Visiting haunted houses during October is supposed to be frightening and fun, but spook seekers could be in for some real scares. Iowa Fire Marshal Roy Marshall says groups that throw together some ghost houses may not always abide by fire codes and safety precautions. Marshall says all haunted houses, which are “special amusement buildings” under the law, need to comply with basic safety rules — things like an emergency lighting system and a sprinkler system if more than 50 people will be inside at any given time. He says more precautions are required for haunted houses that feature a hall of mirrors or a similar type of room designed to keep thrill-seekers turning in circles. The state Fire Marshal’s Office doesn’t usually inspect haunted houses. Mashall says that’s up to individual fire departments. He says people with concerns about a local haunted house should call their local authorities.
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