While we don't intend to take the fun out of the day, we would be remiss if we didn't take seriously the risks to yourself and others, should someone get injured on your property while trick-or-treating. Here are some things you can do to protect your guests from injury, and yourself from a lawsuit:
Light up your property
- Ensure the sidewalks and pathways to your front door are well-illuminated so your guests can safely find their way to your doorstep. But…
- Avoid the use of strobe lighting or any types of flashing lights that may disorient your guests.
Batteries, not candles
- Use battery-operated votive candles in your jack-o-lanterns to avoid a potential fire hazard.
Keep Rover inside
- Keep pets away from guests. Even if you have a “friendly” pet, he may become alarmed or aggressive with an influx of visitors.
Check your space
- Inspect your property for cracked sidewalks, debris, decorations, or other obstructions that may pose a trip hazard to your pathway pedestrians. Common obstructions include:
- Decorations that sit on your steps like lanterns and pumpkins
- Lawn decorations like light fixtures, tombstones, inflatables, and statues
- Electrical cords running across the front of your house
- Trash discarded by other trick-or-treaters
- Fog machines can make it difficult for trick-or-treaters to see. If you use one, keep it from blowing toward walkways.
- If you do have hazards that cannot be immediately remediated, consider posting a warning sign to your guests. You can also play it even safer and skip the festivities until your property is safe for future trick-or-treaters to tread.
Make it not-so-scary
- As tempting as it may be to make your home scary, be wise. Children who run out of fear may trip on the way, collide with others, get separated (or lost) from his group, or run into the street and get struck by a vehicle.
For those who don’t do the day
- If you don’t plan on participating in the event, post a sign near (but not directly on) the pathway leading up to your home. This will prevent trick-or-treaters from approaching your property.
- Some advise non-participants to shut off the lights to their home, sending a passive “stay away” message to trick-or-treaters. We advise against this, in the event some persistent trick-or-treaters attempt to knock on your door anyway, and trip in the process.
You never know what can happen when lots of little feet are running around in the dark wearing trip-inducing costumes, dresses and masks. But there is much you can do to protect them - and yourself - from harm.