get sick, headaches, ringing in the ears etc. when encountering the paranormal. Neither the team nor the shows producers mentioned at any time however, whether they would have access to emergency medical care should an injury or physical illness occur. As they trekked miles off road on foot, carrying all their equipment, I wonder if their medic carried with him the anecdotes for every poisonous creature indigenous to the area. I find this doubtful. If they were responsible in their preparations, the show and it's producers did nothing to convey that to the public.

2-way hand held radios are useful, but should not be a groups only lifeline. Proper safety education, procedures and medical attention should be available at all times. If investigating in an area that is isolated and away from the comforts of the local E.R. a physician or physicians assistant (that can contact a doctor at any time) should be on staff. A medic is also appropriate, with the proper equipment and physician contact. Always have an evacuation plan. You don't want to carry a team member 10 miles out of the woods on foot.

When investigating caves, caverns or even man made enclosed spaces, special precautions need to be taken in order to insure safety. If 2 team members enter a cave and are both overcome by fumes or gas and pass out, the 2 way radio does little to assist them. Relatively small breathing apparatus' are available for conditions like this. Does your team use them?

The underwater caverns are another concern entirely. Snakes again may have been present, as well as a plethora of other underwater life or jagged rocks which could cause illness, injury or even be fatal. Getting lost, running out of oxen, the dangers are endless.

Even simple injuries like a twisted ankle, can happen anywhere, to anyone on any investigation at any time. Us spook chasers tend to wander in the dark often, it could happen! At any rate, it's a good idea for investigative teams to have some basic safety standards and procedures. If your team doesn't, bring it up at your next meeting. Brainstorm some ideas, write them down and then implement your own safety code, not only for your groups well being, but for your clients as well.
Thanks Haunted Lady....these are very important things to consider, especially since so many young people are intrigued with paranormal investigation.
Great post! May I add its also good to have two code words set up. One is when a possible dangerous situation has came up. This word means to pack up and leave the site immediately.

The second code word is to immediately leave, don't worry about equipment just get out.

Now I know a few circumstances where this happened and worked great. One was a woman trying to get her sister to sell her house so she was trying to scare her into thinking it had demons. The team came in and was very professional (not what the woman wanted) She exploded and started screaming at the team. They packed up and left safely.

Another occurrence a team was investigating a private residence. The home owner became seriously infatuated with one of the female investigators,and started following her making comments. He then went and put on his pistol and came back to continue to bother her. This was the code word to just leave and worry about the equipment at a later time. They all got out safely.

So once again worry about the living.

Now its also a good idea to check the place out in the daylight and point out all the safety concerns, bad floors, or stairs, holes in the ground, old wells, broken glass or jagged steel in or under the grass. Tape your camera wires in doorways and stairs, safety is the most important part of an investigation.

Always work with at least one partner. Never investigate alone!
UNR the code word idea is fabulous!

And yes, never ever investigate alone. That includes whoever is running tech, whenever you are running a large amount of electrical equipment...hooking up with extension cords; theres always a risk of fire. Obviously have a fire extinguisher available as well.
This is a great post, Haunted Lady, and one I think every investigator needs to know.

As scarygirl mentioned, I think one MAJOR safety precaution all investigators should take advantage of. . . the elementary school lesson of the buddy system. Never, ever, ever, EVER do an investigation by yourself. You are asking for trouble.

Having someone with you has so many benefits it simply makes no sense not to. That extra person can be the difference between having an unsubstantiated story about something you might've seen and having a verifiable witness who was there with you to experience it as well. Also, like you said. . . what happens if you're investigating & you get injured? You may be stuck in a potentially dangerous haunted environment with no one to help you.

-AP3-
Thanks for sharing this is very informative thanks for sharing!
Very good points. Hopefully most investigators will try to keep them in mind when going out to investigate.
really really good post it really gives me more things to think about before me and the other people with me go off alone or in the dark.
Remember also, if you are starting out and wanting to investigate some local hotspots with friends to get your feet wet...get permission from the property owner. Trespassing is illegal and can be very dangerous.

http://www.globaltoronto.com/ghost+hunte...story.html

A great way to find a group in your area that does open ghost hunts for experiencial purposes is to join http://www.meetup.com and find a legitimate research team you can tag along with. When they organize an event (usually monthly) they get all the proper permissions and have safety plans available. Research teams from across the country list here...so likely there would be on in your area.
Just wondering, if "investigators", "ghost hunters" ,etc. should be licensed or certified that would include area of safety, instruments to use, conduct, fees, if any, etc.,just to make it more of a "profession" that other professions require to practice a certain service.
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