Community · Family · Safety · Tips and Tricks

Halloween Safety

Ghosts and demons may be scary on screen, but Halloween accidents and crime are all too real.

Turns out, Oct. 31 sees an average of 24 percent more crime-related claims than on any other day of the year, according to data from Travelers Insurance. Now that’s scary. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your home and family safe this spooky season.
Slow down, drivers: Be vigilant while driving and keep an eye out for little ghouls and goblins scampering across neighborhood streets. If you’re the one in costume, make yourself seen. Bring a flashlight or wear reflective clothing and stay away from any house without lights on. Know your route before you trick or treat and stay in familiar territory.

Keep your house from being haunted: Leave some lights on at home when you’re out knocking on doors to deter thieves and vandals. Also consider telling a neighbor to keep an eye out as they’re handing out candy to make sure your house stays secure if you won’t be around.

Frightening lighting: It takes a lot of planning to get that spooky ambiance just right, so as you’re decorating remember to use safety-tested lights with a certification mark from UL, CSA, ETL, or another nationally-recognized laboratory. Do not staple, nail, or otherwise mess with electrical wires, and ground all extension cords with ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to avoid electric shock. Also watch those Jack-o’-Lanterns! Open flame candles may be tradition, but they are the enemy of flammable costumes and long “Game of Thrones”-style wigs. Never leave candles unattended.

Identify hazards: Before the witching hour strikes, check around your house for potential danger zones. Got a loose extension cord? Or a broken step? Try to fix them or clearly mark to minimize accidents. The ropes holding that giant inflatable pumpkin on your front lawn may be visible in the daytime but as soon as the sun goes down, they could become a tripping hazard.

Un-fear your gear: Make sure all prop knives, axes, swords, wizard staffs, and Harley Quinn bats look and feel fake. Using soft materials like rubber and foam will help prevent injuries and make accessories easier to carry around all night.

Original article by Carly Sitrin. Read more at BostonGlobe.com.

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