Halloween is a night for costumes, spooky thrills, trick-or-treating, candy and, of course, fun. No one wants their happy Halloween to be marred by an accident. Everything from Jack O’ Lantern candles to poorly lit walkways can pose a safety problem for trick-or-treaters and homeowners. But, not to worry — there are several precautions you can take before those zombies and ballerinas start knocking on your door.
Whether you are transforming your home into a haunted house or simply handing out candy to your neighborhood ghouls and goblins, a quick safety check will help ensure a happy night of haunting.
Keep Halloween scary… in a good way! Follow these seven tips for Halloween safety.
No. 1: Trick-or-treat safely. Halloween safety for kids starts at home. Remind trick-or-treaters to walk, not run, between houses and stick to well lit driveways and sidewalks.
No. 2: Light up the night. Lit candles or luminaries may add a spooky glow to your home, but they also pose a fire hazard, the National Fire Protection Association warns. Trick-or-treaters can easily knock over the lit candles lining your front walk, injuring themselves and potentially starting a fire. Instead of real candles, opt for LED tea lights or wind a string of orange lights around your front porch. The U.S. Fire Administration says to make sure any decorative lights you plan to use have been tested by a recognized lab, and also to make sure the lights’ sockets, wires and connectors are in good working order before use. If you have a long driveway or walkway, turn on your regular outdoor lights, as well, so trick-or-treaters can easily see the path to the door.
No. 3: Clear a path. Make sure the path from your driveway or the sidewalk to the front door is free from obstructions or hazards. Repair loose porch railings and uneven walkway stones that may pose a safety threat to young trick-or-treaters. If you add spooky yard decorations like tombstones, fake cobwebs or mummies, be sure that these decorations do not obstruct any pathways.
No. 4: Clean up your yard. Fueled by candy and adrenaline, young trick-or-treaters often race from house to house, cutting through yards and alleyways. Anticipate potential hazards: Rake leaves, remove dead branches, trim hedges and fill in large holes. Store bikes, potted plants, gardening tools and hoses out of the yard and a safe distance from any walkways.
No. 5: Confine pets. The constant excitement of young children ringing the doorbell is simply too much for many pets, the ASPCA warns, and scared dogs or cats can dart out the front door. Avoid a Halloween pet mishap by keeping Fluffy and Fido in a separate room, away from the excitement.
No. 6: Check your homeowners coverage. Opening up your home to visitors, even if they are just trick-or-treaters on the front porch, can expose you to potential insurance claims and lawsuits. Check with your insurance agent to make sure your house is adequately covered.
No. 7: Practice indoor fire safety. Hosting a Halloween party for adults? Check your smoke alarms to help make sure they’re in good working order. Also, keep decorations like crepe paper away from carved pumpkins and open flames.