An estimated 41 million kids will hit the streets on Halloween, all hoping to score some goodies as they go trick or treating. But this fun tradition can also be a little scary—not only is Halloween is one of the most dangerous times for kids, but it also carries a higher chance of fires and damage to your home.
Luckily, you and your kids can still have fun on Halloween and stay safe at the same time. Read on for tips on how to have a safe Halloween whether you’re home or away.
Tips for keeping your home safe at Halloween
When it comes to safety on Halloween, priority one for parents is to keep their little goblins safe, both around the house and while out trick-or-treating. In order to make it safe and fun, make sure you follow these basic safety tips:
- Obey traffic laws. According to the National Safety Council, children are more than twice as likely to get hit by a car on Halloween than any other day of the year. Always use crosswalks and look both ways when crossing the street during trick-or-treating, even while in your own neighborhood.
- Make yourself seen. Shorter amounts of daylight in late October mean most kids will be trick-or-treating when it’s dark out. Use reflective tape on costumes or carry flashlights to ensure your kids are easily spotted.
- Set rules for your kids. Younger kids should always have a responsible adult present while trick-or-treating. If you have older kids who may be going out with friends, make sure you have a way to contact them and set rules for which streets and neighborhoods they’re allowed to go to.
If you’re one of the 120 million houses trick-or-treaters all over the country will be stopping at this year, you’ll also want to make sure your home is safe for them, too. (Not sure what to expect? Check out this chart to see if your city ranks at the top for trick-or-treaters).
Here are some tips for keeping your house a safe and welcome place for kids as they come and go throughout the evening:
- Keep paths and walkways clear. Many kids will be in costumes that have a limited field of vision, so make sure your walkways are clear. Move anything that could be a potential tripping hazard, like flowerpots, hoses, or decorations.
- Make sure your home is well-lit. Trick-or-treaters tend to avoid homes that aren’t lit, so if you have candy to pass out, make sure your porch lights are on and there is enough lighting for kids to see as they go up and down the steps.
- Don’t leave candy unattended. Many people will leave a bowl of candy on their porch for trick-or-treaters if they don’t plan to be home or they would rather not be bothered. While this is a nice gesture, it also presents an opportunity for someone to taint the candy—a risk not worth taking.
- Contain your pets. Halloween can be a stressful time for pets with so many unfamiliar people walking up and down sidewalks and coming to the door. Keep them contained in the house to keep their stress at bay and lessen the likelihood of them bolting through the front door (and potentially scaring or harming younger kids).
With a little preparation, you can keep your kids and visitors safe this year.
How smart home products can keep your kids safe at Halloween
While smart home products are useful year-round, they can be particularly helpful at Halloween, especially when it comes to keeping your kids safe.
With smart home devices, you can:
- Keep from getting locked out. If you have older kids coming and going on Halloween, getting locked out is a potential issue (especially with costumes that don’t have pockets!). With smart locks, you can eliminate spare keys. Your kids can just enter their own codes to unlock the door. And if they forget their code, you can unlock the door from anywhere via your smartphone.
- Find out trick-or-treating times. Did you know most cities have designated trick-or-treating times? These times are designed to make trick-or-treating as safe as possible. Using your smart speaker, you can find out when those times are while you’re getting your kids dressed in their costumes. Just say, “Hey Alexa, what are trick-or-treating times near me?”
- Reach you at any time. If your kids are home for the evening and you’re away, the one-touch call-out feature on the Vivint Ping Camera lets them contact you at any time. So if you’re making a quick run to the store for more candy and they need to contact you, they can get a hold of you with the push of a button.
With smart home devices like these, you and your kids will be armed with the tools and information they need to have a safe and fun Halloween.