Halloween is a fun time of year where people get dressed up, decorate their lawn, and give out candy to trick-or-treaters (or maybe go trick-or-treating themselves!). But did you know you can be inviting liabilities on yourself if you’re not careful? Whenever people–especially children–come onto your property, you are responsible for their safety. During Halloween season, it can be easy to get lost in the fun of decorating your home and planning “tricks.” You may forget about making sure your property is safe for the trick-or-treaters who are bound to come ringing your doorbell. Practice Halloween safety so you can enjoy this time with family and friends without worrying about liabilities.
Below are a few actions you can take to keep your yard safe for trick-or-treaters this Halloween so you can enjoy the day without worry.
It’s easy to get carried away with decorations. That may be one of the most fun parts of Halloween. But while you’re decorating, keep all parts of your decorations clear from the walkway to your front door. Even on your grass, make sure any wires are hidden away in case anyone strays from the walkway – you don’t want someone tripping and getting injured.
Large inflatable decorations are fun and definitely add to the scary factor of your front yard. But they can also be knocked over or blown next door by a strong wind, potentially causing harm to trick-or-treaters or damaging your neighbor’s property. That doesn’t mean you need to avoid inflatables; just secure them properly and you should have no problem!
This is an obvious Halloween safety tip but it’s still worth mentioning. Make sure to use LED lights of some sort inside your pumpkins on your porch or in your yard instead of fire-lit candles. Lit candles are a huge fire hazard to others and also to your home. They are not worth the risk. LED candles are easy to find in stores and still give off that unearthly glow for a perfectly spooky ambiance!
Keep your walkway and front doorway sufficiently lit so all visitors are able to see clearly. This way, if an obstacle does make its way onto your front path, trick-or-treaters will be able to see it. Additionally, they’ll notice any cracks or uneven parts of your walkway. You will still be responsible for an injury from an uneven walkway (so get that fixed when you get a chance!), but good lighting will at least help prevent such an injury from occurring.
Animals, even very tame ones, can get overexcited, or even afraid, with all the visitors coming to your door and ringing your bell. Your normally docile dog or cat may suddenly behave out of character, and you definitely don’t want to be responsible for an injury caused by your pet. Keep your pet away from the trick-or-treaters so it and they stay safe and comfortable.
Stay safe from liability this Halloween by keeping these tips in mind when you get ready for the day. Halloween should be fun and enjoyably scary, not an actual nightmare! If someone does become injured on your property, or if you become injured on someone else’s property, the attorneys at Weinstein, Chase, Messinger, & Peters are here to help.