Guest Column: How to Prepare Your Home for a Safe Halloween

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As you prepare for Halloween this season, it is important to understand your risk when opening your home to the public. Today’s guest column is by Maria Lampros of Guard Insurance Agency in Watertown.

Autumn leaves are falling, evening temperatures are dropping and Halloween decorations are popping up all around. While preparing for visiting ghosts and goblins this Halloween, keep in mind that opening your home to the public may leave you vulnerable to an insurance claim or lawsuit.

Consider these safety tips to help ensure a safe and fun Halloween while protecting your property and its visitors:

Create a clear path – To avoid trick-or-treaters and other visitors from stumbling and possibly getting injured, clear walkways and sidewalks of leaves and debris. Also be sure to keep the area around your home and leading to your door clear of all obstructions.

Lights on for safety – Turn on all exterior lights so that trick-or-treaters and other visitors are able to see where they are going as they approach your property. A well-lit property will also help deter any tricksters.

Jack-O’-Lantern Safety –Unattended Jack-O’-Lanterns lit by candles can accidentally be tipped over by you, your visitors, trick-or-treaters, or even pets. Consider a battery-powered light inside your pumpkin.

Confine your pets – Unfamiliar visitors, knocking and doorbells, plus the general increase in noise and activity, can make pets nervous. Prevent pet aggressive behavior by keeping your pets away from the front door or properly contained.

Avoid open flames – While candles and luminaries can be fun on Halloween night, they can also be easily overturned. Consider using battery-operated candles and light sticks which set the spooky tone, without the risk.

Don’t be a scary driver – Excited and sugar-filled children may not look both ways before crossing the street. Avoid the distractions which come from cell phone use and be an engaged driver. Use caution when approaching stopped vehicles as there may be running trick-or-treaters entering or exiting the vehicle. And be sure to slow it down.

Enjoy a Happy, and Safe, Halloween!

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