A few simple safety precautions can make those spooky nights full of traditional and worry-free fun.
1. Monitor the outside of your house throughout Mischief and Halloween Nights from 6 pm to midnight. If there are many neighborhood teenagers participating in the activities, you may want to guard your house beyond midnight. Allow harmless pranks, such as toilet papering trees and water balloons, but guard against deliberate home damage and potential physical danger. Use bright lights to illuminate your property throughout the anticipated activities.
2. If there’s a past history of Halloween damages to houses in your neighborhood, take precautions before the upcoming Halloween. Gather with neighbors and set up a schedule of roving night watchers to monitor all activities.
3. Be courteous and welcoming to trick-or-treaters and, especially for very young ones, admire their costumes. If you have your own small trick-or-treaters, escort and keep them in sight throughout their visits to neighborhood houses. Unless you know the homeowners handing out treats personally, it may be advisable to forbid your young children from accepting invitations to go inside totally strange households.
4. If you intend to give candy to trick-or-treaters, hand out only pieces or bars that are individually wrapped when purchased. If you’re concerned about the health issues of candy, you could give the visiting kids coins or small, inexpensive toys instead.
5. If you send out your own family trick-or-treaters to visit neighborhood houses, instruct them not to eat any food items they collect until they get home and you can carefully inspect everything. If you suspect there’s a potentially dangerous or obviously stale or spoiled item, toss it away. Cut up all raw fruit gifts to make sure there’s nothing harmful inside, such as razor blades or pins.
6. If you believe any item could be dangerous, such as a chocolate-covered or candy-coated medical pill, ask your children where they got it. Then immediately warn your neighbors’ children and notify law enforcement authorities.
7. Be careful with any flamable decor that has a lighted candle or sparkler in it, such as hollowed-out pumpkins and plastic or paper decor that could catch fire. Keep it away from your house, wooden steps or structures. Better still, instead of real fire, it would be safer to use battery-operated light bulbs or electric light sticks.
With some diligence and plain common sense precautions, you can keep trick-or-treaters and your home safe on Halloween.