It’s nearly Halloween, and it’s time to pay attention to a few things before those (now not so little) trick-or-treaters approach your front door, empty pillowcase or plastic pumpkin in hand. If you plan on handing out candy this year, a little pre-planning can go a long way to having a safe All Hallows Eve.
First, survey the walkway or the driveway the little goblins might walk up to your front door. Clear it of toys, yard equipment, and debris. Then light up the path. Turn on your exterior lights, including any floodlights, to help create a safe path for trick-or-treaters. A few inexpensive solar lights along the walkway to your door might also be in order.
Make sure to find a safe, corralled place for your pets, both for their sakes as well as your temporary front door guests. A constantly opening and closing door makes it easy for pets to escape and possibly harm a child and isn’t that much fun for your confused dog, who feels he has to greet everyone personally.
Secure your skeletons. When hanging or placing decorations outside your home, secure them carefully so they don’t blow away or come loose and fall onto your walkways. This includes decorations that are placed on your lawn and your porch (like foam tombstones or scarecrows, for example).
If there are railings around steps or front porches and they feel rickety, it’s time to secure them. If you have Halloween decorations atop of those railings, it’s best to skip the candles. While the flickering light can make your pumpkins look scarier, it’s not worth the fire risk when you consider all the draping costumes and accessories that will whiz by. Look for some small battery-powered strings of lights you can use inside your jack o’lanterns. And if you have a lot of stairs or a long, winding path, consider standing sentry outside (in costume might be cute), handing out candy at the end of your driveway.