Haunted attractions preparing safety features amongst the frights

HEIDELBERG TOWNSHIP, York County, Pa. --- As October rolls in and Halloween approaches, haunted attractions are preparing for the busy season.

At Kim's Krypt Haunted Mill, their set-up requires a lot more than the scares and spooks that pop out.

Jerry West, a manager at the haunted attraction, said every haunt in Pennsylvania must be registered with the state Department of Agriculture.

Haunts must also be inspected by a department inspector, which West is certified to do alongside another manager at Kim's Krypt Haunted Mall.

He said certification requires a test, more than a dozen hours of training, and more training every three years to receive updates on new requirements and safety topics.

“They really just drive it in just to make sure that everybody is doing what they need to do to make their haunt safe," said West.

They include a myriad of safety features, which includes: Fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, emergency lights in case of a power outage, emergency exits within at least 40 feet, two-toned stair cases, hired security and a hired registered nurse.

West said they go down a checklist, nightly, before the haunted nights begin.

“We try and do everything in the world possible to make our customers feel safe and be safe," said West.

West said they work with local fire departments on safety tactics, including the Porters Community Fire Company.

Chief Scott Rabenstine said they'll check for electrical issues, any blocked exits and staircases.

He said they've requested changes to the attraction previously and Kim's Krypt Haunted Mill has obliged.

Rabenstine also said they use the walkthroughs as an opportunity to get their own idea of the layout so they can know how to get in and out in case of emergency.

“It’s an old building and it’s a lot of uh, maze and that type of thing, you’re just not quite sure what you’re going to run into once you get in there," said Rabenstine.

West said haunted attractions must fill out incident reports if anything should happen on the property, even if it's simply providing an aspirin.

He said those reports must be sent to the state Department of Agriculture as part of their end of season report.

Rabenstine said the best a customer can do is listen to the people who work at the haunted attractions, saying they know the layout better than anyone else.

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