Haunted houses are subject to safety precautions - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Haunted houses are subject to safety precautions

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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Emerging from its 10-month hibernation, Halloween Express is rocking. Hot costumes this year include Despicable Me minions and the guys from Duck Dynasty. It's a sure sign screaming is around the corner and Kara Lutz loves it.

"I do, I do," said Lutz. "It's a terrible thing to say, but I do."

Lutz is a little sick.

"Oh yeah," said Lutz. "Just ask my friends."

You'll find her somewhere within Deceased Farms in Lexington County: Brian Dalton's Haunted House.

"A good haunted house should entertain all its customers, the ones who aren't scared I hope are entertained," said Dalton.

Dalton's goal is simple: scare you to death, almost.

Underneath the Styrofoam and rubber body parts of all the fake monsters in the house is a layer of mandated safety precautions Dalton didn't expect when he opened 3 years ago.

"The permitting and the certificate of occupancy and all the different codes you have to follow, I never would've thought it," said Dalton.

According to the State Fire Marshal, haunted houses are typically zoned as 'special amusement buildings,' requiring sprinkler systems, smoke detectors and special permitting.

Dalton's is small enough not to require sprinklers, but he isn't taking chances. All the paint has been mixed with flame retardant, and visitors are never more than 50 feet away from an extinguisher and an exit.

The actors have been trained, too.

"They're responsible for clearing the room, and getting everyone out safely because they know where the exits are and where the fire extinguishers are," said Danny Gibson, one of Dalton's employees.

Hopefully they won't need them, and the only screams will come courtesy of Kara, who is working for free, by the way.

"When you do something you love, you don't need payment," said Lutz.

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