Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont! We love what it brings to our office – staff costumes, the local West Rutland School Halloween Parade, jars of chocolate on our desks and of course the great food at our staff potluck. As a homeownership center, we also love the FUN that Halloween brings to our homes. Decorating and of course, the little (and sometimes big) trick-or-treaters that run to our doors. With so many people and kids traipsing about, we want to make sure our homes, and that includes the lawn and sidewalks, are safe. Homeowners are responsible for the safety of visitors onto their property and we want to make sure your Halloween doesn’t have a scary ending!
We’ve gathered the top safety tips for homeowners and hope these keep you and your visitors safe this year.
- Turn off your alarm. You are going to be opening and closing your door all night long, turn off your home security system to avoid the risk of setting off the alarm when the trick-or-treaters pour in.
- Put your pets in a safe room. Even if they are welcoming and friendly to visitors you won’t how they might react to a certain person or how people will react to them. Keeping them in a separate area away from people can lower stress for the pets and others.
- Turn on outside lights. The biggest hazard is dark walkways! Combine that with low-visibility masks and costumes, and you have a recipe for disaster. Make sure your path and doorway/porch/etc. is well lit to prevent falls and crushed decorations.
- Place decorations to the side of your walkway. Placing them to the side means they can still be looked at and not be walked all over or tripped over. If it is rainy, be sure to clear leaves from walkways to avoid slips.
- Put away personal items. Anything like bicycles, hoses, tools, or toys should be put away. This will help you avoid damage or even theft.
- Use fake flames. Candlelit Jack-o-Lanterns may have the perfect glow, but LED’s are much safer!
Halloween is meant to be fun, not dangerous. By following these tips, you can help your home, your family, and others to stay safe this Halloween. For more, on homeownership and how we can help you be a better homeowner (or become a first-time homeowner!) check out www.nwwvt.org!
Author, Bailey Aines, part-time NWWVT employee