Escape Room Safety: After Fatal Polish Tragedy, Protecting Others from Similar Fate
January 20, 2020 By Chris B.
In Poland, five teenagers lost their lives and another was seriously injured in a devastating escape room fire.
Photo by: Hans
Like many in the industry, those of us here at PanIQ Room have heard of the tragedy that occured at an escape room facility in Poland on January 4th, 2019, in which five teenagers lost their lives and another was seriously injured in a devastating fire.
First and foremost, our hearts are deeply saddened and rest with these families at the loss of their children. There are no words that can ease this pain; only a slow and steady march forward in determining cause and protecting others from a similar fate.
For some, there is a stigma attached to escape rooms that they are an extreme form of entertainment with features built in to induce fear by locking participants in a room and asking them to orchestrate an escape. For many who are uncomfortable with this idea, news of this tragedy will only strengthen their convictions that such facilities are inherently dangerous. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth (and this coming from a brand that intentionally plays on the word “panic” in their name).
At PanIQ Room facilities, our focus is on the adventure rather than the escape. The thrill comes from immersing players in a scenario where they must work together toward an objective; “escape” is just a theme for certain scenarios rather than a condition for participation. In fact, we have many rooms in which the goal is to find a particular object or discover a hidden truth within the time limit, rather than to escape a threatening situation.
At PanIQ Room facilities, we do not lock anyone in. All participants are monitored and in communication with staff constantly while in the rooms, and free to leave at any point during the experience. Locks are used as objectives to be completed, rather than obstacles to freedom or safety. We maintain the position that there is a big difference between riding a rollercoaster and sitting in a shopping cart and asking someone to push it down a hill. Both may be thrilling experiences; however, one is inherently dangerous and stupid, while the other is a carefully crafted ride designed by brilliant engineers to create the illusion of danger with safety as the top priority. PanIQ Room strives toward the latter.
PanIQ Room opened our first facility in 2012, hosting hundreds of thousands of players each year in locations across the globe. We have never had an accident occur at any of our facilities. While we are a growing brand, still working on developing new markets and new sites, we do work to make customer safety a priority. Accidents can happen anywhere at any time, but we take any and all steps we can to make sure that our customers have a fun and exciting time without fear of a genuine threat to their safety. Should our players ever experience something unusual at our facilities that would endanger themselves or their wellbeing, we encourage that they communicate with us about it so that we can take steps to correct our mistake.
About PanIQ Room
PanIQ Room is currently one of the fastest growing escape room franchises in the country. The brand has 12 operating units all over the United States, with five more currently under construction. Different themes engage players through hidden passageways, special effects, psychological intrigue, and intricate puzzles as they try to escape a locked room within a specified amount of time, usually 60 minutes.