How one East Lansing escape room business keeps players safe

By  | 

EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- After a deadly fire in an escape room in Poland that killed five teenage girls, News 10 wanted to know how some of these entertainment venues in mid-Michigan work to keep players safe.

The goal of an escape room is for players to solve puzzles and find the key to get out of a locked room.

Challenges East Lansing Escape Room has five themed escape rooms, including a festive, Christmas theme. But something less obvious is the room's safety features.

"We do have emergency codes on the doors that the players can go out of in case they need to," said Quentin Leverich, the Co-Owner of Challenges.

Leverich and his employees can manually override anything electronic in the room and unlock anything in case of an emergency.

A fire killed five teenage girls locked inside an escape room in Poland. Prosecutors there said a faulty heating system was to blame and the venue lacked a proper evacuation route.

"We got our exit up front and then we've got two emergency exits. Lit exits in the back," Leverich said.

There are also fire sprinklers in the rooms at Challenges, as well as security cameras. There's a Game Master watching every game behind the scenes to help players with clues, and also in case of an emergency. The Game Masters can also send messages to the players through a TV in the corner of the room.

Leverich said his building does get a fire safety inspection by Meridian Township which took place Thursday.

"I think a loss of life is a horrible thing. Whether it's in our industry or somewhere else. We just want everyone to know that they're safe here when they come to play at Challenges," Leverich said.

Leverich said they've had no safety issues since they opened two years ago.

The man who designed the escape room in Poland has been charged with intentionally creating the fire hazard which led to the blaze.