Will you be hosting a Halloween party or welcoming trick-or-treaters to your door? Either way, opening your property to the public can leave you vulnerable to insurance claims and lawsuits.
Halloween can be a holiday full of festivities, fun and costumes or it can be the cause of accidents or worse. If you follow a few tips to ensure safety and protect your home from liability, you can prevent the risk of a homeowners insurance claim spoiling the fun.
The following 10 Tips will keep your home safe this Halloween...
- Create a Clear Path –Prevent visitors after dark don’t stumble and injure themselves by keeping the area around your home unobstructed. Especially at Halloween, clear your lawn and walkways of toys, lawn ornaments, gardening equipment, etc. to help avoid a liability.
- Keep the Lights On – Be sure that trick-or-treaters and other visitors are able to see clearly after dark to a fall on your property. You will not only help avoid a liability claim, but you’ll deter burglars who are always less inclined to approach a well-lit home.
- Assure Home Security – Will you be away from home during Halloween? Remember to set your security alarm system before you depart. Typically, Halloween season is a prime time for mischief and burglaries. Don't forget to also activate motion-sensitive lights, and alert your neighbors if you will not be at home.
- Be Smart About Pumpkin Carving – Leave the pumpkin-carving to the adults this Halloween and encourage them to use a special pumpkin cutter for extra safety. Allow children to help with the design before carving.
- Jack-o-Lantern Safety – Jack-o-Lanterns left unattended can easily be tipped over by trick-or-treaters or pets. If they are lit by candles, that could have a disastrous consequence. Avoid fire damage claims by using a battery-powered light in your pumpkin.
- Avoid Open Flames – Just as with Jack-o-Lanterns, setting the spooky Halloween mood with candles and luminaries that can easily be overturned, could result in homeowners insurance claims for fire damage. Consider light sticks or battery-powered lighting instead.
- Test Your Home Smoke Alarms – While you are testing your home security system, don’t forget to test your smoke alarms well in advance of the Halloween celebrations to minimize the chance of having a claim for fire damage.
- Think Before You Serve – Remember that you are responsible for the safety of guests who will visit your home this Halloween. Trick-or-treaters should be given only commercially-packaged treats. Likewise, be sure to protect those who will be driving later by serving non-alcoholic beverages to your older party guests; and, of course, avoid serving alcohol to anyone who is under-age. Thinking of the mood at your party by using dry ice in a punchbowl, be sure to keep the chips out since they can cause severe injury if ingested.
- Confine Your Pets for Protection – Dogs and cats could jump on or even bite unfamiliar visitors -- especially those in costume. For the safety of your guests as well as your pets, keep dogs and cats away from the front porch or open areas.
- Check Your Homeowners Insurance – Take a moment to speak with your insurance agent to be sure you will be fully protected for whatever plans you have for the Halloween Holiday. The time to find out that your coverage is incomplete is NOT after you have a claim.