With Halloween approaching, it’s important to consider safety. Follow these Halloween safety tips for a fun and uneventful evening.
Minimize Tripping Hazards
Secure extension cords to lights and Halloween decorations so trick-or-treaters don’t catch on them when it’s dark. Avoid running cords across walkways, tuck extension cords into the corners of stairs, and secure them with duct tape.
When it’s not possible to remove hazards, limit access to dangerous areas or mark potential risks with glow in the dark tape. Kids often dart across lawns and can catch on exposed tree roots, trip in holes, or run into objects in the dark. Also control your pets so they stay safe and do not scare or harm a child.
Light the Way
Children should have a clear idea of how they should approach your home and good lighting is the best way to do this. Bright lights at the doorway and LED lanterns along the sidewalk encourage kids to take the proper path.
Consider Fire Risk
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates 5,300 fires start annually due to overloaded circuits. Even though homes have circuit breakers or fuses, they aren’t always reliable.
Use a ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for outdoor needs. Tether outdoor inflatable decorations well and choose indoor decorations that can’t catch fire. Use safety certified battery-operated candles and LED lighting which produces little heat. Never cover light bulbs with flammable materials such as fabric and never staple or nail extension cords as it can damage the protective sheathing.
Practice Costume Safety
Children in dark costumes are almost impossible to see at night. Instead, use bright colors or reflective tape so others cans see them clearly. Better yet, have them carry a flashlight or wear a headlamp.
Choose flame-retardant materials and avoid dangerous accessories such as pointy knives, swords, or wands. Use non-toxic makeup instead of masks, since masks can obscure a child’s vision.
Accompany Young Children
Children under 12 need supervision. If you’re unable to accompany your child, buddy them up with another parent or an older sibling.
Review the rules before they set out such as sticking to sidewalks, only visiting well-lit homes, and never going inside someone’s home. Set a curfew and limit the areas they can visit.
Inspect Their Treats
Insist that your child does not snack while out treat-or-treating. This is especially important for children with allergies, but small treats are also a choking hazard for small children.
Ne sure to discard unsealed packages and anything that looks like it’s been tampered with. A few pieces at a time are best or consider asking them whether they want to do a trade for something else they want like an outing, toy, or book.
Throw a Party
More parents now consider it safer to host a Halloween party than have their children wander the streets. If you do decide to throw a party, realize you are also assuming risk.
Charging admission for a haunted house or Halloween party generates income and it considered a business activity. Even when you put these events on for free, you’ll want to check your liability insurance coverage with your agent. They may suggest an umbrella policy for peace of mind to increase your liability coverage.