Halloween is filled with yummy sweets, elaborate children’s costumes and the rare opportunity to slow down from the busyness of life and say hello to all your neighbours. Don’t let the risk of an accident, house fire or property damage ruin the festivities. It’s important for homeowners to take precautions and practice Halloween home safety! Here are some tips to keep your home and trick-or-treaters safe throughout the evening.
1. Lighting the entrance to your home sends the message that visitors are welcome and that safety is important. Make sure your property is well on both Oct. 30 and 31. Consider installing motion activated lights to deter vandalism and alert you to anyone moving around your home uninvited.
2. Park your vehicles inside the garage if possible and put garbage and recycle bins inside the shed or garage. Move potted plants, lawn chairs and lawn ornaments off to the side of your house or tucked away in the backyard.
3. Ensure that pathways and walkways in front of your house and up to your front door are clear of any clutter that could cause little people to trip. Clean your lawn and yard of loose branches, yard tools, garden hoses or toys and cover of fill in any holes that might cause tripping.
4. Sometimes children are wearing cumbersome costumes and will need to hold on to a railing as they approach your front door. Check you railings and porch supports to prevent any loose pieces from causing an accident.
5. Don't leave burning candles unattended indoors or outside – in jack-o-lanterns, for example. A pumpkin that accidentally gets knocked over could ignite a costume or even dry leaves on the ground. Try illuminating with small flashlights instead.
6. Trim hedges and bushes where the driveway meets the sidewalk so that anyone passing by can easily be seen and clean up slippery wet leaves off the driveway and sidewalks to avoid trick or treaters falling on your property.
7. Tuck your family pet away for the evening. Even the calmest dog or cat can become agitated at the site of scary costumes and repeated knocks at the front door. Not only do you want to keep your pet from becoming scared, it is important to ensure that there is no chance a child may become frightened by a dog trying to get them through the front door.
8. Jack-o-lanterns are a fun part of Halloween, if you choose to use candles to light your pumpkins, make sure that you place them far from where little feet can kick them or costumes can catch fire. Many homeowners are opting for battery lit pumpkins which are easier to keep lit on a windy night and much safer.
9. If possible, leave at least one family member at home with lights on while trick-or-treaters are out and about and keep interior lights on for most of the evening.
10. Hopefully, there will be no problems and the evening will consist of spooky neighbourhood fun, however if you should notice anything or anyone suspicious on your property or one of your neighbours, call the police immediately.
While Halloween can be a fun event for everyone, homeowners should make sure that their home is completely safe. Ensuring that little visitors are safe when they come to collect your candy and protecting your home from any unwanted mischief is the best way to enjoy the spooky season.