With Halloween less than two weeks away, many consumers may not realize how frightening the scary night could really be for their personal safety, property or bank accounts. To help individuals, families and businesses protect themselves against Halloween risks, share these Trusted Choice®-endorsed safety tips with your clients:
1) Don’t be a scary driver. Drive sober, slowly and even more carefully than usual on Halloween. Watch for children who may be running or wearing dark costumes.
2) Stay accident-free. Remove or move lawn furniture or any other obstacles to avoid accidents or damage. Ensure your home’s entry is in good condition, free of loose or broken pieces on stairwells, and that walkways are clear to avoid trick-or-treater injuries on your property.
3)Prevent fire dangers. Place pumpkins containing candles at a distance where curious guests cannot tip it over or accidentally ignite a costume. Extinguish all candles before going to bed and use battery-operated lights wherever possible. A variety of Jack-O-Lantern lights are available at most stores that sell Halloween decor.
4) Practice costume safety. Costumes can hide more than someone’s true identity and cloak potential hazards as well. Craft all disguises from flame-resistant materials and make sure they don’t contain sharp accessories. Try to avoid masks that may obscure vision and use hypo-allergenic make-up.
5) See and be seen. Encourage each trick-or-treater and adult chaperone to carry a flashlight. Apply light-reflecting material to costumes for additional safety.
6) Hear and be heard. Make sure your hearing isn’t impaired with cumbersome costumes or ear buds. Be alert to the sounds of moving vehicles and other groups of pedestrians, bicyclists or animals.
7) Power in numbers. When traveling on foot, walk in groups, cross only at corners and crosswalks—never between parked cars—and keep to well-lit streets.
8) Fend off unwelcome guests. Keep outdoor lights on to scare away property vandals who often use the chaos of Halloween night to strike.
9) Protect your pets. Keep pets inside. Warn children to stay away from animals as they go door to door. Halloween night can be stressful for even the friendliest creature.
10) Inspect your candy. Cavities aren’t the only candy-related risks on Halloween. Inspect all trick-or-treats and never eat unwrapped items. Collect candy only from people you know and ask the local police department if it offers a candy x-ray or inspection service. Throw away any suspicious candy.
11) Have an umbrella. Make sure you have homeowners or renters insurance to provide protection in the event of slips and falls, a costume on fire, tainted candy claims and more. An umbrella policy may be the best option for comprehensive coverage.
Information Provided by Margarita Tapia & Sue Nester at Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America