Halloween is a fun time of year, filled with scary costumes and delicious candy. Many people enjoy the chance to decorate their homes with cackling witches, tombstones with skeletons and ominous ghosts. However, Halloween can also be a stressful time for homeowners, with trick-or-treaters crossing over onto your property throughout the night.
Here are some tips for how to keep your home, as well as trick-or-treaters, safe this Halloween.
Keep the Lights On
Make sure that your house is well-lit. Not only does this make your home look more inviting to trick-or-treaters, it also decreases the risk of someone tripping and possibly getting hurt. Replace dim or burned-out light bulbs on exterior light fixtures and place lights along pathways so that they are well defined. This can also help if you have a longer driveway, so kids know how to get to your door.
In their excitement for more candy, kids will often run from house to house. Remove any big bulky items from the drive and pathways, like skateboards or rakes and place them in the garage. Check pathways for any electrical wires or hoses running across them, and re-arrange them so they don’t cross over the paths. The day of Halloween, sweep your pathways to get rid of fallen leaves, as well as pick up any sticks, trim back bushes and fill any holes. Keep decorations either to the side or completely off pathways.
Eliminate Possible Hazards
If someone gets hurt on your property during Halloween, you could be held liable. Little things, like replacing your spooky candles with strings of orange lights or battery-powered candles, can eliminate the chances of a fire hazard, without taking away from your festive décor. Fix any loose railings, stones or wooden planks before trick-or-treaters arrive, since it will be harder to pick out these dangers in the dark. While homemade treats might be fun to make, they impose an allergy risk and many parents are wary of food that’s not pre-packaged.
Protect Your Pets
Halloween can be an overwhelming time for pets, with loud and excited kids constantly ringing the doorbell. Keep pets inside and in a separate room from the door, so they don’t get outside and get lost or hurt.
Safeguard Your Home If You’re Traveling on Halloween
Leaving your house unattended on Halloween adds to the pre-existing holiday stress. To avoid trick-or-treaters from coming on your property while you aren’t home, turn out the lights and any light-up decorations, since trick-or-treaters tend to avoid darker properties. Keep your security alarm on and install a motion-activated light to ward away anyone trying to break-in or prank your home. Also let a trusted neighbor know that you wouldn’t be around, so they can alert you if they see someone lurking around the property. Park cars in the garage to eliminate the risk of them getting damaged or broken into. Even if you are home on Halloween, lock the door between trick-or-treaters, so no one can invite themselves into your house, and turn on the security alarm before you go to bed.
Halloween does not have to be filled with constant worry. It is a fun holiday that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, so follow these tips on how to keep your home safe this Halloween. Likewise, if you end up going out with the kids and partaking in the festivities yourself, remember to stay visible and only trick-or-treat in well-known and well-lit neighborhoods.