The further we move away from the long, bright days of summer, the shorter our days become. By the time Halloween rolls around, the sun sets in Florida a good hour-and-a-half earlier than we’re used to, about 6:30 pm.
Because trick-or-treating and other fun Halloween activities occur mostly in the dark, you’ll want to keep in mind the following Halloween safety tips to protect your little ones as well as other families taking part in the festivities.
Primary dangers you’ll want to be on the lookout for include inattentive drivers, slip-and-falls on your property (or elsewhere), and potential house fires from knocked-over jack-o-lanterns.
Ensure Halloween Safety at Your Home
• Light it up – Perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure Halloween safety for your family and the children who visit your home is to make sure your outside lights are on, including your porch light. If there’s an extended walkway to get to your front door, make sure the walkway lights are on – or consider getting some battery or solar-powered lights to place along the path for the occasion.
• Say no to candles & accidental fires – If your decorations include candles, consider switching to something safer, like battery operated devices. Some of these even flicker, creating the illusion of real candle light. Is pumpkin-carving a Halloween tradition in your household? No problem. Just make sure you’re doing like the cool kids do, and swap out the candle inside for a flashlight, glowstick, or battery-operated light. And be careful not to knock over other jack-o-lanterns while you’re out canvassing the neighborhood.
• Double-check everything – Make sure your driveway, walkway, and any stairs or handrails on the way to/from your front door are safe and secure. Clear any items or debris children may trip over, and ensure handrails are easy to grip for little hands.
If You’re Trick-or-Treating
• Be visible – This is critical if you’re outside on Halloween. Make sure the children you’re with are wearing brightly colored costumes, which may make them more noticeable to drivers. As an added Halloween safety measure, use reflective tape – better yet, reflective stickers – on costumes, treat bags, etc. It’s a fun way to bring more attention to their outfits.
• Don’t obstruct your or your child’s vision – It’s equally important you and all the little trick-or-treaters with you are able to see clearly as everyone excitedly maneuvers up and down all the different driveways and houses along your route. This means carrying flashlights and glow sticks with you. Opt for face paint or makeup instead of masks for less obstruction and better peripheral vision.
• Avoid trips & falls – If Ariel’s fin or Cinderella’s dress is just a scooch too long for your munchkin, pin it up enough so she can walk freely up to each door, without tripping on her costume. Ditto for a Merlin cape or anything lengthy a boy or girl might wear.
• Be car-smart – Make sure everyone in your crew walks on sidewalks and not the streets. If you must walk in the street, walk facing oncoming traffic, as far off the road as possible. Cross streets at intersections – and never enter a roadway from between two parked cars; drivers may not see you or your child until it’s too late. Teach your children to make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of their vehicle, even when they have the right-of-way and are in a crosswalk. Making eye contact is a quick nonverbal way of ensuring a driver sees you.
If You’re Driving Halloween Night
• Pay attention – This is the golden rule, should you find yourself out in a vehicle on Halloween. Most trick-or-treating occurs between 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., although there are always early birds and latecomers. It’s best to remain attentive, go slow, put your cellphone away, and stay focused on your surroundings – especially when traveling in residential neighborhoods, at intersections, or around driveways. Use your headlights even if it’s not quite dark yet. Don’t let an accidental tragedy mar an otherwise joyful annual celebration for the whole family.
Halloween Safety Begins with a Well-Lit Home
At Edison Insurance Company, we take pride in not just providing you protection for your home or condo, and all your belongings. We also want to make sure you and your family remain safe, happy, and healthy. Enjoy the occasion and remember: Halloween safety begins with you. To discuss your homeowners insurance needs, contact your Edison Insurance agent, or simply get a quote now.