[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Halloween is only a couple of days away.  With all of its tricks and treats, Halloween can be an especially spooky time for homeowners.  Armies of the undead (or perhaps armies of children dressed up as all manner of ghosts, ghouls, skeletons, and zombies) roam the streets in search of candy.  These armies know no bounds, wandering through the streets into dark driveways and yards to reach lighted doorsteps.  If you are a homeowner, it's important to understand that you have responsibilities in keeping the costumed hordes safe this Halloween.  Should a trick-or-treater be injured on your property, you could be subjected to a premises liability claim. Here are some tips to help homeowners prepare for the candy rush:
  • Identify potential safety risks in advance - Understanding what could be dangerous to trick-or-treaters will help you determine what actions you need to take before Halloween arrives.
  • Clear any potential tripping hazards - Anything left on the sidewalk, in the driveway, or scattered about the yard could be a tripping hazard for people walking from house to house.  Remove any potential trip hazards to ensure a safe walking lane.
  • Restrict access to potentially dangerous areas - Close gates and garage doors to prevent curious children from mishaps.
  • Ensure a well-lit environment - Lighting a path to your front door can not only herd groups of children into spaces you want them to walk, but can prevent low-visibility accidents from occurring.
  • Be mindful of your pets - If you have a pet that isn't good with strangers or likes to try and sneak out of open doors, be sure to keep them away from the front door and any visitors.
  • Skip any potentially dangerous shenanigans - Chasing kids with a chainsaw may sound fun, but as the saying goes, everything's fun and games until someone loses an eye.  And then it's a premises liability lawsuit.
  • Do not allow trick-or-treaters to enter the house - Inviting strangers into your home can invite additional liability concerns
  • Avoid open flames and other fire hazards - Many costumes are flammable.  Use LED candles instead of tea lights for decorations and inside jack-o-lanterns.
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets - A fire hazard itself, if you have a lot of powered decorations, be sure to spread out the power load to prevent electric shorts.
If you're on the opposite side and taking little ones trick or treating, it's important to be vigilant and safe!
  • Avoid driving if possible - With so many children on the streets, it's best to avoid driving altogether during trick-or-treat hours.
  • Have everyone carry flashlights - So people who cannot avoid driving can see you!
  • Stay on the sidewalks when possible - It's simply safer than being on the street with cars.
  • Stay in well-lit areas - Plan to be done trick-or-treating before dark or stay in illuminated areas to reduce low-visibility risks.
  • Pay attention - Be extra cautious when in a high-traffic area.
  • Visit the Mayo Clinic website for more tips!
The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth wants everyone to have a safe and fun Halloween!  Should the unexpected happen, our premises liability and personal injury attorneys can help you recover from an injury.  Call us at 888-517-9888 for a free consultation. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]