Halloween is almost here. For so many little spirits out there this is one of the most exciting holidays. I know quite a few little monsters and they have preparing for October 31stfor quite a while. It is our responsibility to make certain that these little ones have the most special evening ever. You might remember growing up and all the attention that was spent on making certain we were warm could see clearly and most importantly – we were safe. Now that we are adults, it is our responsibility to prepare our homes and provide the safest environment for the next generation of goblins and princesses. According to Traveler’s Insurance, these are things to take into consideration when planning the evening:

Be Aware of Dangers that Might Not be Visible During the Night

•Walk your property before Halloween to identify and minimize potential dangers, especially those difficult to see after dark. For example, check to make sure temporary extension cords are secured to avoid becoming a tripping hazard.

• Make sure walking surfaces are even and clear of debris, and that any obstacles are clearly marked, such as stakes, exposed roots or holes.

• Ensure that your front yard, walkway and entryway are well lit so that those unfamiliar with your home can safely navigate. If using a fog machine, be careful that the fog does not make it difficult to see tripping hazards.

Remember that Welcoming the Neighborhood Inside Also Invites Risk

• When hosting a haunted house, make sure to allow adequate floor and exit lighting. Keep exits clear to help prevent tripping.

• Avoid advertising the event in your neighborhood or on social media. ◦If charging for admission for a haunted house or other forms of entertainment, be aware that this could be considered a business activity and you should consult with your agent or insurance company representative to ensure you have the proper coverage.

Be Smart about Where You Place Decorations

• Set up decorations with traffic flow in mind. Place them to prevent tipping over, blowing away or becoming a tripping hazard.

• When plugging in your scary indoor decorations, do not overload electrical outlets.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid damage to your home or injury to your guests. For example, make sure inflatable decorations are secured properly and kept away from sources of ignition.

Set Up Spooky Lighting with Caution

• Avoid any kind of open flame.

• Consider using battery-operated candles or LED lighting as a safe alternative to candles.

• Do not drape costumes or other fabrics over light bulbs, which generate heat and can start a fire.

Choose Decorations Wisely

• Avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crêpe paper because they are highly combustible. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.

• Use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety – look for a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL or another nationally recognized laboratory.

• When plugging in decorations, avoid daisy chaining extension cords, which may cause overheating.

• Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire.

• Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to help reduce the risk of electric shock. Portable GFCIs for outdoor use can be purchased where electrical supplies are sold.

David Brown

Mulberry Seed Design