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Why the Fire Marshal Inspects Public Venues like Haunted Houses

Posted by The Plastic Sheeting Gurus! on Thu, May 11, 2023 @ 03:45

Don't Let Your Haunted House Get Shut Down by the Local Fire Marshal!

Fire Marshal visits your venue

Here Comes The Fire Marshal!!!!

Have you ever wondered why the fire marshal pays a visit to public venues such as haunted houses? While their arrival may seem daunting, their purpose is rooted in ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone present. In this blog, we'll explore the reasons behind fire marshal inspections and highlight key measures you can take to ensure your haunted house doesn't get shut down.

  1. Fire Safety Compliance:

The primary goal of the fire marshal's inspection is to verify that the venue meets fire safety standards and regulations. They assess various aspects of the haunted house, including its layout, emergency exits, electrical systems, fire suppression equipment, and the use of fire retardant materials. By conducting these inspections, the fire marshal aims to identify potential fire hazards and ensure adequate measures are in place to mitigate risks.

  1. Evacuation Preparedness:

In the event of an emergency, the fire marshal evaluates the haunted house's readiness for a safe and efficient evacuation. They inspect the accessibility and functionality of emergency exits, proper signage indicating evacuation routes, unobstructed pathways, and the presence of clear instructions for attendees. Demonstrating a well-planned evacuation strategy is crucial for the fire marshal's approval.

  1. Fire Suppression Systems:

The fire marshal examines the effectiveness of fire suppression systems installed in the haunted house. These systems may include fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, and smoke detectors. Regular maintenance, proper placement, and functionality of these systems are essential to ensure a rapid response in case of a fire emergency.

  1. Fire Retardant Materials:

Using fire retardant materials, such as fire retardant plastic sheeting, plays a significant role in meeting fire safety requirements. The fire marshal may inspect the haunted house to ensure that the materials used are indeed fire retardant and meet the specified standards, such as NFPA 701 or CA Fire Marshal Title 19. Compliance with these standards helps prevent the rapid spread of fire and reduces the risk to attendees.

Tips to Avoid Getting Shut Down:

To ensure your haunted house passes the fire marshal's inspection and remains open for business, consider the following tips:

  1. Research Local Fire Codes: Familiarize yourself with the fire safety regulations specific to your jurisdiction. Stay updated on any changes or additions to ensure compliance.

  2. Regular Inspections: Conduct periodic self-inspections to identify potential fire hazards, rectify any issues promptly, and maintain a safe environment.

  3. Emergency Preparedness: Develop and practice an effective evacuation plan, including clear signage, unobstructed exits, and staff training on emergency procedures.

  4. Fire Suppression Systems: Ensure that fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and sprinkler systems are regularly inspected, maintained, and functional.

  5. Documentation: Keep records of maintenance, inspections, and certifications for fire suppression systems, fire retardant materials, and any other relevant fire safety measures.

  6. Communication with the Fire Marshal: Establish open lines of communication with the fire marshal's office. Seek their guidance, address any concerns they may have, and work together to ensure compliance.


The presence of a fire marshal during haunted house inspections is vital to ensure the safety of attendees. By complying with fire safety regulations, conducting self-inspections, and maintaining fire suppression systems, you can demonstrate your commitment to providing a secure and enjoyable experience. Remember, working proactively with the fire marshal's office and staying informed about fire safety requirements will help ensure your haunted house remains open to thrill and delight visitors while prioritizing their well-being.

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Tags: fire Marshal

Black Plastic For Halloween- What's the best choice?

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Mon, Jul 02, 2012 @ 02:27

Are all black plastic sheeting products pretty much the same? This is a question that pops up every year as the witching hour approaches, and all the little ghosts and goblins will be running about. The answer is NO. For Halloween Haunts you want to use a Fire Retardant plastic. You see, in most jurisdictions the fire marshals are now making haunted houses use fire retardant products, like drywall, or plastic sheeting (polyethylene) that is Fire Retardant.  Many haunted houses have been made to install basic walls in recent years, because their fire marshals insisted they were necessary for meeting the fire safety requirements, and did not know there were far less expensive options available. 

Black FR Plastic For Halloween 

Global Plastic Sheeting supplies Black FR Polyethylene that  fire marshal's approves for this application. It is used in large amusement parks as well as for school and home owners. This polyethylene has been chemically altered when it was extruded, so it can no longer contribute significantly as a fuel source in the event of a fire.  This product provides a very low cost option for making your haunted attractions meet the local codes.

Don't let those precious little "monsters" burn your house down by using plastic sheeting that is not fire retardant!

Most fire marshals are looking for products that pass the NFPA 701-04 Test 1, and/or the CA Fire Marshal Title 19 fire standards.  One should always check with fire authorities in their jurisdiction before erecting any haunted attraction.

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Tags: Black FR Plastic, fire Marshal, Black Plastic for Halloween

Haunted House NFPA Code

Posted by Nana Hinsley on Mon, Jun 27, 2011 @ 03:08

Question:  Which NFPA code covers structures such as haunted houses?

Fire retardant plastic

Answer:  NFPA 101 defines haunted houses as, "a building that is temporary, permanent, or mobile that contains a device or system that conveys passengers or provides a walkway along, around or over a course in any direction as a form of amusement arranged so that the egress path is not readily apparent due to visual or audio distractions or intentionally confounded egress path, or is not readily available due to mode of conveyance through the building or structure.  Such structures include amusement such as haunted house, a roller coaster type ride within a building, a multilevel play structure within a building, a submarine ride, and similar amusements where the occupants are not in the open air."

If you visit the NFPA site you, look for section NFPA 101 12.11 (Assembly Occupancies) and section 13.4.7 (Special Amusement Buildings), you will find requirements for Haunted Houses.  The local fire authority has jurisdiction over enforcing all applicable fire and life safety regulations.  We have heard from haunted house customer after customer who has had their haunted house shut down on the spot for not having fire retardant plastic sheeting. Non-fire retardant plastic goes up in flames in a flash. This is why fire marshal's insist upon Fire retardant plastic- whether it is black or white.

Contact Chanel at 866-597-9298 if you would like to know more. You have quite a few options when it comes to obtaining fire retardant products.


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Tags: Haunted houses, fire Marshal, NFPA codes, fire retardant black plastic