By Charlotte Meier, HomeSafetyHub.org
We all wear many masks, err, hats on Halloween. Whether we’re a parent, a trick-or-treater, a homeowner, or a driver on that night, there are a number of hazards to look out for. One of the most fun nights of the year can easily turn into one of the most gruesome, and not from the fake gashes, spooky demon costumes, and peeled grapes made to replicate eyeballs. Here are some tips to help ensure a safe night while maximizing the fun for everyone.
Halloween isn’t just for kids − adults can also enjoy the pleasures the night brings, from parties to rooting through your kids’ candy sacks. As fun as it is, Halloween is an important time to be especially attentive concerning potential safety hazards. Some things to keep in mind as you roam the neighborhood streets:
- Always escort your children and carry a flashlight.
- Set a specific time for your children to be home.
- Walk on the sidewalks and not in the middle of the street.
- Tell your children never to enter any homes.
- Attach reflective or glow-in-the-dark tape on your children’s costumes.
- Teach children their home and parent’s cell phone number in case you get separated.
Above all else, you must make sure your children know basic trick-or-treat safety rules:
- Do not trick-or-treat by yourself.
- If props are part of your getup, they should be made of soft rubber, Styrofoam, or other pliable material.
- Preferably, choose a costume that can be easily seen in the dark.
- Do not take shortcuts, especially through alleys or pathways with limited or no lighting.
- Look both ways before you cross the street, and obey all traffic signals.
- Walk, don’t run. Darting in and out from behind cars can give motorists little time to react.
- Walk in the direction that faces traffic.
- Only approach homes with their porch light on and avoid any cars giving out candy.
- Wait until you get home before gorging on your treats.
- Only accept commercially wrapped candy.
When you open up your home to unfamiliar guests, you expose yourself to potential insurance claims and lawsuits. Make sure you and your home are covered from any unwanted accidents. Some other things to consider:
- Use LED lighting or a glow stick in the place of open flames, even if they’re inside a jack-o-lantern.
- Keep pets away from children.
- Maintain clear and well-lit walkways free of obstacles.
- Turn on your porch light so children know it is all right to visit your home.
- Immediately notify law enforcement of any suspicious activity.
Unfortunately, Halloween is one of the most dangerous nights of the year. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that Halloween is consistently one of the top three days for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. In 2015, over half (52%) of all highway fatalities across the nation on Halloween night involved a driver or a motorcycle rider who had been drinking.
These driving suggestions may seem like common sense, but they should always be on your mind, especially on Halloween night:
- Drive slowly and cautiously.
- Look out for children walking in the street and darting out from behind parked cars.
- Be careful when pulling into and out of driveways.
- Stay off your cell phone.
- Keep your stereo volume low enough that you can hear potential children around you.
- Never drink and drive.
Employing these safety tips will potentially save you and others from possible harm.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.
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