Halloween is a popular holiday around the country. Many enjoy this spooky day’s decorations, activities, and overall festivity.
However, sometimes Halloween can feel like an unsafe event. Strangers coming to your home to collect candy may cause you to worry about their safety and your own.
If someone finds themselves injured on your property, this can lead to an insurance claim and higher premiums for you. If you’re hoping to find cheaper home insurance, this will not help you in your search.
So how can you have an exciting Halloween experience while still staying safe? Let’s find out.
#1 – Don’t Skimp on Lighting Around Your Home
Provide adequate lighting if you plan to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home. Most trick-or-treating events occur in the evening when it can be difficult for children to see where they’re going.
Many factors determine how much lighting you need to keep visitors safe on Halloween. If your street doesn’t have lighting, you may want to consider extra lights near the sidewalk to show a distinct path for trick-or-treaters.
If you have a long driveway or walkway, you’ll want to ensure plenty of lighting so children can see where they’re walking. Often in-ground lighting can work best for walkways.
You can get as creative as you choose with the lights around your home. Festive orange or purple lightbulbs can create a Halloween atmosphere while still providing visibility. To add a little Halloween spirit, you may find themed lamps in shapes such as bones or bats.
No matter what color, shape, or lighting style you choose, having good visibility ensures your trick-or-treaters will be safe when approaching your home. Their safety can help you avoid any potential injuries on your property.
#2 – Keep Jack-O-Lanterns Out of Main Walkways
Carving up pumpkins and lighting them for all to see is a common tradition during Halloween. However, if you’re using an open-flame candle to illuminate your jack-o-lanterns, it’s best to keep them away from direct walkways.
The risk of a costume or candy bag catching fire as trick-or-treaters pass by is drastically increased if pumpkins are placed on direct walkways. Instead, put them out of the walking path in areas such as the sides of your porch.
Open flames also risk catching your decorations on fire if they are positioned too close. This can quickly lead to a large fire depending on the material of your decor.
If you want to be as safe as possible, keep open flames out of jack-o-lanterns and opt for a safer alternative instead, such as battery-powered tea lights. These can ensure you have nicely lit pumpkins without a potential fire risk.
#3 – Avoid Letting Pets Outside During Trick-or-Treat
Even if you believe your furry friend would never hurt a fly, you can’t be too careful — especially around people you don’t know. Many things happening on Halloween could spook your pet, causing them to act out of character.
People in unfamiliar masks, loud noises, and an endless sea of strangers could terrify your fur baby. Their terror could lead to potentially harming a trick-or-treater visiting your home for the holiday.
If your pet harms someone, you will be held responsible for their actions. If it happens on your property, you could be required to file a claim with your home insurance to cover any medical costs related to the incident.
Add your dog to your homeowners’ insurance to avoid paying medical bills and even a potential lawsuit out of pocket.
Instead of risking a potential injury and an increased insurance rate, keeping your pets inside during the festivities is the safest option. You can ensure they will not get scared and act out.
#4 – Clean Walkways Before the Festivities Begin
If your driveway or walkways are cluttered with toys, tools, or even leaves and sticks from nearby trees, these can all pose a hazard to trick-or-treaters. Keeping these areas clean and clear is essential to avoid potential injuries — even if your walkways are well-lit.
Unclear walkways can cause a child using them to trip, leading to sprained ankles, cuts, scrapes, or even a more severe injury like a broken bone. While this may seem like a worst-case scenario, you can never be too careful about injuries on your property.
You will likely have to file a claim with your home insurance if medical help is required. As a result, your rates could increase.
Rather than risk anyone getting hurt and potential insurance hikes, clear your driveway and walkways before trick-or-treaters arrive. Clean walking areas ensure no one will have a mishap while on your property.
#5 – Avoid Handing out Homemade Treats
While offering something you made with love to your trick-or-treaters may be tempting, these treats are often best for people you know. Many parents or guardians are likely wary of candy or sweets that are not wrapped professionally.
It’s also unlikely that you’ll take the time to write an entire ingredient list for your homemade candy. While this is understandable, it can also be dangerous. If you offer homemade candy to a child with allergies and they have a reaction, you could be held liable.
If you purchase candy to hand out and a child has an allergic reaction, the parents can take up their complaints with the manufacturer, not you personally. However, if you are the one who prepared the candy, you will be at fault.
Rather than running the risk of potential illness or allergic reactions, your safest option is to purchase prepacked candy from a manufacturer.
A Spooky, Scary, and Safe Halloween
The joy of Halloween is something countless people enjoy every year. The fun decorations, the endless supply of candy, and the opportunity to be scared are all exciting parts of the Halloween season.
However, if you plan to host trick-or-treaters, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking proper safety precautions so you aren’t liable for any incidents. Keeping your home well-lit, avoiding open flame candles and moving pumpkins, keeping your pets inside, clearing walkways, and avoiding homemade treats are all ways to prevent potential mishaps this Halloween season.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, USInsuranceAgents.com. She is an insurance expert and avid Halloween lover who enjoys sharing her safety tips with others.