Whether you have the most Halloween spirit on the block or you simply don’t care for the spooky holiday – it’s important that as a homeowner you keep both your property and all the people that pass by it safe on Halloween night.
No matter how you intend to spend your time on October 31st, it’s best you have a plan worked out ahead of time for the event itself.
For those who just want a quiet night
If you don’t want to participate, try leaving most of the lights off inside your home, especially near the front door, to indicate that you’d prefer no one visit. Most people will get the point. Please, however, remember to keep your premises safe regardless. See “Additional Tips For Everyone” below.
For those trick-or-treating
If you’ll be leaving the house for your own trick-or-treating adventure then take the necessary precautions to keep your home safe while you are gone. If no one is sticking around to watch the home then it is best to lock the house up just in case.
Forgo most decorations as they are a general invitation for folks to approach your home on Halloween night. Instead, just leave a dim interior light on to suggest that someone is home but they are not taking part in the Halloween fun.
For those handing out treats
If you plan to be home and intend to partake in the festivities then be sure follow along with rest of our guide.
Lighting is key
Make sure the pathway to your door is well-lit and easy for trick-or-treaters to access. If you’re a Halloween fanatic then decorating your home to look dark and eerie might be your goal, but even so, safety takes precedent.
Most Halloween-themed lights are dark orange or purple and aren’t bright enough to promote much visibility around your home. That’s why keeping a porchlight or some yard lights on in addition to your decorative lighting is helpful.
For some folks, decorating their home for Halloween is essential. If you fall into that category you’ll want to adhere to some decoration safety.
Lights and Electronics:
Mentioned above, Halloween lights and other electronic decorations are common for the haunted holiday.
Test your lights and decorations prior to Halloween. Over time cords can get frayed and become a fire hazard. You should dispose of any decorations with apparent wiring issues. If any electronic lets off a strange burning smell, gets particularly hot when in use, or emits smoke then it should be discarded.
Check the UL Listing Mark on your lights. Indoor-use-only lights are typically marked with a green UL label while indoor/outdoor lights are marked with a red one.
If you will be using a “fog machine” or a similar device, only use it as directed and in spaces that are well-ventilated.
Don’t overload outlets with endless rows of power strips and plugs. Keep cords out of the walkway to avoid tripping hazards.
Jack-o-Lanterns are a classic decoration that are a lot of fun to make. Lighting them up however requires some caution. We recommend you use battery operated lights, but if you opt to use traditional candles to light up your pumpkins then do so safely.
Properly carve out your pumpkins prior to illuminating them and only set them in places that they are not likely to fall or be kicked over. Use small, tea light or well-contained votive style candles and keep the flames away from anything that might catch.
If you use plastic pumpkins or paper lanterns then do not use real candles to light them.
Additional tips for everyone
Firstly, no matter what your plan is, you should keep these things in mind:
- Pets don’t generally understand the concept of Halloween. Keep them in a comfortable, secure and secluded place during the festivities to avoid trouble.
- Vehicles parked on the street are more accessible. If possible, stow your vehicles in a garage or driveway so that they are less of a target for pranking vandals (which unfortunately may be out and about).
Avoiding additional hazards
We already mentioned that you should properly light the pathway for trick-or-treaters, but you should also clear up your yard, sidewalk and porch of tripping hazards. Even if kids can see where to go, they don’t always use the best judgement when it comes to being cautious.
It’s easy for children to get excited and miss something in their path, like a potted plant or a forgotten tool left in the yard. Keep things clean and avoid anyone getting hurt.
Crumbling or decaying steps and loose railings can be dangerous too. Repairing these types of hazards is a responsibility that you have as a homeowner regardless of Halloween.
If you have any questions about your homeowners insurance then contact your independent insurance agent. Have a happy Halloween!