Keeping Your Yard Safe As The Holidays Approach
Trick or treating can be a fun experience for kids and homeowners alike. While neighborhood kids come by outfitted in their scariest, wackiest costumes, homeowners enjoy decorating their homes, passing out candy, and maybe even dressing up in a costume of their own.
Yet, for as much fun as trick or treating can be, it can also put homeowners at greater risk. Should a child get injured on the property, a homeowner is typically held responsible. Having homeowner’s insurance helps, but it may not cover all expense or liability.
That’s why this Halloween, we’re sharing our favorite tips for keeping your yard safe for trick or treaters.
Tip: Light it up! Halloween may call for keeping things dark and spooky, but know that a little lighting can go a long way. To make sure your yard is safe (without sacrificing too much scary) consider adding small solar lights alongside the pathway up to your front door. Solar lights are relatively inexpensive and can be useful year-round. You can also string colorful lights in your trees and shrubs to help keep your yard fully visible to trick or treaters. Remember: not all little ghouls and goblins choose to stay on designated walkways.
Tip: Keep yard decorations to a minimum. Decorations are no doubt adorable and add to the spirit of your haunted home, but know that excessive yard decorations can double as safety hazards for little ones. The last thing you want is a child running through the yard, tripping over a decoration, and leaving you with an injury to address. Think about other decorations you can hang from your porch or place in your windows. They can be just as decorative and a whole lot safer.
Tip: Think about steps. If you have a porch or an elevated landing, consider that trick or treaters will have to walk up steps to get to your door. For kids in costumes with hands full of candy, simple steps can become an unexpected hazard. To minimize the risk of a trip and fall, consider passing out candy from your bottom step or at the edge of your porch so that trick or treaters can stay on ground level.
Tip: Take a second look at what’s in your yard. Aside from Halloween decorations, what else could lead to an accidental injury? Have an unwound garden hose by the side of your flower bed? What about your dog’s toys? If you have a pool, be especially vigilant about keeping its gate closed. You may assume kids will stick to your front yard, but as a homeowner, it’s better to be attentive to potential safety hazards throughout your entire property.
Tip: Let pets stay inside. He may be wearing the cutest costume anyone’s ever seen, but unfortunately Halloween is not the time to socialize Fido and let him show it off. Nothing is worth the risk of a pet causing harm or injury to a child. Given the general chaos of Halloween (incessant doorbell ringing, strangers coming and going) pets with typically friendly demeanors can become stressed and agitated, putting little visitors at risk for being on the receiving end of uncharacteristic behavior. Instead of letting pets stay amid all the action, let them relax inside the home, away from the door.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve revisited your homeowner’s insurance policy, or you’re considering switching or upgrading policies, there’s no better time to take a look at your options. You never know when you’ll need to use your homeowner’s insurance, so make sure you’re prepared with a policy that fits.