Homeowners insurance blog

The Really Spooky Part of Halloween

Halloween should be scary but fun. Unfortunately, you can find plenty of not-so-fun reasons to be scared by the holidays. Even the children dressed as princesses and superheroes can cause problems for homeowners who haven’t fully prepared for trick-or-treaters.

Here are some reasons you could be spooked by Halloween:

Fire threats

Even a smiling jack-o’-lantern on your porch can be a problem – if there’s a candle inside that could spark a fire. In a best case, you should use electric LED tea lights. There’s no flame or drips, and they generate very little heat.

If you must use a candle, practice your carving skills until you make sure it is stable. Test it to make sure there is room between the candle flame and the pumpkin wall. Otherwise, the flesh of your jack-o’-lantern can ignite. Finally, don’t leave the pumpkin unattended. Flame can spread quickly from the pumpkin to your porch and then your house.

Be ready for trick-or-treaters

Make sure the house is well-lit for children to approach. Clear the sidewalk and the yard of obstacles, because excited children wearing masks could fall and hurt themselves on your property. If they do, you could be liable for the injuries.

Many homeowners, for this reason, choose to meet trick-or-treaters in the driveway, where there can be less chance of a slip-and-fall accident.

Be ready for trick-or-treaters, Part 2

Remember that excited children will be roaming your neighborhood in search of candy. They can be difficult to see, and they likely won’t be looking for you. If you can avoid driving after dark, do so. Meanwhile, make sure your own children are wearing reflective clothing or carrying some sort of light so they’ll be visible to other motorists.

The pet problem

Pets hate Halloween almost as much as they hate fireworks on the Fourth of July. The constantly ringing doorbell and appearance of strangers can upset even the meekest of cats and dogs. Find a way to restrain your pet during trick-or-treat hours so it won’t scratch or bite a visitor.

Treat yourself – buy candy

So maybe your mom always made treats for neighborhood trick-or-treaters. You’re not showing a lack of respect if you take another path. Go ahead and buy candy to distribute. Homemade treats likely will be thrown away as soon as the child gets home. Think about it – isn’t that what you do when your child has something homemade in his or her bag?

Following these tips and following other safety precautions won’t keep all the monsters away. But they can help you protect yourself from one of the scariest Halloween scenarios – filing a claim against your home insurance policy because of a fire or injury on your property.