State officials inspect more than 300 haunted houses for safety standards

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 23, 2015)-- The inside of Indy’s haunted houses may be dark and scary – but officials say they are safe.

“What we are looking for is proper exiting, proper egress-- make sure that they have smoke detectors and enough of them in the right places,” said Ian Connor of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

The Department of Homeland Security and the Fire Marshals office have inspected around 300 haunted houses across the state to confirm they are in compliance with Indiana fire and building codes.

“If we find something is wrong, we won’t give them their permit. We ask them to correct those things,” said Connor.

Each inspection takes about two hours, as officials make sure the pathways are free from any vampires or goblins that may be lurking. Crews also check for electrical issues that may turn a staged scene into a real emergency. Working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are a requirement for any ghostly adventure. Also, exit signs must be seen every 50 feet.

“If there is something happening, we want people to be able to get out,” said Connor.

Haunted houses pop up in various locations. State officials focus on the type of structure and work to find out the issues that could happen inside of the building. Then tell the owners what they need to fix.

“These haunts have gotten more elaborate as the years have gone on, because that is what people want. We make sure that they are safe,” said Connor.

If you know of a haunted house that is not up to code or is operating without a permit, contact the Department of Homeland Security at 317-232-3832.

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