Halloween is arguably the greatest night of the year. It’s an occasion which allows people to freely transform their normal suburban homes, into invitingly fun and creepy haunted houses. Oh yes! No expense is spared; Strobe lights, creepy tombstones, artificial fog, and broken porcelain doll heads, will contribute to the mischievousness of the night.

Word spreads quickly. Your house is giving out KING size candy for the kids, some special witches brew for the adults, and your haunted house is so good you strongly consider charging admission. “Ding DONG!” Your doorbell rings, over-and-over-again.  The elegantly costumed little princesses stand side-by-side with goblins and devils, at your door hoping for the good candy while the adults sip their brew and marvel at your haunted creation. Yes, you will be the talk of the neighborhood. That is, until cul-de-sac Phil puts up his Holiday lights.

As Halloween approaches, keep in mind, the trick may be on you if someone becomes injured. If you invite trick-or-treaters, or other guests, onto your property this Halloween, you ARE legally responsible for their safety. Here a few ways to ensure the trick isn’t on you this Halloween;

  • Make sure walkways, driveways, stairs and porches are well lit;
  • Inspect perimeter of your property for hazards;
    • electrical cords and hoses should be wrapped up or moved;
    • toys, chairs, and other debris should be removed;
    • Inspect for broken stairs, loose railings, and protruding nails or screws on decks and porches;
  • Wrap any safety hazards that can’t be fixed in time for Halloween with caution tape and block off the area;
  • Use battery-powered votive candles in your jack-o-lanterns, rather than real candles, to avoid a potential fire hazard;
  • Be cautious if using fog machines or dry ice;
  • Leave pets inside the house. Halloween can become an overwhelming and stressful time for pets, so they may feel threatened and react aggressively;
  • Keep porch and front door lights off if you are not participating in trick-or-treating, but keep area adequately lit and all walkways clear in case of an emergency;
  • Never let strangers into your home, for any reason.

But above all, don’t forget to have fun! Happy Halloween 2017, everybody!

Posted in: Litigation & Disputes

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