Growing up, we used to enjoy Halloween as a night of costumes and excitement. Now that we’re adults, we still want to join in the fun!
But, like our pint-sized counterparts, we are better off erring on the side of caution. Halloween is one of the highest crime-rate nights of the year. Having some security measures in place will make it a more enjoyable holiday. So, let’s check out some ideas for a homeowner on Halloween:
Keep the door locked between trick-or-treaters.
Although this may seem odd, you don’t want your door to be unlocked between the times you’re handing out candy. Just like any other night, your security is important.
Light up your porch and yard
Make your property a haven for kids and their parents by making paths and steps easy to see. You don’t want any of your guests to fall, especially those who have costumes with limited visibility. In addition, lights create a hazard for vandals, since well-lit properties are less likely to be vandalized or robbed by some of the more mischievous roamers.
No candles or other open flame items
Newer costumes are required to be flame retardant, but as a homeowner, you never want to put this to the test. Avoid candles, fires, or anything with an open flame. Battery operated candles are available for your jack o'lanterns and luminaries.
Check the peephole
If you check your peephole and find a stranger or strangers standing on your front porch, take the same precautions you would on any other night. If your instincts tell you it doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to open the door. It might be they are just high school kids enjoying a bit of nostalgia, but if you think it’s an adult up to no good, don’t answer.
Turn on your alarm and motion lights/detectors and security cameras
If you aren’t going to be home on Halloween, turn on your alarm system and make sure your motion detectors are working. You also might want to ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for vandals, since Halloween is a night of heavy petty crime.
Keep valuables out of sight
There are a few odd parents who take their kids trick or treating as a means of casing neighborhoods for quick robberies later. So, put your new laptop away, and don't leave your purse and car keys where they can be seen from your front door. Because, while little Johnny is holding out his trick or treat bag, big Johnny might be calculating which house has the best break-in prospects. This is also a good reason for the next item...
Don’t let strangers into your home
Halloween business should be conducted on the front porch, especially when it’s people you don’t know.
Clean up your property
You have a weekend or two before Halloween to cut back your shrubs and tree branches, thereby thwarting vandals and thieves by increasing the visibility of your property.
Remove yard ornaments, the hose, and the pot of begonias next to the front door--any items that could be potential fall hazards. We think kids will stay on the sidewalk, but they sometimes get excited and masks can create poor visibility.
Make sure the rest of your home is secure
Take a moment (maybe when you move the yard ornaments) to check your gate locks, windows, car, garage door and other doors to make sure they’re locked--the more security, the better. Keep pets in another room so they don’t create a distraction. Make sure your blinds and windows are closed, as well. Halloween creates a lot of people-movement in otherwise quiet neighborhoods.