The McDonald Real Estate Team

RE/MAX North Lake

By Sean and Aimee McDonald | Wednesday, October 10, 2018
The McDonald Real Estate Team, Creating a Spooktacularly Safe Halloween Home

Halloween is nearly here!  Creating a welcoming home for this special evening’s festivities, is a focal concentration of many homeowners.  A few mild-frights, and even a surprise or two, are most certainly in order.

All Hallows’ Eve is a fantastic time to interact with neighbors while enjoying costumed guests.  However, certain precautions aimed at making homes safe for the evening are also of importance.  No one wants their home to become a liability when handing out treats. But, a few simple precautions in advance of the big night, can make one’s haunted mansion safe and “spooktacularly” fun!

Before Halloween night, homeowners should walk their properties assessing potential hazards, which is an important step in determining whether the home’s exterior is adequately prepared.  Examination of walkways, driveways, stairways, front porches and front lawns is encouraged.  All pathways leading to the front door should be scrutinized to ensure ease of access.

The removal of autumn debris and obstacles posing hazards to excited superheroes, goblins and princesses is important.  Young trick-or-treaters are often distracted and it’s the obvious hazards that are oftentimes overlooked.  Lawn decorations, garden hoses, sprinkler systems, outdoor accessories and Halloween décor, can present dangers to those unaccustomed to a yard’s topography.  Committing a few minutes to the remediation of concerns, will help mitigate accidents.

Successful participation on the part of homeowners, requires non-verbal cues they’re eager to welcome candy seekers.  Whether a front door is flanked by a single glowing jack-o’-lantern or the front yard is adorned at great lengths by décor, participation in the festivities is signified by the home’s outward appearance.  Showing a little Halloween spirit in effort to entice trick-or-treaters to ring the doorbell is key.

Repurposing old sheets into ghosts, fashioning cardboard into tombstones, creating eerie signs, crafting cheesecloth spider webs, building scarecrows, playing spooky music and strategically placed lighting will quickly evoke a look and feel of the occasion.  For those open to spending a little more in effort to further highlight their haunted abodes, the options are limitless.  Nobody wants to be remembered as the neighbor who didn’t take Halloween seriously. Yet, a well-decorated home is likely to be the envy of the neighborhood and resonate with the younger crowd.

Spirited homeowners should be prepared, as well-decorated homes will attract interest in would-be trick-or-treaters.  Buying a sufficient supply of candy is vital, running out won’t only prove frustrating to candy seekers, but also to the home’s occupants who’ll be compelled to shut-down early.  

New homeowners should ask their neighbors how much activity they see each year, as previous years are typically good indicators of annual trick-or-treating traffic.  In neighborhoods possessing fewer trick-or-treaters, a small supply of treats is probably sufficient.  In popular neighborhoods, it may prove advantageous to purchase larger quantities. Regardless, to ensure the ongoing perpetuation of youthful happiness, hosts mustn’t run out of candy!

When discussing home safety, many homeowners reflect on the interior spaces of their residence; however, responsibility begins at the property line.  While it’s natural to want to dress up the mysteriousness of a home by turning off the lights, a darkened home may also unintentionally result in injuries.  An optimally-lit exterior conveys a message that visitors are welcome but also communicates the importance of safety.

Unfortunately, the risk of fire on Halloween is a pervasive reality.  When decorating, homeowners should avoid using candles and instead, utilize LED lighting, glow sticks, battery-operated lights and spotlights where necessary to illuminate decorations.  Further, front yard attractions powered by electricity, should be operated using extension cords that are rated for outdoor use and aren’t overloaded.

Securing pets for the evening is also encouraged.  It’s not only better for those out for the evening’s festivities, but also for those animals who are likely to be confused by the commotion.  The excitement, costumes, lights and noises can leave pets feeling anxious and may result in accidental escapes, barking or unintentional bites.  Animals should be kept confined to the house or in a safe location until the evening’s activities have concluded.

Halloween allows for social engagement with the neighbors, friends and family, and also provides a chance for communities to come together.  However, for some unsuspecting individuals, the evening also presents opportunities for theft and vandalism.  Diligence is essential when enjoying the evening. Unfortunately, the anonymity of a costume can empower some to commit crimes.  Homeowners should use discretion, ensuring their home’s windows and doors remain locked. Parking the car in the garage and remaining attentive when opening the front door is also advisable.

When residents plan to be away for the evening, they’re encouraged to inform trusted neighbors, just in case suspicious activity is encountered.  A home security system can prove beneficial, as do timed lighting solutions which give the impression someone is home, thereby dissuading tricksters.  If a homeowner doesn’t own a security system, purchasing one can provide peace of mind and potentially lead to a reduction in homeowner’s insurance rates.

While Halloween offers a chance for homeowners to engage in this eerily spooky occasion, it may also prove a liability for those who aren’t adequately prepared.  Still, with a few precautionary steps, the activities surrounding All Hallows’ Eve will not only prove “spooktacularly” fun, they’ll also prove safe.