Halloween is filled with fun for all ages. Spooky yard decorations rival December’s Christmas decor, children and adults plan their costumes weeks in advance, and Halloween parties and haunted houses abound. Unfortunately, Halloween home safety is a concept too few people implement during this festive time of year.
Don’t let the risk of an insurance claim ruin your Halloween. It’s important for home and property owners to implement a few simple safety tips to avoid turning your Halloween into a nightmare on Elm Street.
1. Keep Your Property Well Lit
Trick-or-treaters come and go throughout the evening, make it easy for them to reach your front porch. By keeping the path to your home and your front step well lit, you can prevent painful trips and falls (a liability claim just waiting to happen).
2. Keep Your Sidewalk, Front Walk & Porch Unobstructed
Keep the area around your home unobstructed so children and parents don’t stumble or hurt themselves on anything that may lead to a liability suit. Clear any hoses, gardening tools, toys, etc. from your property and be sure that your Halloween decorations are located well away from your walkways. Also be sure to fix any loose steps or broken railings before the tricksters come visiting.
3. Use Care with Candles
Be extra careful with lit candles around the house and on your front porch, where trick-or-treaters may bump into them. For maximum Halloween home safety, use battery-powered lanterns.
4. Keep Your Pets Away from Trick-or-Treaters
Halloween is an exciting evening for people–but it can be a source of stress and anxiety for family pets. Be sure to eliminate potential pet bites–and an accompanying personal injury claim and possibility of having to put your dog (or cat) down. Keep your dog or cat away from the front door and porch, or wherever trick-or-treaters will be trodding. For the same reasons, do not take your dog trick-or-treating. Even dogs and cats who are normally very friendly may get over stressed, over protective, or over excited on Halloween and jump on or bite trick-or-treaters.
5. Immediately Clean Up Smashed Pumpkins
Smashed pumpkins top the list of Halloween adolescent vandalism. Be sure to clean up the slippery remains as soon as possible so trick-or-treaters–or visitors or the postal service on a following day–don’t slip and fall on your property.
Trips Are Not Treats
Free candy, out after dark, spooky costumes … as the adage goes, it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
Whether that someone is your little Batman or Rapunzel or you yourself, the costs of a Halloween injury can quickly add up.
While trips and falls seem as if they would involve only minor injuries, such as scraped knees or bruising, many of these accidents can easily involve a range of injuries, from broken wrists and feet to traumatic brain injuries and broken hips. In some instances, a trip and fall can even result in wrongful death, especially if brain trauma is involved.
For adults, these injuries indubitably will involve lost work days, wages, and some future lost wages. For children and adults, a Halloween trip and fall will involve medical co-pays and deductibles for x-rays, ER doctors, primary care physicians, prescriptions, and possibly hospital rooms, surgeons, and physical therapy.
If you or your child suffers an injury that you think is the result of the negligence of a property owner, be sure to contact Styka & Styka for a free consultation regarding your personal injury options.