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Making Sure Halloween Haunts Aren't Too Scary

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For safety reasons, the state advises that people who visit haunted houses or corn mazes be aware of the locations of emergency exits. (Ricky Brigante/Flickr)
For safety reasons, the state advises that people who visit haunted houses or corn mazes be aware of the locations of emergency exits. (Ricky Brigante/Flickr)
October 16, 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If the weather isn't an indication Halloween is around the corner, the pumpkin patches, mazes and haunted houses surely are. While getting spooked is a holiday tradition for many, state officials want to make sure haunted houses don't provide a real-life scare.

The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance - charged with protecting the interests of consumers - is offering tips on how to make sure the activity you choose is safe. Spokeswoman Claire Marsalis explained:

"When you're visiting a haunted house, always just be aware of your surroundings and on the lookout for any safety features,” Marsalis said; “so if you just do a quick look around of, 'How will I exit, if I need to exit?'"

Haunted houses aren't required by law to post details about their safety measures, including sprinkler or alarm systems, but Marsalis said you can ask the event organizers or even the local building code office about the status of a particular business or address.

She added that an outdoor venue is typically safer than one indoors, but keeping an eye out for the closest exit is always a good idea.

With hundreds of Halloween activities popping up around the state, Marsalis said her office is also asking the public to be vigilant.

"If you notice any violations or any dangerous activity that you might see when you're out at a haunted house, you can always contact the State Fire Marshal's Office or the local code enforcement officials,” she said.

Along with looking for safety measures taken by organizers of a haunted house or corn maze, medical experts advise against partaking in these types of activities for those who have a heart condition.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - TN