How officials inspect Indiana’s haunted house attractions

Local

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thirty years of scares are in Steve Walls and the work he does.

Walls owns the 45,000-square-foot Necropolis haunted house in Indianapolis.

“I enjoy it an awful a lot,” Walls said. “But, it’s a lot of work this time of year.”

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is making sure the scary fun is safe. It inspects haunted houses and keeps an online database by county of all places it inspects.

“You can always step out of a scare through an emergency exit,” Walls said. “When we’re building that, we’ve got to make sure the emergency exit’s in there. We’ve got to worry about how that door’s going to open, so it doesn’t block the egress hallways.”

On Thursday, Rob Helton, a code official with the Homeland Security’s division of fire and building safety, walked News 8 through a haunted house to show what state officials look for during haunted house inspections.

“What we do with haunted houses is we go around and we look at the fire life-safety systems such as fire alarms, sprinklers, smoke detectors,” Helton said. “We make sure they’re operable, make sure there’s no deficiencies with them.”

Code officials also make sure haunted houses have evacuation safety plans and train employees to know what to do during an emergency. Code officials also check fire extinguishers and exit signs.

“Make sure they’re working and that they’re at least 50 feet separated from each other,” Helton said. “As well as there’s no obstructions to the public way and the egress paths.”

Necropolis had more exits than are required by Indiana’s fire code. The

Walls said, “You can never be more than 25 feet away from an emergency exit, is basically the way we look at it.”

Necropolis passed its inspection. “They’ve got a lot of space. It’s easy to get in and out,” the code official said. They did a really great job.”

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