Halloween can be just as much fun for adults as for children. As a homeowner or renter, however, you do have at least one serious responsibility come Halloween night: making your home safe for trick-or-treating. With excited, costumed kids racing through the night, you’ll need to take some basic steps to keep them and your property safe. Here’s how to prepare your home for the parade of trick-or-treaters.

  1. Turn on your exterior lights. Turning on your outside lights shows that you’re offering treats, helps avoid trips and discourages vandals. Consider adding portable LED lights along the path to your front door if your permanent lighting is insufficient. Leaving your lights off is a good way to show that you’re not offering treats, but for better security, you may want to leave your indoor and outdoor lights on but add a highly visible note saying you’re not participating.
  2. Remove trip hazards. Make sure your yard, driveway, sidewalk and porch are all clear of trip hazards. Clear leaves and sticks, clean up pet droppings, put away lawn decorations and equipment, store fragile and valuable items and tape down cords over likely walking paths. You may also want to rope off any hazardous areas people may try to cut through.
  3. Secure pets. Ensure your pets and trick-or-treaters don’t disturb each other by keeping your pets corralled during the festivities. Dogs that are very territorial or loud barkers may be best kept indoors in a secure room or wing of the home.
  4. Consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can provide a non-food treat or toy option for children with allergies, and advertise the option by painting a pumpkin teal and leaving it near your door. Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project here.
  5. Avoid fire hazards. Candle-lit jack-o’-lanterns and luminarias make for great Halloween atmosphere, but they also risk igniting decorations, costumes or your home. Consider LED candle alternatives for greater safety and peace of mind. If you do use real candles, keep them in secure containers away from flammables like paper, hay and dried cornstalks.
  6. Turn off your sprinkler system. Whether they’re automatic or not, make sure your sprinklers are off and stay off well before evening so your lawn can dry and trick-or-treaters don’t get doused during their visit.

By following these tips, you can help ensure that Halloween at your home is safe and enjoyable for all those who participate.