Celebrating Halloween is fun for kids and adults alike, and safety is an essential part of a successful celebration. To keep the fun going, we’ve rounded up our top 13 spooky tips to keep your kids, pets, and home safe on Halloween this year:
- Use proper tools to carve or decorate pumpkins safely
- Use battery-operated candles to light pumpkins
- Prep your home, inside and out, for trick-or-treaters
- Use your video doorbell or outdoor camera to see when trick-or-treaters arrive
- Arm your security system to protect your home if you’re out
- Park your car in a safe place
- Be extra vigilant while driving
- Wear bright, reflective costumes for more visibility
- Beware of anything that could cause skin irritation, breathing issues, or tripping hazards when dressing up
- Be proactive in keeping younger kids safe while you trick-or-treat with them
- Make a trick-or-treating plan and set ground rules for older kids
- Check your child’s treats at the end of the night
- Keep your pets safely secured
Read on to learn more about how to have your safest Halloween yet, whether you stay home or go out and about.
General Halloween Safety Tips
1. Use Proper Tools To Carve or Decorate Pumpkins Safely
Halloween safety starts well before the actual day. If you like to kick off the season by carving pumpkins, make sure you are doing so safely. Consider decorating pumpkins with paint, stickers, or other craft supplies instead of carving them, especially if younger kids are involved. If you do opt to carve pumpkins, be vigilant about using the knives properly.
2. Use Battery-operated Candles To Light Pumpkins
If you’d like to light your pumpkins leading up to or during the holiday, use battery-operated flameless candles, flashlights, or glow sticks inside the pumpkins, rather than traditional candles.
3. Prep Your Home, Inside and Out, for Trick-or-Treaters
You’ll also need to prep your home for trick-or-treaters before the evening arrives. Start inside by making sure your security system is working, including your cameras and smoke detector. Then, move outside, checking exterior cameras and security equipment.
You’ll also want to turn on your exterior lights to make sure they are working and swap out any burnt-out bulbs if needed. Make sure to clean up your yard, as well. Put away items that people could trip over, such as bikes, toys, or yard tools, and clear your driveway and sidewalk of leaves, snow, or other debris.
4. Use Your Video Doorbell or Outdoor Camera To See When Trick-or-Treaters Arrive
If you’ll be home passing out candy, you can use your system to see when trick-or-treaters are coming and going directly from your app with the CPI Video Doorbell Pro or Outdoor Camera.
5. Arm Your Security System To Protect Your Home if You’re Out
If you won’t be at home on Halloween, be sure to arm your security system when you leave. That way, should anything spooky or suspicious happen while you’re away, CPI’s professional monitoring team can check on the situation at hand.
6. Park Your Car in a Safe Place
Whether you’re at home or away, park in your garage or in a well-lit area to avoid break-ins, theft, or vandalism. Signs of a security system will help deter this sort of trouble as well, as 83% of burglars check for an alarm system before attempting a break-in.*
7. Be Extra Vigilant While Driving
If you’ll be behind the wheel on Halloween, driving safety goes hand in hand with Halloween safety. Turn your headlights on earlier in the evening, put away phones and other distractions, and be mindful as you come out of driveways or alleyways. Especially watch for people in darkly-colored costumes without reflective tape, or small children darting out in the street.
8. Wear Bright, Reflective Costumes for More Visibility
Trick or treat safety begins with a smart costume. Wear bright colors if possible, and consider adding reflective tape to your or your child’s costumes or treat bags to make yourselves easier to spot. If you’ll be using something like a scooter, wagon, or bike to get around, make sure they are reflective, too.
Bring a flashlight to make yourself easier to see, and consider giving your kids glow sticks. Dress appropriately for the weather, which may mean wearing warm layers under your costume
9. Beware of Anything That Could Cause Skin Irritation, Breathing Issues, or Tripping Hazards When Dressing Up
Make sure your costume accessories are safe, too. Rather than wearing masks that could make it hard to see or breathe, consider using hypoallergenic, non-toxic makeup to complete your or your child’s costume.
Just remove the makeup at the end of the night to prevent skin or eye irritation. Strategically plan your costume to avoid tripping hazards like an extremely long cape. Costumes should also be fire-resistant whenever possible.
10. Be Proactive in Keeping Younger Kids Safe While You Trick-or-Treat With Them
Younger kids shouldn’t go trick-or-treating alone, but even if you are with them, there are proactive steps you can take to keep them safe.
For example, consider putting a piece of paper in your child’s pocket with their name and your address and phone number on it, or even write your phone number on their arm, in case you get separated.
Make sure children know to cross the street at corners and to look before crossing streets or driveways. They should also learn to look for cars that may be turning or backing up.
11. Make a Trick-or-Treating Plan and Set Ground Rules for Older Kids
Children old enough to trick or treat without an adult still need a few ground rules to keep them safe while trick-or-treating. Make sure they know things like:
- Where they can go
- Their curfew
- To stay on the sidewalk and out of the street
- To only go to brightly lit homes
- Stay with their group
- Never go inside a car or house to get a treat
12. Check Your Child’s Treats at the End of the Night
Once you get home, inspect your child’s treats before giving them to them. Remove anything that’s unsealed or looks questionable, as well as choking hazards for younger children like peanuts, gum, and jawbreakers. If your child has food allergies, you’ll also need to look for treats they can’t have.
Halloween Safety Tips for Pets
13. Keep Your Pets Safely Secured
We can’t forget about our four-legged family members on Halloween! Set your pets up for a safe Halloween by making sure they are leashed or secured inside. Some pets may get overly stimulated by all the trick-or-treating excitement, causing them to get scared, run away, or even bite, scratch, or jump at a child. Halloween pet safety is key to enjoying the evening with your furry friend!
Be Spooky, Not Spooked!
If you ask us, holiday fun is always maximized when you know the proper safety measures are in place. We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Halloween, for more information on safety, security, and innovation, visit the CPI blog to learn more.
*Kuhns, Joseph, “Understanding Decisions to Burglarize from the Offender’s Perspective, UNCC.”