Many people look forward to Halloween’s yummy treats, sneaky tricks and creative costumes. While it can be a delightful celebration, there is always a risk of things going awry. But don’t fret – follow these 13 tips for Halloween safety to keep your home and guests happy, safe and ready for this year’s festivities.
1. Turn off your alarm before trick-or-treaters arrive.
Practicing consistent arming of your home security system is always encouraged, however, preventing false system alarms is also important. Halloween calls for your door to be open and closed fairly often over the course of the night, so disarm your home security system before Captain America or Queen Elsa rings your doorbell.
2. Put your pets in a closed room.
Furry friends – no matter how large or small – can bring joy and love to any home, but not all your visitors will feel the same way. Your pets might usually be welcoming to newcomers, but animals can be unpredictable. Confine your pet in a room away from the front door. This will keep them less stressed, prevent unwanted harm and will prevent them from getting loose.
3. Turn on outside lights.
No one likes tripping, nor does anyone like their perennials stepped on. Sure, your home might look extra spooky with only a few jack-o’-lanterns lit, but a dark home can tell people you’re not accepting visitors. It could also be an accident (or break-in) waiting to happen. Keep the pathway from the street to your door well-lit and prevent any scraped knees or uprooted greenery.
4. Sweep your driveway and walkway.
Fall means cooler weather, and cooler weather means extra leaves on the ground. Prevent even more scraped knees and other accidents by sweeping away any dirt, leaves or branches from your driveway or sidewalk.
5. Don’t place decorations on sidewalks.
While decorative spider webs can give your home extra Halloween-related zeal, placing them in the way of others can be a recipe for trouble. Skip placing pumpkins, webs or skeletons on your sidewalk, and instead place them off to the side. It’s better for your decorations to be looked at, not walked on.
6. Park your car in the garage.
The night before Halloween can be full of mischief, and the night of can lead to a yard full of kids. Instead of risking accidental dents or scratches (or pranks), park your car in your garage. If you don’t have a garage, be sure to park your car in a place with low traffic.
7. Use LED-lit candles instead of real candles.
Candles are great for creating a sense of mystery or a feeling of warmth, but they also run the risk of accidental house or yard fires. Unless you’re going to be keeping a close eye on every single candle, try swapping them out for LED ones instead. Your jack-o’-lanterns and other decorations will have the same effect, without the added risk.
8. Tone down the scary decorations.
Going all out to create a haunted house full of horrors might earn you street cred, but it could also keep some trick-or-treaters away. Some scary decorations could also invite people to react in a way that you might not have wanted. To prevent people from attacking your decorations, and to welcome more visitors, tone down the scary and opt for whimsy.
9. Avoid homemade treats.
You might have an autumn recipe your friends and family love, but many parents won’t let their kids eat non-prepackaged candy. Plus, labels that have allergy warnings can help prevent life-threatening reactions. Skip your famous candy corn mix and stick with the fun-size candies you can buy in bulk from the store.
10. Don’t put off home improvements.
Loose bricks and broken railings can be dangerous for overly excited kids. If you have some home improvements that need taken care of, go ahead and get around to them. The less risk at your home, the better.
11. Take pictures of your property before festivities begin.
Be sure to take pictures of your property before trick-or-treaters start to arrive. While you may be vigilant about securing the perimeter of your home, it’s hard to always prevent accidents or vandalism from happening to the exterior. Call your home insurance agent and see what is covered under your plan.
12. Keep an eye on your front door.
Since you’ll have trick-or-treaters knocking at your door fairly often, you’ll obviously want to be close by your door. However, it’s a good idea to lock your storm door, or front door if you don’t have one, after every visit. Most people just want to have a nice time on Halloween, but it’s good to keep a close watch on any possible tricksters.
13. Turn your alarm back on before you go to bed.
Once the night is done, don’t forget to set your alarm to stay or night mode. Having an armed and monitored home can give you the comfort needed to rest after an active evening.
Have a safe, fun Halloween. Practice these tips and enjoy the holiday.