Keeping your home safe for trick-or-treaters

Halloween is coming up Thursday, October 31. If you’re going to give treats, it’s important to keep your home safe for the kids who will be visiting. Here are some tips to help the trick-or-treaters feel welcome and safe.

Let there be light

Make sure you’ve got the exterior well lit, including porch light and spotlight if you have one. (And if you don’t, you should consider installing a light with a motion detector.) If you’re not going to be home, or if you’re not giving treats, make sure to turn off the porch light.

Clear the way

Make sure the walkway, driveway and porch are free of obstacles. Remember that kids don’t always pay attention to where they walk. They will walk across the yard, too. So make sure to remove anything they can trip over such as flowerpots, tree limbs and garden hoses.

Be aware of the dog

You may have the nicest, most well-behaved dog in the world, but with knocks and the doorbell ringing non-stop for a few hours, they may get over-excited and make an escape when you’ve got the door open. Keep them in a separate room or kennel just to be safe.

Flame off

If you’ve got jack-o-lanterns on the porch, consider replacing candles with electric or battery operated lights.

Don’t advertise

Avoid posting on social media if you plan to be away from home on Halloween. At best, nothing will happen. At worst, you just let everyone in the area know you won’t be home.

Open up

If possible, keep your curtains and door open so they’ll know you’re home and they’re invited to the door. This will also make more light available on the porch and walkway.

Know the audience

Not trying to cut your enjoyment of Halloween, but don’t try to scare the daylights out of the kids when they come to the door. A costume is fine, but a scary mask or walking out in full Texas Chainsaw Massacre regalia is over the top.

Don’t give out homemade candy

It’s a waste because most parents won’t let their kids eat it anyway.

Don’t invite children inside

Unless you know the children very well, don’t invite trick-or-treaters inside. Although you mean well, this teaches kids it’s OK to enter strangers’ homes.

A little preparation will help you to enjoy seeing the kids and make them feel welcome and, more importantly, safe when they visit your home on Halloween.

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