Halloween Tips for Homeowners

Carney Insurance Services

Adequate light is essential for visitors and trick-or-treaters to see where they are going. If you plan on welcoming trick-or-treaters, leave the porch light on.

Make sure your property is well lit.  Replace burned-out bulbs in exterior lights. If needed, install additional lights in the front yard to avoid someone tripping over something he or she can’t see. If you won’t be home for trick-or-treating, turn your lights off to discourage children from approaching your property.

All lighting should be grounded.  You don’t want to overload electrical outlets with holiday lighting or movable decorative objects. All outdoor lighting should be grounded, including low-voltage outdoor security lights and any Halloween lights. Be sure and only use covered electric outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs).

Keep walkways clear.  Make sure all walkways and the front yard are clean and clutter-free to prevent falls. Put your car in the garage. Lock your garage doors. Sweep wet leaves from sidewalks and stairs. Move bikes, garden hoses, potted plants and skateboards away from areas that are likely to be walked on by groups of people. Decorative items and jack-o-lanterns should also be positioned at a safe distance from crowds to prevent people from knocking them over or tripping on them. Remember, kids often run from house to house and they don’t always stay on sidewalks, so, if you’re setting up a display, make sure it is well lit and visible. If you’re building a lawn display make sure to keep walkways clear. And don’t run cords over sidewalks where people might trip over them or hurt themselves.

When it comes to jack-o-lanterns, safety first.  If you plan to use candles in your jack-o-lanterns, keep them far away from primary walkways. This will help cut down on the fire hazards, such as costumes, props or decorations catching on fire. A great alternative to open flames is to use battery powered light sources or light sticks.

Make sure your little trick-or-treaters are visible to drivers.  Add reflector strips to your child’s costume, or have them carry a flash light or light stick to make them more visible at night. This will not only assure they are seen by drivers, but will also help you keep an eye on them if they get ahead of you.

Keep your pets inside.  Pets are easily frightened on Halloween, so keeping them inside will protect them from cars or inadvertently biting a trick-or-treater.

Assure you have home security.  If you will be away from your home during Halloween, don’t forget to set your security alarm system before you go. This is a prime time of year for mischief and burglaries.  To increase your home’s safety, you can also activate motion-sensitive lights and alert your neighbors that you will be away.

Test Your Smoke Alarms.  With jack-o-lanterns being a popular staple of Halloween, don’t forget to test your smoke alarms well in advance of the Halloween celebrations.

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