Be aware of inspections at your favorite Halloween haunted attractions

BELMONT, NC (WBTV) - Are you thinking of taking your child to a haunted house this Halloween? Before you do, you may want to make sure that the attraction is up to code.

In the state of North Carolina, all indoor haunted attractions must be inspected to make sure they meet certain safety standards.

"They fall under a mandatory permit," Belmont Fire Inspector and Engineer Blair Gribble said.

Gribble told WBTV that all haunted attractions are subject to inspection and must have a permit under the North Carolina Fire Code.

He said to get that permit, his department looks for features like clearly visible exit signs, theatrics stopping when alarms sound and spaces of 1,000 feet or bigger that have sprinklers.

Gribble said parents should also be on the lookout for those features.

"I would look for…one definite distinction is sprinkler heads in the ceiling. Ask to see their fire inspection or their mandatory permit," Gribble said. "The main thing, is that it seems well run. Most of the ones that are well run and don't just jump up at the last second before Halloween, they're on the radar with the fire department."

Belmont's Haunted Mill has been open for 20 years and is open all year round. Their business starts to really pick up around this time of year.

Kevin Blanchfield, who is the owner, said "to die for" features keep mill visitors coming back annually but it's the safety features that keep the doors open."It's an expensive endeavor to make sure you have all these systems in place to make sure everyone's safe," he said.

Gribble says if anyone has a question about a haunted attraction such as whether it's permitted or safe, you can call your local fire department.

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