State fire marshal’s office to inspect haunted houses ahead of Halloween

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The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal (LAOSFM) is reminding the public and operators of haunted houses about some safety practices to keep in mind.

LAOSFM deputies will be inspecting haunted house attractions ahead of Halloween.

Temporary Halloween structures must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • A sketch of the facility, along with documentation and materials, emergency plans, and equipment must be submitted to LAOSFM 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

Permanent structures must adhere to the following:

  • Projects must be submitted to LAOSFM for a full plan review prior to construction. Visit lasfm.org for plan instructions and requirements to submit
  • 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

LAOSFM encourages anyone going to a haunted house or similar attraction this Halloween season to have an emergency meeting location with their group and tell kids to find uniformed personnel in case of an emergency or if they become lost.

Anyone who has a concern about a Halloween attraction should call LAOSFM at 1-800-256-5452 or file a complaint online here.

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