Many haunted house attractions not up to code

Many haunted house attractions not up to code
Ghouls and goblins can be scary enough, but what can be even scarier is the actual building itself, because many haunted houses aren’t up to code. (Source: Samantha Day)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Haunted houses are scary, but are they safe? Ghouls and goblins can be scary enough, but what can be even scarier is the actual building itself, because many haunted houses aren’t up to code.

According to state law, a haunted house is a special amusement assembly; therefore, all fire and building codes have to be followed.

“They have to be by fire code, a sprinkled building, and all the bells and whistles that come with that for life safety," State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen said.

The Montgomery Humane Society has put on a haunted house every Halloween for almost a decade, and over the years, it’s only gotten bigger.

“It’s growing each year. Popularity. Great reviews. So, we’re going to continue to do it as long as that happens," Steve Tears, the Montgomery Humane Society’s executive director, said. "We’re hoping for about 250 (people) a night.”

According to Tears, safety is a priority at the humane society. That’s why State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen worked with the humane society to make sure its haunted house was up to code.

“We always have the fire marshal come through and give us the permits that we need and he does an extensive walk through checking everything. So, each year we find that to be important because we want it to be a good event and also safe for everyone who attends and works it," Tears said.

According to Tears, the humane society’s haunted house is up to code. That’s good news, because according to Pilgreen, many haunted houses aren’t.

“People who are out in the county, in unincorporated areas, there is a false belief that there are no building codes, there are no fire codes, there is nothing to govern what we do, so we can build whatever we want and do whatever we want, but that is false," Pilgreen said.

So, before you go to a haunted house to get a good scare, ask the operators if the building is up to code, or look it up.

The next time the humane society’s haunted house will be open is on Halloween from 7:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. General admission tickets are $15 and fast pass tickets are $25.

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