Halloween is just a few days away, and many consumers may not realize just how frightening this night could be for their safety, property or accounts.
To help individuals, families and businesses enjoy the holiday and protect themselves against Halloween risks, share these Trusted Choice®-endorsed safety tips with your clients:
- Don’t be a scary driver. Drive sober, slowly and even more carefully than usual on Halloween. Watch out for children who may be running or wearing dark costumes.
- Don’t be a scary pedestrian. While walking, do not text or use a cell phone unless necessary—especially as pedestrian traffic and the number of children outdoors increases throughout the day and evening.
- Hear and be heard. Make sure cumbersome costumes or earphones don’t impair your hearing. Alert yourself to the sounds of moving vehicles, other groups of pedestrians, bicyclists and animals.
- Stay accident-free. Temporarily remove or resituate lawn furniture, decorations and any other obstacles to avoid accidents or damage. To avoid trick-or-treater injuries on your property, ensure your home’s entry is in good condition and free of loose or broken pieces on stairwells, and that walkways are clear.
- Prevent fires. Place pumpkins that contain candles at a distance where curious guests can’t tip them over or accidentally ignite a costume. Extinguish all candles before going to bed and use battery-operated lights if possible. A variety of jack-o-lantern lights are available at most stores that sell Halloween decor.
- Wear a safe costume. Costumes can hide more than someone’s true identity—they may cloak potential hazards as well. All disguises should be made from flame-resistant materials and shouldn’t contain sharp accessories. Be sure the costume fits and isn’t too long. Avoid masks that may obscure vision, and use hypo-allergenic makeup if possible.
- See and be seen. Encourage all trick-or-treaters and adult chaperones to carry a flashlight and, if possible, wear bright colors. Apply light-reflecting material to costumes for additional safety.
- Use power in numbers. When traveling on foot, walk in groups, cross only at corners and crosswalks—never between parked cars—and keep to well-lit streets.
- Fend off unwelcome guests. Keep outdoor lights on to scare away thieves and vandals who often take advantage of a busy Halloween night to strike.
- Keep pets safe. Secure all pets indoors. Warn children to stay away from animals as they go door to door. Halloween night can be stressful, even for the friendliest creatures.
- Inspect your candy. Cavities aren’t the only candy-related risks on Halloween. Inspect all trick-or-treats and never eat unwrapped, tampered or expired items. Collect candy only from people you trust, and ask the local police department if it offers a candy x-ray or inspection service. Throw away any suspicious candy.
- Stay aware of allergies. Offer allergen-friendly treats if possible, such as peanut- and gluten-free items, if possible.
- Carry an umbrella. Make sure you have homeowners or renters insurance, which can provide protection for Halloween mishaps like slips and falls, a candle that sets a costume on fire, claims of tainted candy and more. An umbrella policy may be the best option for comprehensive coverage.
Margarita Tapia is Big “I” director of public affairs. Sue Nester is Big "I" director of broadcast media.