Halloween Safety Tips for the Homeowner
Halloween is approaching, and it’s time to think about preparing your yard for the little goblins and ghouls who may visit. By preparing your yard, I am not talking of making some elaborate display in your front yard, but simply readying it for the masses of children who may come to call.
Much trick or treating takes place in the dusk of evening hours and at the time of year when the days are already getting shorter. This makes it harder to see, and many children do not bring flashlights or light sticks with them. Safety is a huge issue when considering the fact that small children will be walking up to your call to trick or treat at night.
It is important as a home occupant, whether you own or rent your home, to do your best to ensure the safety of your trick or treaters. Simple cleanup and a little preparation can make this possible. Make sure your walkway is adequately lit by turning on a porch light or other outdoor light. Decorative outdoor solar lighting can also provide some illumination along a sidewalk or pathway to help your trick or treaters distinguish where the path is.
Keep your walkway and driveway (wherever children will be walking up to your door) clear of obstructions and debris, which will be harder to see at night and may cause accidents. Clear a safe, distinct pathway for children to walk on. Sweep the walkway, or remove any clutter you may have accumulated that could potentially cause harm on this night with many people walking around. Cut or trim any tree branches or shrubbery that may have overgrown onto your walkway over the summer, ensuring no one gets poked or scratched.
Make note of any maintenance issues that are of concern.If you have a rusted nail sticking out somewhere, or a loose board or railing, this is the time to fix them, before some child gets hurt on your property. Think of any other home maintenance issue that could cause any problems on Halloween, and try to fix them beforehand.
Also, if you have a dog that completely freaks out when strangers come to call, it might be best to keep it indoors during trick or treat hours. Also, if it is a dog who might lunge at small children while you’re passing out treats, or bark so loudly as to scare young children, you may consider keeping the dog in another room until all the little ones are done. I have witnessed young kids getting frightened as a homeowner’s dog escaped while handing out treats. The dog was barking loudly, scaring the child, causing him to run and fall off someone’s front steps, resulting in a skinned knee and a ruined Halloween evening for that family.
So this year, keep these tips in mind and do your part to make it a fun and festive spooky night for all the little ones in your neighborhood.