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1.1K Violations Found So Far in Poland After Escape Room Fire

But experts say sites in US appear to have adequate safety features in place
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2019 9:55 AM CST
Lights, flowers, and toys are seen Sunday outside the escape room site where five teenage girls died in a fire last week in Koszalin, Poland.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The escape room in Poland where five teen girls died last week was said to have safety issues. But now officials are taking a look at escape rooms all across the country, and escape room owners in other areas—including in the US—are also reviewing their own protocols for running the popular recreational activity. The number of escape rooms now shuttered by the Polish government during a safety review jumped to more than two dozen as of Monday, after the escape room in Koszalin was found to have multiple safety issues. The New York Times details some of them, including windows hidden under makeshift walls, no emergency plan (posted or otherwise), no safety code inspection, and a lack of an evacuation route.

A Polish prosecutor says the owner of the Koszalin site, IDed as Milosz S., was charged with "deliberately creating the danger of a fire in the escape room and with unintentionally causing the death of people in a fire." Every escape room in Poland is now set to be scrutinized, and just three days in, more than 1,100 violations have already been unearthed. Escape rooms are popular in the US, too, with more than 2,000 rooms scattered across the country. An escape room blogger says most US facilities leave clients with an easy way to leave—e.g., a key or button—or don't actually lock the doors at all. A rep for one such site in Nashville, Tenn., backs that up, reports WZTV, as does the co-owner of one in Erie, Pa., per Erie News Now. "We have everything covered from head to toe," he says. "Every door lock is accessible with a get-out-of-jail free code. You can get out any time you want." (Read more escape room stories.)

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