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Fall Fire Prevention: Haunted Houses and Crop Mazes

Amusement owners and operators must provide a safe and fun experience in order to keep customers coming back. Learn about safety requirements at fall amusements.

Table of Contents

Crop Maze Safety

Crop maze safety brochure cover image

Crop maze owners and operators must provide a safe and fun experience in order to keep customers coming back.
The primary danger at a crop maze is a medical or fire emergency for which staff are not prepared. However, owners and operators can take preventive measures to ensure that staff are prepared to handle emergencies.

This Crop Maze Safety  pamphlet gives an overview of the requirements for crop mazes contained in the State Fire Code, 527 CMR 1.00, s. 10.14.11 and includes additional safety recommendations.

Haunted Houses and Special Amusement Buildings

The Halloween season is fun, but it generates life safety issues when haunted houses and/or fun houses are open to the public. This is true regardless of occupant load (i.e., either Assembly Use or Business Use buildings or portions thereof). These are regulated by the State Building Code under the Division of Professional Licensures' Office of Public Safety & Inspections. A permit is required from the local building inspector.

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.

The National Fire Protection Association Standard 1 (NFPA 1) has recommendations for fire safety in these special amusement properties. 



DFS Code Compliance Desk (978) 567-3375

Open 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.


DFS Code Compliance
1 State Road
Stow, MA 01775


1 State Road
Stow, MA 01775
Date published: October 16, 2018

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