When you think of Halloween, you likely picture elaborate costumes and treat bags overflowing with chocolate and candy. And, while parents will check their children’s treat bags for anything suspicious, there are other, lesser known, dangers they need to keep an eye on as well. Carve out good times this Halloween with these 13 tips to keep your home, your car and all the trick-or-treaters safe.
For Your Home
Your home insurance policy will cover you in the event that someone accidentally injures themselves on your property or if a mishap causes one of your decorations to catch fire. Even so, you are still required to take every precaution reasonable to ensure safety comes first.
1. Clear the path to your door
By October 31st, there’s usually a thick coating of leaves on the ground. This can be a slip or trip hazard for anyone, let alone excited kids decked out in costume. Remove leaves and any other obstacles that might be in the way prior to Halloween night. Also, make sure your doorway is well-lit before children begin arriving.
2. Clean up your front yard
Sometimes, little ones accidentally wander away from the front door, or older kids might use front yards as a shortcut to go from house to house. Put away any toys or garden equipment to lower the risk of accidents.
3. Keep your pets inside
Canadians love their pets, but not every child (or adult) wants to be high-fived by four-legged friend when they come to the door. Halloween is also a dangerous time for animals themselves, as they can be spooked easily or run outside into traffic. It’s best to keep dogs, cats and other pets secured in a room away from the door once the trick-or-treaters start to visit.
4. Minimize fire risks
Do not use real candles inside jack-o’-lanterns; opt for battery-operated candles or flashlights instead. Also, ensure any decorations are kept away from any open flames or lights that could heat up, causing them to catch on fire.
5. Don’t overdo the decorations
You may enjoy going all-out for Halloween, but some decorations can be more hazardous than haunting. Keep it simple and don’t turn your yard and walkway into an obstacle course. If placing décor in a tree, make sure it doesn’t hang low enough to impede the path to your door.
6. Minimize the risk of vandalism
Once the kids have all gone home, bring in the pumpkin and any other items that could easily be taken from your property. Make sure anything else, such as bicycles and accessories, are secured and do not become a temptation for thieves.
For Your Car
Your auto insurance policy, too, will cover you in the case of an unforeseen incident. That said, you don’t want to see a hike in your premiums because of an event that could easily be prevented.
Related Read: Cheap(er) Car Insurance—How to Save Money
7. Drive carefully
If you’re out driving during trick-or-treat time, keep in mind that some children may be excited and suddenly dart across the road. Some costumes may also be dark and difficult to spot. Drive slowly and pay extra attention to each side of the road so you’re able to react well in advance.
8. Keep an eye out behind you
If entering and exiting your driveway, constantly check your mirrors and blind spots when your car is in reverse. Children often walk behind vehicles and are difficult to spot. Be cautious when pulling in or turning out.
9. Don’t drive impaired or distracted
Don’t drink, put down the phone or any other digital device and keep your eyes on the road. Keep the music at a low volume, or turn it off completely. Make sure you are able to react to any unexpected situation.
10. Keep your parked vehicle tucked away or in a safe spot
Vandalism is only covered under comprehensive coverage, and it’s optional. But, regardless of whether you have it or not, minimize the threat of vandalism and keep your car in the garage. Don’t have a garage? Park your car in your driveway or on the street where it’s easily visible. Keep your eyes out for any suspicious behaviour.
11. Lock your car doors
When parked, ensure your vehicle is locked. To further lower the temptation for thieves, keep electronics, jewelry and any other valuable items out of sight and locked in the glove box or the trunk. Better yet, keep them in your home if you can.
12. Cover your truck’s pick-up bed
The pick-up bed can be a hiding spot for ghouls and goblins to jump out and say “boo!”, or it can be used as a dump for candy wrappers. Put a cover on it and make sure it’s secure.
And If You’re Having a Party
13. Put a stop to impaired driving
If you’re hosting a Halloween bash, stay sober. As the host, you are responsible for your guests, and the only way to accurately assess whether a guest has had too much to drink is to avoid drinking yourself. Have plenty of non-alcoholic drinks on hand as well as plenty of food. Should guests partake too much, be sure to have options available for getting them home, such as the Uber app or a number for a local taxi service, as well as extra cash on hand for the fare. Alternately, make sure you have plenty of extra blankets and pillows and invite guests to stay the night.
Halloween is a fun time of year, and you can help keep it that way. Take extra precautions for your home, your vehicle and everyone else around you and keep your worries limited to overindulging in candy, instead.