Halloween is a fall staple for families across the country. Elaborate and creative Halloween costumes and filling treat bags with all kinds of sugary snacks is a joy for older kids and smaller kids alike! However, with the pandemic, many of us couldn’t engage in our usual Halloween activities last year. This year, Halloween is moving forward as planned, which means Halloween safety may not be top of mind due to all of the excitement. Here are a few Halloween safety tips to make sure the only frights you bring to your neighborhood are from a spook well executed!
Halloween Safety Tips
Prepare ahead of time
If you’re creating a display, you’re likely planning what you want to purchase and how you are going to assemble your haunted house or decorations. What you aren’t necessarily preparing for are the dangers that may not be visible in the daytime versus the nighttime.
So, what should you do?
Take a test lap of your yard, basement, garage, or wherever you are planning to decorate. But do this at nighttime. Pay special attention to extension cords, pathways, or any fog machines you plan on using, and ensure they are clear of obstacles. Remove any tree branches, cords, or any other walking hazards, and make sure that pathways are well lit so young children, or a large group can navigate! Ensure for greater visibility if the treat route is overgrown with any trees or bushes and post safety rules where everyone can see them.
Also, having some hand sanitizer available can also limit any potential risk of cold or flu transmission and encourage social distancing whenever possible. Another great way to plan ahead is to make sure your Halloween candy is safe. Hard candies should be removed, especially for small children and opt for safer alternatives free of potential choking or allergy dangers.
When it comes to festive decorations, we all want to have the spookiest home in the neighborhood. You can still have the spookiest home while being mindful of where you are placing decorations.
Place Halloween décor where guests can’t trip over them and be sure they aren’t in a place where they can be knocked over, which would then be an unexpected tripping hazard. If you have flammable decorations (which includes any curtains or fabric), take notice of where you put them. Ensure these are away from lights and flames.
While you’re at it, look at all your lights and open flames in general. Perhaps using real candles wouldn’t be as safe as electric or battery-powered. However, make sure that you aren’t hooking up too many decorations to one outlet, make sure plugs aren’t dusty, and make sure any cords that you do choose have been tested for safety. If you’re using outdoor lights or decorations, look at these too. Ensure they are plugged into ground-fault circuit interrupters, and if you have any unusual decorations (like an inflatable ghost), make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidance!
Using reflective tape and offering glow sticks for lighting is another good idea to keep it safe and spooky at the same time!
Know the risk
If you know the risks of your haunted house and/or displays ahead of time, you will know what you are getting yourself into. If you don’t have enough lighting for the floor and exits, neighbors can trip. If a visitor trips, you are then liable.
If you are planning to advertise a haunted house beyond your neighborhood, keep in mind that the more people you invite that attend, the higher your risk will be. And, if you are planning to have a larger scale haunted house where you charge admission, know that this could be qualified as a business activity and you’ll want to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage in the event of an accident! It’s best to check with your insurance agent to see what your home is covered for.
Halloween is meant to be fun, and it should be! When you follow these three steps, you’re ensuring that your Halloween night goes as smoothly as possible! If you have any further questions about Halloween safety tips you can always call us at 973-812-7327 or visit the National Safety Council website for more information!
As always, be safe, be smart and Happy Halloween!