There’s no doubt 2020 has been a crazy year, and as we get closer to the end of it, it will probably only get crazier. With all the craziness going on, you may or may not have considered how the coronavirus will affect the three largest holidays that are yet to come this year. But it could change the way we prepare and celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Being that Halloween is right around the corner, it’s more important than ever to figure out how to keep your home, yourself, the people inside your home, and the trick or treaters who come to your house safe and healthy.
There are plenty of dangers that can happen on Halloween without having to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Twice as many kids get killed while walking on Halloween than on any other day of the year. And insurance vandalism and theft claims are the highest of the year on Halloween and right after.
Halloween exposes you and your home to more people than any other holiday of the year. So you want to prepare yourself and it to minimize any potential hazards.
So let’s cover 5 important Halloween home safety tips.
5 Important Halloween Home Safety Tips to Practice This Year
1. Practice Covid-19 Guidelines in Your Home
Like everything else this year, Halloween 2020 will have some different guidelines to follow, and this may impact your home if you are giving out candy or having any in-home Halloween celebrations. Just like any other activity, you do daily follow the guidelines below:
- Wear a mask or face covering
- Try to social distance of 6 feet
- Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds
- Stay home and away from others if you have any coronavirus type symptoms
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a few specific guidelines for celebrating and wearing costumes this Halloween:
- Try to keep Halloween activities outside
- Do not wear a costume mask as a protective mask (unless it has two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers your mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around your face)
- Do not wear a costume mask over a cloth mask (this can make it hard to breath)
The CDC has also provided an alternative list of ways to celebrate Halloween this year. You can see them here.
Keep an eye on your local news in the days before Halloween to get any updated recommendations or guidelines to follow in your area.
2. Keep Walkway and Steps Clear
Make sure to clear your walkways, driveway, and steps of any objects that trick or treaters can trip over.
Pumpkins and decorations
Move pumpkins and decorations to the side to make a clear path for them to walk up to your home.
The closer we get to the winter, the more the leaves will fall, covering your walkway, steps, porch, driveway, and any other things that can get in the way and cause someone to stumble.
Leaves can also get wet, and if it rains on Halloween or close to Halloween can cause your walkways and steps to be slippery (especially if the temperature drops).
What to do with your leaves?
In a lot of areas of the United States, colorful leaves in the fall are a familiar sight, and although they look beautiful at the beginning of fall towards the end, there are piles of them everywhere.
For some homeowners, this is a hassle to deal with, but instead of hiring a lawn company to clean and bag them up to be hauled to the landfill, there is a simple yet environmentally friendly thing you can do with them.
Mulching – Mulching is using a specifically designed lawnmower (mulching lawnmower) to shred leaves and spread them back into the lawn. Doing this results in the nitrogen-rich grass mixing with the carbon-rich leaves to be decomposed by microorganisms and turned into plant-usable organic matter.
Get rid of your leaves before Halloween in 3 steps:
- Rake the leaves from the walkway, porch and stairs, and driveway into your yard.
- Mulch them with a mulching lawnmower.
- If you have a garden or flower beds, spread the mulched leaves around them as well or try any of the seven uses of fall leaves mentioned here.
To learn more about the benefits of mulching leaves visit here.
In addition to clearing the walkways and steps, make sure to tighten any handrails going up the walkway or stairs that are loose.
3. Put Your Pets Away
When someone approaches your home, your pets can either try to show their affection by trying to jump on them (like ours) or bark like crazy trying to protect you and your home. Either way, they want to come in close contact with people, and this is going to scare them away. And if your dog is feeling threatened enough, they may even strike someone.
So take them to another area of your house or outside to a fenced-in backyard away from people. Also, put away any indoor cats that may try to slip out the door when you are busy handing out the tricks or treats. Do this during the hours that trick or treaters will be stopping by your home.
4. Protect Your Home
As mentioned earlier, theft and vandalism are almost commonplace during Halloween, so you need to prepare to protect your home.
Out of sight, out of mind
Start by putting anything away and out of sight that is valuable around your home.
- If possible, park your car in the garage or away from where trick or treaters will be walking.
- Put away bikes and motorcycles.
- Make sure the children’s toys are picked up and put away.
- Don’t leave any lawn equipment out, including rakes or shovels.
When you are not opening the door to give the trick or treaters their candy, keep the front or storm door locked, including other outside doors.
If you don’t have any security cameras on your home or property, look into purchasing a video security product like a Ring doorbell. They are affordable and work directly with your smartphone to alert you of what is going on around your home.
If the area you live in is prone to theft and vandalism, you can even take photos of your home and property the morning of Halloween to show how your home looks in case something does happen.
If you leave to take your own kids trick or treating, and you have an alarm, make sure to activate your alarm.
5. Lighting and Electrical
You don’t only want your walkway, steps, and driveway cleared of leaves and obstructions; you also want them lit. Leave your porch light on and provide light for your walkway. Solar pathway LED lights are an affordable option for lighting the sidewalk or walkway to your front door. If you are going to light your walkway with jack o’ lanterns, opt for LED light candles instead of an actual burning candle that is susceptible to cause fires.
When it comes to Halloween, some people can go all out with the decorations. This is great to see, but it’s always important when setting up any electric decorations outside to make sure that you are following the National Electrical Code when setting them up.
A lot of older houses have electrical ground problems, and if you have an older home, this is something you want to check before setting up any of your holiday lights. If it’s been a while since you had an electrical inspection on your house, check the electrical ground wiring and follow these 11 tips for safe outdoor lighting.
Bonus: Disinfect Your Home
One extra step you may want to add to go along with practicing the Covid-19 guidelines for reducing the spread of coronavirus is to disinfect your home. You can disinfect your home in the high-touch areas after the trick or treaters come or if you have a Halloween party after the party is over.
For more information on how to disinfect your home check out our post on sanitizing and disinfecting your home.
For a lot of people, Halloween is the most fun day of the year. But it is also the most dangerous day for your kids and your home. This year we also have to deal with a highly contagious virus. Because of this, you also need to take extra steps to protect yourself inside your home.
So follow these Halloween home safety tips, and you will prepare yourself and your home for Halloween this year.
Are there any other Halloween home safety tips you can think of to add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.
Photos courtesy of Unsplash.
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