While holidays look somewhat different in a post-COVID landscape, many people around the nation are still hoping to celebrate a good old-fashioned Halloween! That means candy, trick-or-treating, haunted houses, scary movie marathons, and occasionally jumping a mile when your neighbor’s lawn decorations turn out to be more lively than you initially thought. Everything we love about this spooky holiday!
That said, each holiday brings about its own concerns for safety and security. For example, auto accidents, petty theft, vandalism, and mean-spirited pranks are all more likely to occur on Halloween than on an average day. Here are some quick tips to keep you and your family safe while they enjoy the festivities!
If you’re trick-or-treating…
It’s the reason for this season! Show off your costumes, enjoy the decorations in your neighborhood, get a bit of exercise, and most importantly – cultivate a nice candy stash! Here’s how to help your little ghouls enjoy trick-or-treating safely:
- Skip the jaywalking! Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on a regular day. Especially in packed residential neighborhoods, stick to corners and crosswalks where drivers are expecting pedestrians to be present.
- Carry glow sticks or something else reflective. It’s the end of October so the sun will be setting earlier. For extra fun, see if you can incorporate reflective or light-emitting objects into your costume!
- Stay in well-lit areas. Try to move in groups as well – either by trick-or-treating with friends or catching up with other families who are out at the same time. You never know, you or your children might end up making new friends!
- Patience is a virtue – have your children wait until you get home and can thoroughly inspect candy before digging in.
If you’re staying home…
You might be hosting a party or enjoying movies and candy from the comfort of your home. While this COVID (and introvert)-approved mode of celebration does eliminate some dangers, you still need to be aware of burglars, vandals, and pranksters who see the holiday as an opportunity to cause mischief.
- Be cautious when answering the door. You certainly don’t need to answer the door on Halloween – it’s simple enough to leave a bowl of candy on your porch. However, if you are answering, check through your peephole or video doorbell to ensure it really is trick-or-treaters rap-a-tap-tapping!
- Keep your walkway well-lit and clear. This is mainly for the benefit of the trick-or-treaters – you want them to get to your door without any hazard or difficulty!
- Keep pets inside. Frequent doorbell ringing will be stressful for them, so you’ll need to keep them contained in such a way that they can’t run to the door. We also recommend giving them plenty of treats too, in a (probably futile) attempt to teach them that Halloween is fun!
- Make sure those security cameras are rolling. If anything eerie does happen, you can review your footage to make sure all is well. Or you can turn it into a DIY Blair Witch Project. We don’t judge.
- Use LED candles instead of open flames. Between children and pets running around and you being distracted trying to coordinate the festivities, it’s just too easy for something to get knocked over or be left unattended! LED tea lights are cute and cheap – much cheaper than dealing with the aftermath of a house fire.
- Still keep your alarm system at the ready. Maybe you’ll want to bypass the front door for a bit if you’re frequently opening it for trick or treaters, but still keep those windows monitored for thieves who think they can take advantage of the distractions to break in and quickly make off with some of your belongings!
If you’re going out…
Whether you’re trick-or-treating, visiting a haunted house, going to a party, etc. you’ll want to take these steps to protect yourself, your home, and other people!
- Don’t forget to arm your security system! Again, there are many opportunistic thieves, vandals, and other criminals who will be all-too-glad to take advantage of the empty houses. A security system will help protect your home against break-ins!
- Turn on the lights. The holiday is for tricks as well as treats, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping lights on to trick criminals into thinking you’re home. You can still keep a bucket of candy out on your porch if you want to ensure the kiddos coming to your door walk away with sweets in hand!
- Be a conscientious driver. Remember how we said that children are far more likely to be hit by cars on Halloween? The responsibility of keeping them safe lies with both parents and drivers. If you are passing through a residential area, keep an eye out. Don’t drive if you’ve been drinking or are otherwise impaired. Turn your headlights on in the dark and expect little ones to occasionally dart out from behind other cars parked on the side of the road.
- Stick in a group at parties or other events. Werewolves and ghouls may not haunt you this Halloween, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t monsters to be wary of. If you’re at a party, stick with your friends, keep an eye on your drink, and watch out for each other. If you’re at a festival or haunted house, travel in groups so you don’t get lost! If you’re drinking, pick a designated driver or get an Uber with friends so you’re not riding alone.
- Use live video monitoring. When your alarm goes off, it can trigger indoor and outdoor security cameras to look for intruders. Having video evidence of a break-in raises the priority level of a call and significantly improves police response time. Plus, dealing with the aftermath will be easier with footage to review.
We hope these tips help you to have a safe and fun Halloween, whether you’re going old school with trick or treating, hanging out with friends, or kicking back at home! If you ever have questions about security tips or solutions for your home, give our office a call at 615-422-5276.