BALTIMORE (WJZ) — If you’re headed to a haunted house for Halloween, Maryland fire officials want you to be aware of your surroundings and follow these tips in case of a fire or another emergency.

“Smoke machines, dim lighting, cramped corridors, and loud noises can create true terror for patrons if a fire occurs within a haunted house attraction,” said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci. “It is important for both owners and attendees to be vigilant when it comes to fire safety requirements at these venues.”

In 1984, eight teens were killed at the Six Flags Adventure Haunted Castle fire in New Jersey.

The control room after the 1984 Haunted Castle fire at Six Flags Adventure Park in Jackson Township, New Jersey that killed eight teenagers. (Photo Credit: NFPA)

Here is a list of things to look out for, so you and your family or friends stay safe, while having fun.

  • Approved automated sprinkler and smoke detection systems throughout the establishment.
  • At least two exits clearly marked by illuminated directional signage on every occupied floor, located as remote as possible from each other.
  • Unoccupied floors and areas should be secured against unauthorized entry.
  • Doors and passageways that are not exits should be marked “NO EXIT” to eliminate the chances of accidentally traveling into a dead-end space in a fire emergency.
  • Interior stairs and other vertical openings between floors should be properly enclosed, sealed, or protected against possible fire spread.
  • Decorations, furnishings, and equipment should not obstruct, impair, or detract attention from the visibility or use of an exit.
  • When the sprinkler or smoke detection systems activate, all sounds and visuals from the attraction should stop and emergency lighting should activate during this time.
  • The establishment must use non-flammable or limited-combustible materials such as gypsum wallboard, metal studs, brick, concrete block, etc. Extensive use of materials like plywood, wood paneling, or wood frames can contribute to the start and spread of a fire.
  • Signs should indicate restrictions that smoking, fireworks, lighters, candles, and kerosene heaters and lamps are prohibited inside or around the outside of the establishment.
  • One portable fire extinguisher should be located every 75 feet within the establishment and located near exit signs.
  • A crowd manager should be present at all hours of operation and occupancy guidelines must be met to avoid dangerous overcrowding.
  • All exits must be unlocked and accessible at all times without the use of a key, tool, or special knowledge at all times.

For more information about the Life Safety Code, click here.

Written By WJZ Apprentice Ju’waun Morgan


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