29 Oct Hallowe’en Safety Blog Part 1: A Spooky But Safe Home
Written by Gabriel Lessard, Lawyer
Halloween is perhaps one of the most exciting nights of the year for children. To ensure that the night remains fun for all, parents and homeowners must be aware of the potential hazards and causes of injuries which are common on Halloween.
Fortunately, most of these injuries are preventable with proper planning. In this two-part blog, I’ll explain how you can best prepare for a safe and happy Halloween. In this first post, I offer tips to help ensure your home is a safe space for any little goblin coming to your door. In a second post, I’ll provide strategies for keeping your children safe as they go out in the neighbourhood.
Decorate With Safety In Mind
It wouldn’t be Halloween without a jack-o-lantern or two; but be very careful when carving those pumpkins. Thousands of people suffer serious cut and stab wounds every year participating in this activity – in fact, it’s a common reason for Halloween-related emergency room visits. Rather than handing kids a carving knife, get them to help by drawing designs or decorating a pre-cut pumpkin and take time if and when you are making the cuts.
Light Up the Night…
If your walkway or driveway is not clearly lit, visitors to your property may not see potential hazards in their way. Keep these areas bright and free from debris or decorations that may cause slips, trips or falls.
…But Not With Candles
On an evening when your attention may be elsewhere, avoid the potential for fires by using only electric lights. Candles are spooky, but hot wax, open flames and embers are not things you’ll want near young children or flammable decorations and costumes.
Fix It Or Block It Off
We all have little projects we keep meaning to get to but always seem to put off. If there are loose handrails, uneven pavement, or other hazards on your property, take this opportunity to fix them up. If you can’t, clearly mark dangerous areas and/or block off access so that visitors know they should not enter.
Prepare For The Weather
In Canada you can never tell whether Hallowe’en night will be warm and balmy, wet and slippery or even cold and snowy. Prepare for inclement weather by adding friction tape to steps and having salt on hand in case of icy conditions.
Keep The Critters In
If you have pets, it’s safer for them and everyone else if they are kept inside and away from the door. Not only will this prevent them from escaping, but it will eliminate the risk that they may bite, scratch or chase all the unfamiliar people approaching your home.
Treat Them (And Yourself) To Safe Treats
You probably have your own favourite candies and chocolates that you’ll enjoy alongside the trick-or-treaters – but are they the safest option? Look for treats made without allergens like peanuts (and made in allergen-free facilities) to ensure your visitors can safely enjoy what you give them. Also, ensure all treats are securely wrapped and not left unattended at the door where they could be tampered with.
Park It Off The Street
Here’s a scary fact: child pedestrians are four times as likely to be hurt in an accident on Hallowe’en than on a regular night. You can do your part to reduce the risk that an accident happens in front of your property by moving your parked car off the street and into a driveway to give trick treaters and drivers a clear view of the street. If that’s not possible, put a brightly coloured sign out encouraging drivers to watch for children.
A Happy, Safe Halloween
On the spookiest night of the year, take time to ensure the only scares you’ll have are the good kind. When safety comes first, it’s fun for everyone.
To learn more about Gluckstein Lawyers’ commitment to full-circle care, how our firm works to prevent personal injuries and how we can help you if you are injured, contact Gabriel Lessard at (416) 408-4252.