Plenty of people love a good Halloween scare — as long no one gets hurt. And that includes your house.
Hot lights and kids on foot present some real risks to homeowners. Follow these seven tips for trick-or-treat safety:
#1 Make Your Outdoor Lights as Bright as Possible
Check the label on your outdoor light fixtures and use the highest wattage bulbs they can safely handle. You can always switch them back after the holiday for a softer glow.
#2 Prop Open the Storm Door for Trick-or-Treaters
Keep the screen or storm door propped open so it doesn't get in the way when kids are on your stoop. Yellow caution tape can do the trick while keeping with your Halloween theme. A 1,000-foot roll of three-inch-wide tape costs about $8.
#3 Use LEDs Instead of Real Candles
We all know the danger of using real candles with a flame in decorations like carved pumpkins or paper lanterns; they're a fire waiting to happen. LED-bulb faux candles are much safer, and the light looks a lot like the real thing. Before you purchase Halloween decorative lights, be sure to look for safety certifications such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
#4 Use Motion Lights After the Trick-or-Treaters Have Left
When the trick-or-treaters go home, the vandals often come out. Motion sensor lights that illuminate the whole house can help scare away any mischief makers.
#5 Tighten Railings
Fixing wobbly or broken porch railings is a trick-or-treat safety must. They can cause severe injuries if anyone leans on them a little too hard. Hire a contractor or handyman to fix the problem before your guests arrive.
Related: Halloween Lighting Decoration Ideas
#6 Use Friction Tape on Steps
Steps can get slippery in damp weather. Prepare by applying friction tape ($16 for a 60-foot roll of one-inch-wide tape) to steps.
If your neighborhood is at risk for an early freeze, stock up on ice melt, too ($20 for a 50-pound bag).
A related Halloween trick-or-treat safety tip: Clear your walk, steps, and stoop of any obstructions like potted plants – and even jack-o'-lanterns. Move them where no one can accidentally stumble on them.
#7 Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips
Here's a scary statistic: On average, over two times as many child pedestrians die on Halloween compared to other days, according to the Children's Safety Network. Of all the trick-or-treat safety guidelines, this one could be the most important.
Reduce risks to little pedestrians by clearing parked cars from the curb for better visibility and placing a reflective “Watch for Children" sign at the edge of the road. On busy streets, consider having adults take turns maintaining safety in the street with a hand-held traffic control light.