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Phoenix Fire Department provides Halloween safety advice

(Getty Images Photo/Jemal Countess)

PHOENIX — As trick-or-treaters take to the streets for Halloween, the Phoenix Fire Department wants to make sure parents are keeping their children and families safe this weekend.

Phoenix Fire Department Deputy Marshal Brian Scholl is encouraging parents to be vigilant when visiting haunted houses and heading out for candy.

Scholl told KTAR News 92.3 FM that the department has only approved two haunted houses, in 13th Floor and Fear Farm & Haunted Corn Maze.

“When I say approved, what I mean is that we actually have our fire inspectors go through these facilities to make sure that they’re up to fire code,” Scholl said.

He explained that the approval process is important, as it ensures that haunted houses have proper fire sprinklers, alarms, emergency exits and lighting.

The features are important, Scholl said, as they allow patrons to safely exit a haunted house in case of a fire or other emergency.

“During our walk-through today, we’re trying to make sure that all of the safety features work,” he said. “So if there’s a fire or an incident in the haunted house while it’s running everything shuts down.

“All the noise shuts down, all the props shuts down and the people that were going to scare you become your safety people.”

Scholl added that haunted house safety is important because there are a lot of facilities in the area that aren’t up to fire code.

“A lot of times, we have unapproved haunted houses. And when I say unapproved, it means that they don’t go through the fire department to make sure that they’re up to code,” Scholl said. “They use this black plastic that’s really flammable and creates a lot of black smoke.”

Scholl added that unapproved haunted houses typically have one way in or out, which creates a safety hazard if a fire erupts.

When it comes to trick-or-treating, Scholl recommends children should not wear long costumes that could cause them to trip and fall and to only wear full-face masks when they reach the house.

Scholl also recommended that parents make sure their children have flashlights with them, so they don’t go unnoticed by passing motorists. Additionally, he said parents should make sure their children know how to stop, drop and roll in the event that their costume accidentally catches on fire.

“Because if for some reason they do go by a jack-o-lantern that does include a candle and their costume does catch fire they understand how to jump on the ground and roll around until the fire’s out,” Scholl said.

Scholl hopes that Valley children will be able to enjoy the holiday as they have in year’s past, even in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s Halloween and Halloween means candy for the kids so we’re hoping that everyone can go out trick-or-treating,” Scholl said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

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