Neighborhood-centric and fun community-wide events like trick’or’treating and holiday parties create stronger communities for everyone.
And, while we encourage everyone, young and old, to participate in these type of events, there are some important tips we wanted to share with homeowners to keep them and their visitors more safe during the Halloween holiday.
Here are Top 10 Tips for a Safe & Happy Halloween Celebration
TIP #1 – containing pets
If you have pets at home then you may want to consider keeping them in a comfortable indoor kennel or another room of your home during the trick’or’treat hours. This is not only protection for your visitors but it will help keep your pets from getting too stressed out with the added foot traffic.
TIP #2 – exterior lighting
Although some kids or new parents are not all savvy to the
etiquette of trick’or’treating from home to home, it’s up to you as the homeowner to be aware of these ‘societal rules’ and help ensure the safety and experience of the event. So, take note —
Turn on all outside lights during the trick’or’treat hours and while you still have treats to hand out.
Make sure your walkways are well lit.
Check to make sure lights are operational up to and throughout the event time
Include a lighted pumpkin on the front stoop if you don’t have a lot of other exterior lighting or decorations. Lighted pumpkins are pretty universal signs of participation.
Use a TEAL pumpkin if you are offering non-candy based treats for children with special dietary needs
TIP #3 – clear debris
Clear your driveway and walkways from debris before the event hours. Minnesota weather is always unpredictable, but trying to keep those paths of projected foot traffic from leaves, sticks, garbage or wet foliage can keep your visitors safe from accidental slips and falls, and protect you from possible insurance claims should an injury happen.
TIP #4 – limit decoration placement
Try to keep your sidewalks clear of large, overhanging or project decorations that could cause someone to trip and fall, or surprises a visitor; causing them distress or to react in a way that could bring harm to them.
TIP #5 – storing vehicles
Keep your vehicles parked in the garage if one is available. Not only does it keep your little visitors safe when trying to navigate your driveway or the street in front of your home, but it can protect your vehicle from accidental (or possible malicious) damage.
TIP #6 – exterior lighting
Use LED (or battery-powered) candles rather than real flames. Although the glow of candle in a jack’o’lantern conjures feelings of nostalgia, when the wind blows or the flame takes hold of a dried out gourd or nearby leaves & foliage, tragedy can ensue.
At the very least, using candle lit decor will not provide consistent and adequate lighting where you may need it the most and will require your constant and undivided attention.
TIP #7 – property maintenance
Fix loose bricking, buckling sidewalks, or broken handrails on your steps to avoid possible and potential slips and accidents and could make you liable for any personal health care or emergency needs from injured visitors.
TIP #8 – treats
Make sure to use prepackaged treats to avoid any potential of food born illnesses. Consider non-edible treats to pass out in lieu of edible ones which can provide a safe and even playing field for visitors with food allergies or dietary restrictions. Stay away from sharp objects.
TIP #9 – securing entries
If you have multiple entrances to your home, make sure you keep extra doors locked and secure. Keep a watchful eye throughout the evening as distractions are easy this time of year and you don’t want anyone coming into your home through the wrong entry; accidental or not.
TIP #10 – lock up
Shut off all holiday and porch lights, then check all doors and windows to make sure they’re locked, including your garage doors. Finally, activate your security system if you have one before you retire to bed for the evening.
BONUS TIP – documentation
Be prudent. Take photos of your property before (and after) festivities so you have visual documentation of the property’s condition before and after in case a property damage claim is required.
REALTOR®, CRS, CDPE, SRES
Homes By Ash Real Estate Team Keller Williams Realty Integrity NW