From adorable trick-or-treaters roaming the streets to haunted houses and scary movies, Halloween is a holiday many Florida families look forward to each year.
However, there are some not-so-fun frights just waiting to cause mischief. Here are seven common Halloween mishaps and what you can do to avoid them.
Jack-O-Lantern on Fire
Carving pumpkins is one of the most beloved Halloween traditions. Unfortunately, Halloween is one of the top five days of the year for fires started by uncontrolled candles. Using candles to illuminate your spooky creations could pose a serious fire hazard.
What to Do: Illuminate jack-o-lanterns with battery-operated candles or flashlights instead of real candles.
Scaredy Cats (and Dogs)
While it may be tempting to dress Fluffy and Fido up in adorable costumes to greet trick-or-treaters this Halloween, you may want to think twice.
The constant excitement of children ringing the doorbell can overwhelm pets. If you’re hosting a Halloween party, the unfamiliar masks and costumes may spook pets too.
What to Do: Let your pets have their own Halloween “party.” Keep them in a separate room away from all the Halloween excitement. They’ll appreciate it – and so will you!
“Trip” or Treat
Carefully think through trick-or-treater safety when decorating “the scariest house on the block.” If someone trips and falls over a decoration on your property, you may be liable for their injuries.
What to Do: Enjoy a trip-free Halloween by clearing a path from the sidewalk to your front door – clear of tombstones, giant monsters and creepy cobwebs.
All Hallow’s Eve Pranksters
Whether it’s called “Mischief Night,” “Devil’s Night” or some other regional variation, the night before Halloween is prime time for pranksters to unleash their villainy – everything from egg-covered houses and toilet paper-filled yards to smashed pumpkins and broken windows. While many of these pranks are relatively fun and innocent, they can also wreak havoc on your home.
What to Do: Keep your house well lit, cut back trees and shrubs and report any suspicious or criminal activity to local authorities. Don’t lure pranksters in… Keep your Halloween candy bowl inside, not sitting on the front porch.
Decorative lights are a wonderful way to show off your Halloween spirit. However, if not handled properly, decorative lights can turn into a fire and electrocution hazard.
What to Do: Make sure your decorative lights have safety certifications, such as from UL (Underwriters Laboratories). Check for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires or loose connections and discard any damaged lights.
Beware of the Scarecrow
As the Wizard of Oz taught us, dried cornstalks, hay and straw scarecrows do not mix well with heat. These classic Halloween decorations are highly flammable. If they get hot enough, they can catch on fire.
What to Do: Keep flammable decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. Making a jack-o-lantern scarecrow? Light it up with battery-operated candles or flashlights instead of real candles. Consider opting for plastic, flame resistant decorations instead of flammable straw scarecrows this year.
Did your little ghoul score some delicious candy this year? Beware – Halloween treats like chocolate and candy are extremely toxic to pets and may trigger life-threatening allergic reactions if ingested.
What to Do: Keep Halloween candy in a high cabinet secured with a lock or child-safety latch. Keep an eye on children to ensure that they don’t accidentally share their well-earned treats with pets.
People’s Trust Insurance wishes everyone a thrilling and safe Halloween!