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DIGGING DEEPER: Are area haunted houses safe?

Halloween-themed businesses are gearing up for their busy season and haunted houses across Eastern Idaho are opening for the Halloween season, and whether it is a haunted house, hayride or corn maze, crews are working overtime to not only provide you with a spook but a safe time.

“We want to make sure that if you come through here you have the best experience of your life but at the same time have the safest experience of your life at the same time,” Darryl Wagner, operator of Dr. Slaughter’s in Idaho Falls, said.

Wagner took KIFI/KIDK on a tour of the spooky house to show us how spook-seekers are kept safe. He says it all starts with the communication. The 21 employees are equipped with hand-held radios they can use to communicate with other employees throughout the attraction.

“Between your characters, your staff and your customers there is not a square inch of the building that doesn’t have somebody in it at all time,” Wagner said. “We depend on everyone to let us know if there is an issue.”

Wagner says in the event of hire, his crews are ready to act. During mock drills, he and his team have evacuated the who building and upwards of 600 people in six minutes.

There are also over two-dozen fire extinguishers tucked away and the 36,000 square foot building is equipped with 550 sprinkler heads.

“This is a big system. This was one of the biggest that was created back in the 50’s when this was done and this runs the whole upper part of the building,” Wagner said. “There are heads that come down everywhere.”

Over the years, Dr. Slaughter’s employees sprayed all the attractions with fire resistant coating to cut down on the risk of a fire spreading. There are also several exits throughout the attraction.

The Idaho Falls Fire Marshal says they are prepared to respond to an emergency. The last call they got was a couple years ago. That was to the straw maze south of town, before it opened for the season.

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