Millions of kids will hit the streets this year in search of candy and other goodies. Taking the time to prepare your home for the trick-or-treaters that will be headed your way this Halloween ensures everyone has a festive and safe evening. We’ve gathered 9 key things to consider as you prepare for fall and Halloween, all of which are designed to keep your visitors safe and secure and to give you peace of mind about the big day.
Clear the Way
Leaves that look festive and colorful during the day in fall could turn into a hazard at night, when your young trick-or-treaters arrive. Make sure the path to your door is clearly defined and that it is free of anything that could be slipped on or tripped over. Keep in mind that some kids might have costumes or masks that obstruct vision, so ensuring the path is clear keeps everyone safe when they visit your home.
Check Your Doorbell
This is an ideal time to make sure your doorbell is in good working order and that you can hear it inside. You’ll be expecting company on the big night, but having a working doorbell makes it easy to know when you need to come to the door and decreases frustration on the part of your trick-or-treaters.
Light It Up
Your porch light and driveway lights need to be working for safety at night – this becomes even more critical on Halloween night when you can be sure that you’ll be having multiple visitors. Check the bulbs on the porch and driveway, set out pathway solar lights (if you do not already have permanent walkway safety lighting) and make it easy to spot your door, steps and any obstacles that might be in the way. According to Chevrolet, Halloween night is one of the most dangerous nights of the year for kids, so having a home that is well lit will keep everyone safe.
Clear Your Yard
Halloween is exciting—and some kids won’t remember to use the walkways in their excitement. Taking the time to clear out debris, mow the yard, and rake leaves can prevent accidents and ensure your visits are all happy ones.
Use Kid-Friendly Décor
Have fun with your decorations but avoid using open flame on the big night; for this night at least, replace your Jack-o-Lantern candles with battery-powered lights for safety. If you have a neighborhood with lots of young kids, err on the side of cute rather than scary, just in case.
Meet the Neighbors
Halloween might be the perfect time of year to meet neighbors face-to-face. Knowing which people belong to which house enhances both your sense of community and everyone’s safety. Take the time to say hi, whether you are out with the kids trick-or-treating or answering the doorbell yourself.
Secure Your Pets
According to Banfield Veterinary Hospital, Halloween is a dangerous time for pets. Each time you open the door, you give your pets a chance to slip outdoors and increase their chances of being lost. You also risk scaring or knocking over young or fragile visitors—your 75-pound German Shepherd may love visitors, but he could scare or even knock your trick-or-treaters down if he approaches them too energetically. You should also secure your pets to keep them away from the candy; chocolate can be irresistible to dogs, but it is not safe for them to eat.
Stock Up on Candy
You’ll want plenty of candy for your guests, but picking up the right kind will reduce risk. Give out individually-wrapped pieces that are not choking hazards; hard candies and similar pieces are not ideal if you have young trick-or-treaters. Save the baked goods for school or for personal guests; many parents won’t allow kids to have them due to allergy or safety concerns.
Go Teal on Halloween
If you’ve seen teal pumpkins on display in your neighborhood, it’s not a new decorating trend. Instead, a teal pumpkin relays that your home has allergen-free treats. Stock up on peanut-free goodies if you display a teal pumpkin or opt for treats that are not food at all—stickers, small stationery items, novelties, and more are all festive, but not dangerous to kids.
Not sure if your home is ready? Update the outside of your home to get it ready for fall so you’ll have a safe place for kids to visit and get a jump start on your decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You’ll love having an updated look for your home’s exterior and the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is truly ready to show off.