SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Illinois state officials are starting to inspect haunted houses to ensure they’re safe for Halloween thrills.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal and Illinois Department of Labor are running inspections ahead of the spooky season. They make sure that haunted houses have enough space for people to exit in case of an emergency, no dead-end paths and safety features like panic doors. They also enforce restrictions on open flame devices, pyrotechnics and the flame resistance of furnishings and decorations.
“Haunted houses are a fun and scary activity many enjoy during the Halloween season,” Illinois State Fire Marshal James Rivera said in a press release. “Making sure these attractions remain fire safe should be a top priority. We want to stress that all haunted house operators go through the proper steps and follow all safety guidelines to ensure guests are kept safe while visiting.”
Haunted attractions workers must go through background checks and drug tests. They also have to be trained and prepped for possible emergencies.
Non-profit haunted houses can get exceptions from IDOL inspection, but still must be inspected by local authorities or the State Fire Marshal’s office. Guests that have visited a haunted house that lacks a permit, or who need to report an accident or unsafe conditions, are encouraged to call the Department of Labor at 217-557-3112 or after hours at 217-993-2941. Complaints can be submitted online at the Department’s website.