Halloween is a fun time for kiddos and their parents to dress up as their favorite characters and hit the streets in search of sugary goodness. Halloween is meant to be all in good fun, but there can be a literal dark side to the celebration of all things spooky and scary. While Trick-or-treaters are out and about collecting candy, there’s usually a spike in theft, vandalism and insurance claims on Halloween night.
Is your home ready for Trick or Treaters?
On Halloween night, excited, sugar-fueled kids dressed in costumes parade around your neighborhood and your home looking for sweet treats. Here are some tips to keep them, yourself, and your home, safe on All Hallows Eve:
Light up the pathway and the outside entrance – A well-lit path is the best way for trick-or-treaters to get safely to your front door. Plus, it will save them from stomping on your landscaping! Use solar lights or even decorative Christmas lights – especially if they’ll be making their debut soon, too. Just be sure to keep cords at bay to avoid a trip hazard. You can even walk the path yourself (try it in your own costume, too) to make sure there’s enough lighting.
Clear the way – While you’re walking the path to the candy, be sure to remove any decorations, leaves or branches, hoses, debris, cords, or any other potential hazards from the walking area, since kids in costumes in search of candy may not notice these things. If you have any other safety hazards leading up to the front door, like a missing or broken railing, loose bricks/pavers or anything else, now is a good time to get that fixed.
Keep the inside of your home safe – If you have an alarm, turn it off before trick-or-treaters arrive. If you have a camera system, be sure it’s working properly in case anything does go awry. You should also keep any valuables out of sight, and lock any doors that will be unsupervised throughout the night.
Give your pets a cozy place to relax – Pets, especially dogs and cats, can get overly excited and stressed by the ringing of the doorbell, and might want to bolt out the door if it’s constantly opening and closing. Consider putting them to bed early, or setting up a closed area for them to lounge. Leave the TV or radio on to mask the noise of the night. Not all visitors like pets greeting them at the door, and some kiddos get scared by loud barking or jumping dogs. The best thing for both is to keep your pets in a safe space for the night.
Park your car in the garage or off the beaten path – Save yourself from accidental dents, scratches or pranks by keeping your car out of sight. Keep the doors locked, windows up, and remove anything of value, too. And if you’re driving around and making frequent stops, consider a “designated driver” to stay with the car while you and the kids collect your candy.
Opt for LEDs over real candles – Flowing costumes and lit candles make for more of nightmare than a fairy tale. Opt for LED or battery-operated lighting over the real thing.
Taking it to the street
If you’re going out into the wild in search of candy, consider these things first:
Choose a safe neighborhood – If you’re out walking, choose your venue/neighborhood wisely. Know the surroundings and general lay of the land. Drive through the neighborhood ahead of time while during the day so you’re familiar with the area. Pay extra special attention to your surroundings while walking or driving. Stick to the sidewalks and paths while walking, and definitely do not enter anyone’s home past the front door.
Light it up – Keep a flashlight on hand and consider glow bracelets and reflective jewelry for the you and the kids.
Costume care – Kids should be able to move and run freely, have good visibility even with a mask, and proper footwear. Planning for this ahead of time can avoid falls and trips.
Meanwhile, back at home – While you are out, make your house seem occupied. Put on the lights, leave the TV or radio on. Consider leaving a sign that says “sorry out of candy” so kiddos aren’t disappointed if they walk up to your door.
Have a safe and Happy Halloween
Following these few safety tips and planning ahead of time can keep you, your home, your pets, and your trick-or-treating visitors safe. Take those few precautions to ensure a safe and happy Halloween night!
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