In preparation for Halloween, the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) are collaborating to ensure the safety of haunted house attractions. They're conducting thorough inspections to guarantee a secure experience for visitors.
Brian Fox, the Carnival Manager at the Illinois Department of Labor, underlined the importance of these inspections, stating, "Inspectors with IDOl's Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Division, along with other State and local partners, walkthrough, inspect and permit haunted houses before they're open to the public.”
Illinois requires inspections for all haunted houses, except those run by not-for-profit religious, educational, or charitable organizations, which can request exemptions. State Fire Marshal James Rivera emphasized fire safety in these attractions, urging operators to follow guidelines.
Safety restrictions include wide exits and pathways, limited dead-end paths, panic hardware on exit doors, flame device restrictions, flame-resistant decorations, and emergency training for staff.
Additionally, Illinois law requires background checks, sex offender registry checks for attraction workers, and a substance abuse policy with random drug testing.
To report unpermitted haunted houses, accidents, or unsafe conditions, call 217-557-3112 during business hours or 217-993-2941 after hours. Complaints can also be submitted online.
As Halloween approaches, OSFM and IDOL ensure a spooky but safe experience for those seeking thrills.