300.08RHH - Haunted house permit requirements

Haunted houses or other similar installations such as fun houses, etc., which are set up for temporary use not to exceed 90 days, and if located inside a structure not designed for this specific use, shall comply with the requirements below.

Violation of these requirements may result in a citation at time of inspection.


  • A permit from the Fire Marshal’s Office is required for Haunted Houses, or similar temporary installations regardless of occupant load.
  • Permit applications are available online: Form #300.08APP or from the Permit Office at:
                                                                   1300 SE Gideon Street, Portland, OR 97202-2419
  • A permit fee will be calculated based on the square footage of actual area in use by the public (Schedules A & B below).
  • Make check payable to “Portland City Treasurer.”
  • The Public/Special Events Inspector must be contacted for an inspection, and the planning of an evacuation procedure, prior to opening the facility to the public.
Assembly Building Fees – Schedule A

$200 for up to 25,000 square feet

$300 for 25,001 to 50,000 square feet

$600 for 50,001 to 100,000 square feet

(add $250 for each additional 50,000 square feet, max $1,600)

NON-Assembly Building Fees – Schedule B

$300 for up to 25,000 square feet

$600 for 25,001 to 50,000 square feet

$850 for 50,001 to 100,000 square feet

(add $250 for each additional 50,000 square feet to 250,000, then max of $1,900)

Automatic sprinklers

The building shall be equipped throughout with automatic sprinkler and fire detection systems.

Exception: Automatic sprinklers are not required where the total floor area of the building is less than 1,000 square feet and the travel distance from any point to an exit is less than 50 feet.

In a facility using the maze concept

  • There may be no dead-end corridors.
  • The maze must have an obvious exit out of the maze for approximately every 50 feet of linear travel.
  • All aisles must be a minimum of 4 feet wide and 6’8” high.

Floor plans

  • A detailed floor plan must be submitted with the permit application packet at least 21 days before the event, and must include:
  • Drawing, to scale, including dimensions.
  • Location of all exits.
  • Location of all fire extinguishers.


  • The total number of occupants in the facility at any time shall be limited to a specific number, as determined by the fire marshal’s office.
  • A group shall consist of not more than 20 persons, or as determined by the Public/Special Events Inspector.
  • Each group of children age 12 and under, must be accompanied or supervised by a staff person who is 18 years of age or older.
  • Staff must have in their possession an operable flashlight, and shall be completely familiar with the facility.
  • Staff shall be thoroughly instructed on an approved evacuation plan for the facility, and be able to assist the public in the event of an emergency.


  • Exits must be a minimum of 3 feet wide and 6’8” high.
  • Each exit must have lighted exit signs placed above them.
  • Centered above EACH marked “EXIT”, there must be an electrically powered, battery back-up exit sign with two emergency lights, or a heavy paper/cardboard exit sign with 12” red fluorescent letters on a white background

NOTE: electric signs should be plugged in a few hours before the event to charge the batteries.Paper or cardboard signs must be illuminated by a mounted flashlight or spotlight.

  • Additional lighted exit signs may be required to direct people out of the building, tent or other structure.
  • All stairways must be illuminated at a level of at least one footcandle (one fifth of normal exit lighting power). Definition of footcandle:  A unit of illuminance on a surface that is everywhere one foot from a uniform point source of light of one candle and equal to one lumen per square foot.


  • There shall be no smoking allowed at any time, by anyone inside the building and or structure.
  • There shall be no open-flame devices or temporary heaters used in the building and/or structure, unless prior approval is obtained from the Public/Special Events Inspector.
  • The use of untreated combustible material is prohibited, including non-flame retardant visqueen.
  • All combustible material must be treated or protected, so that it is rendered and maintained flame-retardant, in a manner acceptable to the Fire Marshal’s Office.
  • NOTE: This includes harvest decorations, such as cornstalks, dry branches, and hay.  Never place this type of decoration in or near exits or stairs.


  • All electrical installations must meet the Electrical Code.

Fire Extinguishers

  • A sufficient number of fire extinguishers shall be provided to insure that the maximum travel distance to any extinguisher does not exceed 50 feet.
  • The minimum acceptable rating (size) is 2A-10BC.
  • All fire extinguishers should have a service tag indicating service within the last year, unless it is new.
  • The fire extinguishers shall be mounted in a conspicuous location, near each required exit or as otherwise noted on the approved plans/permit.
  • Staff members shall be instructed in the proper use of extinguishers.

Apply for permit


Fire Permit Center

Portland Fire and Rescue