This is a re-blog from Chrissy Doremus. Chrissy has some excellent safety precautions we can all take to make Sunday a very happy & safe Halloween. Some of it is common sense that we just might not think of. Enjoy your weekends! And a safe Halloween to all!
Don't cry, you can still have your home ready for foot traffic by Sunday :)
Yes, Sunday is Halloween! This will be our second Halloween with our daughter, and while she's still a bit too young for trick-or-treating, we are looking forward to it none-the-less. As the holiday approaches though, there's one little nagging thing we need to fix for those little ones who are old enough to be out and about--a loose front porch stair that is just screaming "accident waiting to happen."
It got me thinking that there are really a lot of things that homeowners need to keep in mind in order to make their homes and entryways safe for all those ghosts and goblins--especially the ones wearing long capes, large masks, and flammable costume fabrics! (None of which are a great idea, by the way. See a great example at the right).
And so, here are some Halloween Home Safety Tips. There's nothing surprising here, but it's a great idea to take a moment to make sure your home is ready for Halloween in the following ways:
- Fix wobbly stairs. OK this one is for me--but it goes out the everyone. Currently, when you step on the first step of the porch at our house, it wobbles a little. The last thing you want on a night when you KNOW you are going to have a ton of foot-traffic, is a chance for anyone to lose their footing. And if you are like me and you even trip up occasionally, just imagine how someone who doesn't know the problem is there and approaches it quickly will fare.
- Make sure your home is very well lit. Not only will this send a message to your neighborhood that you are participating in the night's festivities, but it will also ensure that those little tykes can see where they are going as they approach your door. Have your porch light on and the walkway lights too, if you have them. If your property is particularly dark, you might consider placing a temporary spotlight somewhere (they have the kind that spike right into your lawn--just make sure it's out of the way of traffic).
- Make sure handrails/railings are secure. As your guests mount the stairs and grab onto the railing, it should not wobble, or--for goodness sake--come loose in anyway. Fix and/or reinforce it as necessary ASAP. (This is also something guests visiting your home anytime of year will probably appreciate).
- Clear all walkways. OK this is a no-brainer. Make sure your walkways are free of sticks, stones and any other debris that could be a tripping hazard. Keep in mind that even things like potted mums, for example, can be an unwelcome surprise in the dark. It' best to save your decorations for well lit areas that are out of the way of little feet.
- Clear "alternate" walkways. Now think back to your own trick-or-treating days...how often did you use the appropriate paths, driveways, and sidewalks to get from house to house? Uh-huh. I thought so. Chances are, your front walk won't be the only way children get to your front door this year, so be sure to check around your entire property and trim low tree limbs, support any wires, put away garden hoses, etc.
- Avoid creating fire hazards with your decorations. Keep lit Jack-O-Lanterns well out of reach of young children and far from clothing of tots gathered at your door. Any candles etc. should be well away from areas where children will be walking or standing.
Now be safe and Happy Halloween!
Posted By: Chrissy Doremus, U.S. Inspect Blog
Jeana Cowie, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES©
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