Halloween is the one time of year when the rules we learned growing up don’t apply. When Oct. 31 rolls around, there’s no need to call ahead before visiting someone’s house…and kids are actively encouraged to take candy not from just one stranger but dozens and dozens of strangers.
It is always fun to dress up and indulge in sweets but stay smart and prepare for the ghosts and ghouls that will come your way. Buying candy and carving pumpkins shouldn’t be the only thing on your to-do list this Halloween.
With a little preparation and the right protection, you can help prevent any mishaps, and avoid an insurance claim. Accidents that happen on your property during the spookiest day of the year are a liability risk for homeowners, so it’s important to review your policy and make sure you have enough insurance. Follow the tips below to ease any potential fears this Halloween.
General Safety Precautions
Halloween is the biggest night of the year when children with costumes potentially limiting their vision and movement will be walking across your property in search of some delicious treats. With an increased number of visitors near your home, someone could easily get injured. Take simple steps to prevent that from occurring by:
Picking up anything in your front yard, sidewalk, stoop or porch that someone could trip over.
Turning on your outdoor lighting, so kids can see where they’re going.
Using battery-powered lights in your jack-o’-lanterns instead of wax candles so if anything gets knocked over, no one gets burned and your property avoids damage.
Placing matches, lighters and candles away from the reach of children or pets.
Keeping pets away from the front door on Halloween night while trick-or-treats are in and out.
Purchasing decorations with safety certifications such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
Keeping your home, garage, yard and car locked and outdoor areas well-lit can help prevent theft.
Driving with greater caution. Remember, kids in costume can be hard to see and may be roaming without their parents, meaning they are more likely to dart into the street without warning.
Crime-related insurance claims spike on Halloween. This predominantly includes sharp increases in theft, both inside and outside the home as well as vandalism.
With so many people out on Halloween night, many people often drop their guard when they should be even more vigilant. While most folks are trick or treating for candy, thieves may also be on the prowl looking for more valuable goodies, such as a pair of sunglasses, USB cords or smartphones left in your car. If you don’t have an updated personal property home inventory, now is a good time to do so.
Some may even take it a step further with their Halloween pranks and cause property damage. It is important to keep in mind that comprehensive auto coverage would cover any vandalism to your car, not your homeowner’s insurance.
With Halloween being the second-largest commercial holiday next to Christmas, many neighborhoods go all out with decorations to see who can have the scariest display. These intricate LED-light shows and skeletons and are certain to draw screams, but can also be hazardous as people cross your property.
If someone injures themselves by tripping over your decorations, you could be liable. While this kind of lawsuit doesn’t happen often, it is not unheard of and as a homeowner, you need to consider premises liability. The medical portion of a typical homeowner’s policy usually covers injuries on your premises up to the coverage limit but we advise reviewing your policy carefully to determine whether you have adequate insurance.
It is important to pay attention to the types of decorations you have to make sure they’re safe for all parties involved. Strobe lights may cause seizures for people with epilepsy and fog machines can cause asthma attacks for people who have asthma. Be mindful of food allergies as well; if you’re handing out a treat that contains nuts, ensure the recipient is aware of the ingredients.
Taking an extra bit of caution and common sense to reduce risks will keep the day after Halloween less of a nightmare for everyone involved. Make the necessary preparations now so all the scares will be in good fun.