Take precautions to keep your home from being haunted by Halloween mishaps
Halloween is a time for fictional frights and imaginary horrors. But for homeowners, the potential hazards are all too real. Taking a few precautions will help protect trick-and-treaters as well as you and your family from unexpected Halloween horrors.
To keep your home safe and your Halloween happy, follow these safety tips:
Stay Safe Indoors
- Check your smoke alarms to make sure they’re in good working order.
- Don’t drape fabrics, crepe paper or other combustible decorations over light bulbs or place them near flames or other heat sources.
- Keep dogs and cats securely confined in a quiet room. The excitement of trick-or-treaters ringing the doorbell may frighten pets and cause them to run out the door.
- If you’re not going to be home, leave your lights on to dissuade intruders or vandals. And be sure to set your security system before you leave.
- Prior to Halloween, check out your property to identify potential dangers, especially those that could be difficult to see after dark.
- Inspect outdoor lights and replace burned-out bulbs. Make sure your front porch, walkways and yard are well lit.
- Clear your sidewalk, driveway, stairs and porch of any potential trip-and-slip hazards. Sweep up loose gravel and leaves. Repair any loose porch railings or uneven walkway stones that could create hazards for trick-or-treaters.
- Remove tripping hazards from your yard, including garden hoses, sprinklers and dead branches. Fill in any large holes.
- If your home has an irrigation system, turn it off at least a day in advance so your lawn and walkways won’t be slippery.
- Avoid using candles in jack-o’-lanterns or near other decorations that might catch on fire. Use battery-powered candles or LED lights as a safe alternative.
- If using decorative outdoor lighting, make sure extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard. Never staple, nail or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage them. Avoid linking multiple extension cords, which may cause overheating.
- Only use electrical decorations that have been tested and certified for safety by a recognized lab such as UL, CSA or ETL. Verify that sockets, wires and connectors are in good working order before plugging them in. Don’t overload electrical outlets.
- Set up decorations where they won’t obstruct pathways, and anchor them so they won’t tip over or blow away. Keep inflatable decorations away from all sources of ignition.