Halloween is almost here! With trick-or-treaters soon to come knocking, it’s time to make sure your house is safe and welcoming. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that no children have accidental missteps on your porch this Halloween:
1. Keep Your Stairs Safe
Double check to make sure your stairs are safe for young children and their adult supervisors to climb. Make sure there are no wobbly railings or cracks in the stairs that could lead to trips or other accidents. You might need to replace some of the boards or repair some of the railings — a job that may cost $600 for a professional to perform. For DIY repairs, just get out your toolbox and spend a few hours re-securing everything and replacing any loose or rotting materials. It’s better to take away the spooky appeal of your stairs than risk any potential injuries.
2. Avoid Walkway Trips
Sidewalks can cause lots of trips on Halloween night, especially if they’re covered in water, sprinklers or loose gravel. Quickly sweep the sidewalk leading to your home before kids start arriving. It takes just a few minutes to half an hour, depending on the size of your sidewalk. If you have a sprinkler system, now would be the time to start winterizing it, given the season. It costs about $90 for a professional to winterize your system if you don’t have the time to do it yourself.
3. No Fires!
While having a jack-o-lantern is perfectly acceptable, you should consider putting an electronic light in it rather than a candle. This is especially true if your porch is covered in flammable materials like paper or straw. You don’t want a child to accidentally knock the pumpkin over and start a fire. Think about a light powered with batteries. If these aren’t for you, make sure to keep the jack-o-lantern near to or inside of the door to avoid any accidents.
4. Light up the Porch
While you may want to keep a spooky atmosphere for the holiday, you’ll also want to avoid creating a hazard that could cause a fall. Balance spooky with safe and light up your porch with decorations using exterior lighting like porch lamps, hanging lights and other holiday-specific lighting. If you won’t be home during the holiday, consider using motion-sensing floodlights to deter the tricksters from egging your home. This could also deter burglars as they can be easily spotted.
5. Keep Fido Inside
Regardless of whether your dogs are friendly, keep them inside or in the backyard where everyone is safe. Some kids are shy when it comes to dogs. Plus, it could be a dangerous situation if your dog happens to charge at someone.
6. Make Your Home Festive
When you’re going to give out candy or other treats to children, they need to know you’re participating in the holiday. So, put decorations up around your home. It could be something simple like a jack-o-lantern by the front door or a lit porch light with a few solid pumpkins. You could also get more festive and deck your entire front yard out in Halloween decorations.
7. Get Into the Holiday Spirit
Make sure you open the front door with the proper amount of spookiness. You can say “boo” or cackle in a witchy way when a child comes to the door, but don’t overdo it. You don’t want to be the scariest person on the street. Bring a spooky that’s appropriate for the holiday, so you’ll have kids coming back to your house next year.
About Andrea Davis
Andrea Davis works for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find the right home improvement professionals and now makes the process simple from start to finish for everyone using Mhelpdesk. Homeowners can use HomeAdvisor Reviews to see what past customers have to say about each professional, and can calculate average local and national costs for a variety of home projects using Cost Guides. Access to all information and features is free for homeowners.
Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.