How Safe Is Your Escape Room Game?

2022.03.31.

If you're going to be booking an escape room game in a real brick and mortar building then you’ll probably take it for granted that you shouldn't need to worry about your own safety.  After all, the business of escape rooms is to let the teams and players have fun and they should be solely focused on solving the puzzles and riddles at hand. Nevertheless, for any escape room business, it's a major priority that all customers are safe at all times. Whether this is a policy that involves sharing information or giving practical advice on such things as fire escapes and fire exits, it's of paramount importance that the customer feels safe and secure in the back of their mind. On the whole, there are going to be a number of concerns and safety guidelines that need to be followed by every escape room business to ensure that all the participating players are kept as safe as possible.

Get To Know Your Exits

We suggest that when you are booking a real brick and mortar escape room game that you consider asking questions about the overall security and safety of the rooms you'll be playing in. One of the most important points is that no escape room business should actually lock the player in the room they're playing in. It's important that every customer knows that there is always the instant possibility of leaving the room in the case of an emergency. For this we don't mean a key by a locked door or a keypad to escape. You'll find that virtually all fire codes and laws state that all the exits need to be unimpeded. This means that the doors must always be able to open with ease before you invite the players into the room. We also suggest that the facility should have emergency lighting and this should come on in the event of a power outage. With so many escape room games taking part in dark basements it's important that the players are able to find the emergency exits clearly and easily. Consider for a moment, if fire did break out in the escape room game and the power went out. In such cases, it's important that an escape room facility has provisions in place to ensure that all the paths leading to the emergency exits are lit and easy to follow, more especially if there is smoke filling the rooms.

Someone Is Watching At All Times

All game masters are expected to be monitoring the games at all times. There's nothing sinister or creepy about this. It's just that in this way the game master can ensure that the players are getting the best playing experience. At the same time, we suggest that the game master should always be monitoring, not just the games, but also the other staff to ensure that nothing out of  the ordinary is going on. It's an important consideration that there are enough staff working across all the premises so that they can easily handle any emergencies if they were to occur. It's also important that the business takes into consideration that having but a single member of staff there is not going to be enough.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask About Safety Measures

Another important consideration is that the staff should be trained in all aspects of safety.  This means that there are standardised safety rules in place and every member of the staff knows exactly what to do In the event of an emergency. It's perfectly reasonable to ask the escape room providers if there is a standardised safety rule in case of an emergency and also if there is an emergency override which can unlock all mechanisms. All reputable escape room businesses should be able to shut down the entire facility with but a single press of a button. By being able to shut down all the games like this, then the players are alerted that there may be something wrong. This signals clearly that there is a problem. The last thing you want is to have players confused as to whether this emergency is part of the game or not. Particularly when playing in a basement if fire were to occur then the reaction time needs to be very fast indeed. Once again, don't be afraid to confirm that you are under surveillance at all times and that someone is watching in case there are any problems other than simply not being able to solve the clues or puzzles.

There’s Never Any Need To Be Restrained

Here at Exit TheRoom, we don't approve of the idea of players being restrained by applying blindfolds or handcuffs. Just because you're playing a prison game doesn't mean that the players need real restraints. To be treated to these sorts of gimmicks can be very dangerous, especially in the event of an emergency. As we previously mentioned, in some situations there can be no time to have to untie or uncuff a restrained player. Likewise, it's equally dangerous to be involved in an escape room game where you are blind folded. This is because, on removal of the blindfold, you could still be very disoriented and this can use up valuable emergency minutes. You might find it difficult to get your bearings and to remember exactly where the emergency exits are. More specialty if you've entered the room already blindfolded. 

Check The Number Of Players To The Size Of The Room

Another important safety consideration is the number of players compared to the size of the room they are all playing in. For example, a room measuring 10 ft x 10 ft should never have more than four players inside. But we have seen many escape room games where there can be up to eight people and more in such a small space. In the case of an emergency, it would quickly become apparent that there isn't enough room to accommodate a relatively high number of players, who could well be in a slight panic in the case of an emergency. There is a reason why buildings have maximum occupancy rates. These are calculated on the number of available exits for safety purposes. It's to ensure that there can be no bottlenecking occurring as many people try to use a single exit. If an escape room game is breaching these occupancy guidelines, then there may be serious safety consequences when it comes to evacuating everybody cleanly and smoothly in the event of an emergency.

Ensure That You Are Safe At All Times

Here at ExitTheRoom, as both room designers and builders of escape room games, we are well aware that the safety of our customers is absolutely paramount. In fact, the customer's safety must be any business's first priority, even before that of game design. You'll find that all our teams, and especially our gamemasters, are well trained to deal with any type of emergency that might occur during a game. As a given, all of our escape rooms follow strict building regulations. To that end, you may rest assured that we have done everything necessary to ensure the safety of our players. One of the problems that we have noticed with other escape room businesses is that, because the escape room genre is relatively young and new, then it can fly under the radar and be unregulated. But if the owner has any sense of responsibility, then they should actively seek out proper authorization.
 

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