If we asked you to guess which day of the year you think is the absolute worst as far as theft and vandalism go, you might guess New Year’s Eve, July 4, or around Christmas, right? The truth is Halloween, on average, has more home claims for vandalism, mischief, and theft than any other day of the year.
Common crimes include home break-ins, knocking down mailboxes, and throwing rocks through windows. Many people find themselves targets of the toilet paper brigade and car egging, too (that cleanup is NEVER fun).
Auto claims are also up there, with vandalism being much more prevalent on Halloween than other days of the year. Not to mention the increased risk of someone getting hurt on your property (merely because you’ll have higher numbers of little visitors scampering up to your front door).
Pretty scary, huh?
To avoid becoming a victim of one of these harrowing crimes, you can take some extra precautions. To avoid potential lawsuits, you can also prepare your yard and home so it’s as safe as can be before you have additional foot traffic on your property.
Here’s a list of Halloween safety tips to help you avoid a sticky situation this year on or around October 31.
Halloween Safety Tips for Homeowners
Keep an eye on the candles.
Or better yet, skip them. It’s fun to have Jack-o-lanterns around the house, but what if someone trips and knocks one over? Or what if you forget to blow one of your candles out before you call it a night? With all the extra costumes and decorations on your property, you can’t be too careful. Opt for battery-powered LED lights instead of candles to avoid any risk of fire.
Leave your pets safely inside.
Keep your pet away from visitors. Harmless children showing up to your door in masks and costumes could be enough to freak out your pets. If they get scared and bite, scratch, jump on, or frighten someone, you could end up with a liability claim on your hands. It’s safer to keep your pets out of the way until the excitement is over for the night.
Clean up your yard.
Walk around your yard and up the path to your front door to ensure no hazards exist. Be smart about where you set up your decorations and where you place electrical cords. You don’t want someone to trip on something and get hurt. Make the pathway clear and the route as safe as possible.
Safely store your vehicles.
If possible, store your vehicle in your garage—or at least in a well-lit driveway. Make sure you keep it locked and off the street so prowlers can’t easily access it.
Light up your property.
Not only does lighting discourage vandals from approaching your property, but it also helps keep the kids safe as they scurry toward your door in the dark. Ensure your yard is obstacle-free and the path leading to your home is well lit to avoid accidents. Make sure stairs and decks are also illuminated and free of potential tripping hazards.
If you don’t want to participate in the evening’s festivities, leave your porch light off so you don’t have extra foot traffic (that automatically increases your risk for a claim). You don’t want to make anyone angry by refusing to hand out candy, either. Being clear about your intentions will keep kids and their parents safer and happier.
Keep your home safe.
Keep your doors and windows locked at night. Also leave the lights on around your yard, garage, and all entryways to your home. Don’t leave valuable items in your vehicle or in plain sight in your house. Burglars often drive or walk around quiet neighborhoods in search of easy targets. Turn on your security system if you have one or activate your motion-sensor lighting.
Other ways to deter vandals and thieves include:
- Putting up a sign saying you have a dog (even if you don’t)
- Keeping your curtains or shades closed
- Locking your garage and the door leading from the garage into your house
- Installing an alarm system and security cameras
- Leaving the tv or music on if you leave the house
- Asking a trusted neighbor to keep an eye on your house while you’re away
Make sure you’re covered in case anything happens.
Check and see what your auto and homeowners insurance policies cover for theft, vandalism, and liability. It’s smart to prepare ahead of time in case anything happens. You can customize your policies to cover your needs and for more peace of mind on the spookiest day of the year.
Contact Coverage Direct for an auto or homeowners insurance quote. After we understand your coverage needs, we can shop around for affordable and comprehensive policy options for you.