Updated September 25, 2020
When you think of Halloween, do endless bags of candy, fun frights and creative costumes come to mind? If you’re a homeowner, you should also consider all those spooky Halloween home insurance hazards lurking in the dark.
Here are five common household liability issues that are likely to happen during Halloween—and how to avoid them.
#1 “Trip” or Treat
Decorating your home can be exciting, just don’t get too carried away. Carefully consider where to place your decorations to ensure trick-or-treaters have a clear path to your home. Make sure your walkway is clear and well-lit clear on Halloween night. Avoid low lighting and don’t overdo it with the smoke machine. If someone trips and falls over a decoration on your property, you may be liable for their injuries. Try to resist using low lighting, bright lights are best so people can see where they are going. So make sure to have a well-lit clear path on Halloween night!
#2 Decoration Danger
Jack-o’-lanterns are a popular Halloween tradition. Every year, this festive and creative practice also leads to home fires. If you are planning on lining your sidewalk or porch with lit up pumpkins, opt for little LED candles instead of real ones. Candlelit decorations can easily be knocked over and start a home fire. If you are using decorative lights to show off your Halloween spirit, make sure they aren’t a fire hazard. Check for broken or cracked sockets, frayed wires, or loose connections and discard any damaged lights. For more safety tips, check out these leading home fire hazards and what you can do to keep your family and home safe.
#3 Scaredy Cats (and Dogs)
Cats and dogs may get overwhelmed by the constant excitement of children ringing the doorbell, causing them to dart to the front door. Unfamiliar masks and costumes may trigger their protective instinct, resulting in them biting or attacking trick-or-treaters. To avoid this, keep your pets in a separate room away from all the Halloween excitement.
Keep in mind Halloween treats like chocolate and some types of candy are extremely toxic to pets and may trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction if ingested. Remember to keep any trick-or-treat candy away from your pets. According to the ASPCA, chocolate in all forms can be very dangerous for cats and dogs, while sugar-free candies containing xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets.
#4 Hallows Eve Pranks
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. On this night, people cover homes in eggs and toilet paper, smash pumpkins and windows and even break into homes. To avoid this, keep your house well lit, cut back trees and shrubs, and report any suspicious or criminal activity to local authorities.
#5 Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy
Now is the perfect time to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy, which we recommend reviewing once a year. With the changing of seasons and different guests arriving at your home, you want to give yourself and your visitor’s peace of mind this Halloween by making sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.
With a little precaution, you can have a safe and fun Halloween. Don’t let these Halloween home insurance hazards ruin your celebration.
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