What do you think of when you think of Halloween? Children proudly dressed in colourful costumes trick or treating, glowing carved pumpkins with funny and scary faces and a loot bag filled with candy. What we don’t always think about are some of the potential dangers.
One of the main concerns for both homeowners and business owners is slip and fall risk. When trick or treaters have access to your lawn or premises, make sure there is nothing they can trip on such as electric cords. If someone comes onto your premises, slips and falls and is injured, you may face a potential liability lawsuit.
What you can you to make your premises safer?
- Turn on your outdoor lights so trick or treaters know they can visit and increased visibility.
- Make sure your walkway is clear of leaves, garbage, and debris. If there is any snow or ice, make sure you have put salt on the affected area. Sweep your sidewalk of leaves and branches so there is nothing a trick or treater can trip or slip-on.
- Check that all display items don’t have any sharp edges and can’t be reached by small children.
- If there are stairs leading up to your front door, check that make none are loose or broken. You should also check your railings and make sure they are secure.
Some people go all out and have amazing outdoor displays that can really add to the Halloween ambiance. Unfortunately, candles, jack o’lanterns and lanterns can be fire hazards. Consider lighting your jack o’lanterns and lanterns with flashlights or battery operated lights rather than candles. Make sure that any lights are out of reach so that no one can get burned. Your lights should be certified by an organization such as the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or the Underwriters’ Laboratory of Canada. Check that the electric cords and sockets are in good repair. Avoid using candles with multiple wicks as these can produce a large very hot flame which can set curtains or costumes on fire!
If your children are trick or treating or you are dressing up to greet visitors, remember that costumes can also be flammable. When possible, buy ones made with fire-resistant material such as nylon or heavyweight polyester. Remember that fire resistant is not the same as fireproof.
When it comes to Halloween treats, it is best to avoid giving out edible homemade treats as most parents will throw them out. Unfortunately every year we hear of treats with razor blades being given to children. If you can, it is also a good idea to consider food allergies. So many children are allergic to peanuts these days! Some easy treats to give away are: chocolate treats without peanuts, twizzlers or potato chips.
So make sure your premises are safe and fun for everyone. Happy Halloween!