The spooky season has arrived! Many families will be looking forward to Halloween and as it falls on a Tuesday this year, you’ll either be hosting parties this weekend or preparing for the big fright night.
Whether it’s costume parties, trick or treating, pumpkin carving or even traditional bobbing apples, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. However, it’s important to stay safe, protect your loved ones and your property. Malicious damage and theft claims can spike by 20% at this time of year, and nobody wants their Halloween to turn into a horror story…
Placing your Pumpkin
It just wouldn’t be Halloween without a pumpkin! Having a pumpkin outside usually signals you’re happy to be visited by trick or treaters, and whether it’s a pumpkin Picasso or not, you’ll want to position it for maximum effect. However, make sure not to place candles or pumpkin lights near anything flammable, especially costumes or decorations – they can catch light in just a few seconds.
Halloween is the time when you have the most people knocking at your door – and many of us tend to leave our house keys, door keys, bags and wallets in the hallway when we return home. Just for Halloween, it’s a good idea to move your keys and valuables to inside your home and away from the door – especially if you’re owner of a keyless entry car. You don’t want everyone to know where you usually keep your keys.
Lock your house down
If you’re out for the evening at a Halloween party or trick or treating, set your alarm and check all your windows, doors, sheds and outhouses are locked and secured properly before heading out. It’s the one night people will be knocking the door and know you’re not home, and neighbours won’t be surprised to see masked strangers around your home. The ONS Crime Survey shows nearly a quarter (24%) of domestic burglaries with entry occurred when a door was unlocked; 8% when a window was either open or could be pushed open.
Driving Miss Daisy
Driving on Halloween can be a nightmare! Reduce your speed when driving in residential areas as sugar-filled little monsters could run into the road. If a group of trick or treaters cross in front of you, allow time for any scary stragglers that may have been left behind and may run across the road to catch their friends.
The vast majority of spooky visitors that knock your door are there to have fun and stock up on sweeties, but you must always remain vigilant when opening your door to strangers – especially those who are vulnerable. The scariest thing is some see this as an opportunity for mischievous purposes, to check out you and your property. If you get an uneasy feeling, trust your instincts and don’t open the door.
Don’t go costume crazy!
When buying Halloween costumes, always check the label to ensure it’s flame resistant –it should resist burning and extinguish quickly. If you’re making your own, use flame-resistant fabrics and be careful of the added decorations too.
Trick or treating
Halloween claims include broken doors, smashed windows and damage caused by people throwing fireworks- and trick or treaters are referred to in claims reports. What some people call a ‘trick’, at any other time of year we’d call vandalism or malicious damage. If you are in fear for your safety and/or feel harassed, then you should contact the police straight away as these are criminal matters.
These can be a super-scary destination for those looking for a fright night – follow the advice for safeguarding your unoccupied property, whether residential or commercial. in our recent article.
Protect your Pets
Many of our pets feel the fear at Halloween too, with dogs stressed by the number of strangers knocking at the door and cats spooked by herds of little wicked witches. Many pet insurers provide advice lines, or speak with your usual vet, as there are a range of calming pills and potions that could help your furry friends get through both Halloween and Bonfire Night less than a week later.
We hope you, your family and friends have frightfully good fun this Halloween, but keep the above in mind when planning, prepping and trick or treating to ensure everyone has both a spooktacular and safe time!