Halloween means ghoulish costumes, creepy jack-o-lanterns and a frightfully good time. As you get ready to take children trick-or-treating, or prepare to pass out candy, here are a few tips to make sure your night of spooky fun doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Many homeowners like to construct elaborate decorations around their homes for Halloween, but certain setups can create hazards. If you expect trick-or-treaters to be using your walkways, you should keep the walkways clear.
- Cords – Ensure cables and cords are not cutting across walkways since they may cause trips that could lead to injuries.
- Flames – Replace flames with lights or fake candles to avoid possible fires.
- Fog machines – Minimize use of fog so that visitors do not have difficulty seeing walkways.
You should also make sure that your home is safe for visitors who are unfamiliar with it. For example, repair any loose staircase handrails and holes in your driveway that may cause people to trip. If you’re unable to make the repairs, you could create a guard around the hazards to direct people away from them.
Halloween costumes, especially ones meant to be frightening, can upset pets. Dogs, in particular, can become aggressive when frightened or threatened. To prevent any accidents as a property owner, make sure that your pets are contained in your home until Halloween festivities have concluded.
Dangers for drivers
Some of the greatest dangers on Halloween are for motorists who are driving. Not only are there more pedestrians to be mindful of, but many children are wearing costumes that make them difficult to see. All drivers need to be mindful of the increased number of people who are using sidewalks or crossing streets in local areas.
Distracted driving is a dangerous activity no matter when you do it, but Halloween night increases the risks significantly. Avoid using your cell phone, and try to have your climate preferences and stereo set before you start driving.
Halloween is also a major holiday for binge drinking, which increases the risk of drunk drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal crashes involving a drunk driver occur three times more often on Halloween than on New Year’s Eve. In addition, from 2009 to 2013, 43 percent of all motor vehicle deaths on Halloween nights involved drunk driving.
Drivers need to be especially mindful of pedestrians in nearly every action they take on roads during Halloween. In addition to taking an extra look before backing out of a parking space or crossing a street, motorists must remember that they have an obligation to safely operate motor vehicles on their city streets no matter the increased activity.
Pedestrians should keep in mind how difficult they might be to see if they are dressed in dark clothing on Halloween. When trick-or-treating at night, kids should be equipped with a flashlight and reflective tape to make them noticeable to motor vehicles. Trick-or-treaters should also avoid:
- Darting across streets
- Walking in the street instead of on sidewalks
- Crossing a street when not at a crosswalk or corner
By keeping these tips in mind, you’ll be better prepared for a frightfully fun, and safe, Halloween.