State Fire Marshal releases COVID-19 guidelines for haunted houses

Louisiana

BATON ROUGE – Halloween is fast approaching, but COVID-19 restrictions put in place by Governor John Bel Edwards rule out haunted houses.

The latest COVID-19 mitigation measures prohibit indoor amusements, like haunted houses, from opening. However, the Office of the Louisiana State Fire Marshal can give operators special permission to open the popular scare-filled attractions in time for Halloween.

Anyone wishing to open a haunted house in Louisiana this year can visit OpenSafely.la.gov and look for the regulations governing “Other Amusements.”

Among other regulations, anyone wishing to open a haunted house or ghost walk will need to provide the following to the State Fire Marshal:

  • 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 more information, visit lasfm.org.

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