The Department of Fire Services receives multiple calls each year about corn maze regulations. There are no regulations that apply directly to corn mazes; however there are broad statutes and regulations that guide fire personnel in situations that may lead to fire - MGL 148 § 5 and 527 CMR 1: 10.15.11. The Department of Fire Services has a Crop Maze pamphlet for owners and operators of corn mazes. The pamphlet is designed to encourage discussion between local fire departments and corn maze operators to determine the safest approach to operating a corn maze. Each corn maze is unique and may meet some or all of the recommendations outlined in the pamphlet.
Haunted Houses and Special Amusement Buildings
The Halloween season is a fun time of the year, but it generates life safety issues when haunted houses and/or fun houses are operated and open to the public. This is true regardless of occupant load (i.e., either Assembly Use or Business Use buildings or portions thereof).
The life safety issues surrounding haunted houses are glaringly apparent in a review of two tragic fires. A May 11, 1984 fire in the Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure Park in New Jersey resulted in the deaths of eight visitors because they could not find the exits in time. An October 27, 1973 Washington Reid School PTA haunted house fire occurred one half hour before a PTA-built haunted house maze was to open. The maze caught fire killing one of the PTA volunteers helping to construct it. At the Six Flags fire, major factors contributing to loss of life included:
- failure to detect and extinguish the fire at its incipient stage by means of fixed fire detection and suppression systems;
- ignition of synthetic foam materials and combustible interior finishes contributed to the spread of fire and smoke;
- the difficulty of escape from fire in a haunted-house type environment.
Halloween Safety Tips – a pamphlet for parents and children on celebrating Halloween safely.