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Fire Marshal's Office reminds haunted house operators of safety requirements

State Fire Marshal
Posted at 11:38 AM, Oct 01, 2019

With the start of October, the Halloween season crops up dozens of haunted house attractions across Louisiana.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding operators about safety requirements that deputies will be looking for when inspecting attractions for approved occupancy.

For temporary “special amusement structures” and/or “Ghost Walks” (Not operational for more than 30 days):

  • A sketch of the facility, along with documentation and materials, emergency plans and equipment must be submitted to the SFM for review and approval prior to the use of the building or space as a temporary “Special Amusement” activity
  • Interior finishes and decorations/props shall be flame-resistant
  • If the building operates in a reduced lighting environment, the building should contain an approved automatic smoke detection system that (a) will sound an alarm louder than the greatest ambient noise level (b) will sound at a constantly manned location where the attendant will be capable of turning on additional lighting for emergency evacuation
  • Occupant load constantly controlled to no more than 25 occupants at any given time
  • Fire department presence during all periods of activity OR ABC-type fire extinguishers in each room with a person trained in their proper use AND a garden hose connected to adequate water supply long enough to reach into every area of the structure
  • Exit and directional signage
  • Artificial smoke is prohibited; dry ice is acceptable
  • Accessible parking and an accessible route to the entrance of the attraction is required and should include stable, firm and slip-resistant walking surfaces.

For permanent “haunted house” or “special amusement” structures:

  • Minimum fire protection, life safety and accessibility features are required including sprinkler systems throughout (where the building is portable, sprinkler water supply may be approved as sufficient) • If the building operates in a reduced lighting environment, the building should contain an approved automatic smoke detection system with alarm at a constantly attended location
  • Activation of the sprinkler and/or smoke alarm system must illuminate all means of egress and halt conflicting or confusing sounds and visual effects
  • Exit markings should be posted at low levels as well as normal heights
  • Approved directional exit markings that become apparent in an emergency shall be included in maze, mirror or similarly designed spaces with confusing egress paths
  • Interior finishes and decorations/props shall be flame-resistant • Accessible parking, an accessible route and features of accessibility shall be included for all permanent structures If you’re planning to patron a haunted house attraction,

The State Fire Marshal's Office encourages patrons to develop an emergency meeting location with groups attending and/or instruct children to locate uniformed personnel in the event they find themselves lost. The SFM also encourages reporting any concerning conditions at special amusement structures to 1-800-256- 5452 or filing a complaint through our website, lasfm.org.