Monday, January 29, 2007

Families In the Dark

Yesterday, my daughter attended yet another birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. While my daughter LOVES this place - especially the tunnels above my head; I'm not as fond. The place is usually loud and often crowded (especially on the weekends.) It's hard to keep track of a busy 5 year old. Everytime, I've attended a party (four times - hopefully, there will not be a fifth), there is at least one child, who loses his parent, and is crying hysterically.
Chuck E. Cheese ( does have a great policy in place for parents that no child can leave the building unless the stamp (parent & child received upon entering) matches the adult with him.
I'm not sure that would have helped yesterday in Methuen.
Families at that Chuck E. Cheese were literally in the dark, as the lights went out and the generator failed to turn on. (
I can't image the panic those families felt, considering how chaotic the place is, when every light is on.
According to the Methuen Fire Department who inspected the sysem last year and found it in good working condition, the battery operating the generator had failed.
In today's world, businesses that cater to children and families need to ensure the safety of those who frequent their establishment. Families need to know their children will be safe and not panic when the lights go out and fail to come back on.
If Chuck E. Cheese employees had taken 5 minutes to check the battery once a month, just like many parents do with smoke detectors, they would have helped create a memorable day for many families, not a fearful atmosphere.

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