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Protect Your Home from Tricks This Halloween

Oct 20, 2022|

Here’s a spooky statistic—crime rates on Halloween spike an average of 17% throughout the country as tricksters hit the streets. From car theft to vandalism to robbery, an increase in crime can put a damper on an otherwise fun evening.

Not only that, but it can also be risky for pedestrians and trick-or-treaters who are out collecting goodies.

But don’t worry. Taking a little extra preparation can ensure your Halloween is all treats and no tricks—and safe for everyone.

Child dressed as a ghost for Halloween standing next to a Vivint sign.

The most common crimes on Halloween

Regardless of what horror films might have you believe, the most common crimes that take place on Halloween aren’t violent. The crimes and safety risks that tend to take place on Halloween include the following:

  • Property crime, including theft, tops the list of Halloween crimes. With people away from home to attend parties, events, or take trick-or-treaters out, robbers see it as the perfect opportunity to burglarize empty houses.
  • Vandalism occurs when people or pranksters get a little too carried away with the “trick” part of trick-or-treating. Egging houses and cars, graffiti, and even smashing jack-o-lanterns or snatching pumpkins off the porch all fall under the umbrella of vandalism.
  • Drunk and impaired driving make up some of the most devastating crimes on Halloween. Each year, hundreds of motorists make the mistake of getting behind the wheel after an evening of drinking, often with deadly results—40% of vehicle fatalities on Halloween involve drunk driving.
  • Pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian fatalities are a staggering 43% higher on Halloween, and many of these accidents involve children. Wearing a costume masks the ability to see clearly, plus low visibility from a darker time of day and a higher than average number of pedestrians on the roads and sidewalk all contribute to a greater risk of accidents.
  • Car theft. According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, you’re more likely to have a car stolen on Halloween than most other holidays.

Let’s be neighbors.

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Why does crime increase on Halloween?

It’s supposed to be a fun holiday. So why do crimes and accidents tend to spike on Halloween night? There are a number of different reasons for this, but the most common contributors include:

  • Increased use of drugs and alcohol. Parties are a given on Halloween, and many parties include alcohol and even illicit drugs. Alcohol-related crimes and accidents are always higher on holidays, when more social drinking occurs.
  • It gets darker earlier. Halloween usually occurs after Daylight Savings, when we set our clocks back an hour. As a result, it gets darker sooner, making it harder to see people on the roads and making it easier for criminals to get away with crimes.
  • Empty homes. Most burglaries are crimes of opportunity, meaning a burglar sees a home that appears to be empty or an unattended car with the keys in the ignition. When people are out at parties or taking kids trick-or-treating, thieves jump at the opportunity.
  • Halloween pranks are common. We tend to focus on the “treat” part of trick-or-treating, but plenty of pranksters want to “trick” with pranks that either get carried away, cause damage, or end up in someone getting hurt. Knowing what types of crimes typically occur on Halloween can help you prepare so you, your home, and your family can stay as safe as possible.

Halloween safety tips for trick-or-treaters

You can help ensure your Halloween is safe for kids of all ages with these safety tips:

Make sure kids will be seen at night

Making sure your kids are visible, especially if they will be trick-or-treating after sundown, is an important Halloween safety tip. Have them carry flashlights or glow sticks or add reflective tape or stickers to their costumes. A light-up treat bag or bucket will also help improve visibility.

Follow rules of the road

Older children who know their way around the neighborhood and are old enough to know and follow pedestrian safety rules probably want to trick-or-treat with friends. Make sure they know and will obey rules like stopping for stop signs, checking both ways before crossing the street, and only crossing at crosswalks.

Young children should always trick or treat with a responsible adult.

Check costumes and makeup

For costumes, make sure any store-bought costumes are flame-resistant. Before heading out to collect your goodies, double-knot laces to prevent tripping hazards. If they’re wearing face masks, be sure the masks aren’t too tight so they can breathe and speak properly.

Face paint and masks can put a damper on a fun evening if they cause an allergic reaction, so check the ingredients or materials used for common allergies. Test a portion of the paint on your child before covering their face with it.

Inspect candy before letting kids eat it

Check all the candy your kids have collected before they eat it. This is especially important for kids with food allergies. If there are no ingredients listed on the wrappers and your child has allergies, throw it out to be safe. You’ll also want to remove small or hard candies from young children’s treat bags, as they can be a choking hazard.

Kids dressed up for Halloween walking to a doorstep to trick-or-treat.

Halloween safety tips for home

Want to avoid tricks on Halloween night? You can keep your home and visitors safe this year with a few extra precautions:

If you’re staying home

If your plans for the evening involve staying home and handing out candy or hosting friends, here are some tips to make your house safe:

  • Make sure walkways are lit and cleared of debris that anyone could trip on.
  • Keep your porch light turned on (or install smart lighting that will automatically turn on at dusk or a specific time).
  • Be mindful of common allergies, like nuts or chocolate, and choose candy that’s allergen-free or hand out non-food items. (Tip: placing a teal pumpkin on your porch signifies you’re passing out non-food items that are safe for kids with allergies.)
  • If possible, keep your car in the garage instead of in the driveway or on the street, which can be an invitation to pranksters and thieves. If you can’t park in the garage, make sure your doors are locked and there are no valuables in the vehicle.

If you’re going out

Nothing invites pranksters and burglaries like a home that looks empty. A few precautions around the inside and outside of your home will help keep it safe from Halloween tricks:

  • Use motion-activated floodlights. Lighting helps to deter crime, especially when it shines a light directly on the person coming to your house.
  • Keep an eye on your front porch with a doorbell camera. You’ll know who’s coming for treats or tricks with a doorbell camera that notifies you whenever someone comes to your porch, whether they ring the bell or not. You can also answer the door through your phone. And who knows, you may catch sight of an unexpected visitor like these Vivint Doorbell Camera Pro (Gen 2) users:
DBC Pro footage of a front porch.
DBC pro footage of a front porch.


  • Use security cameras to monitor your property. Consider placing outdoor cameras on your property to keep an eye on areas your doorbell camera doesn’t reach. The Outdoor Camera Pro is an excellent choice because it actually deters burglars by identifying lurkers on your property, then playing a loud sound and illuminating the camera’s LED ring, letting the lurker know they’re being recorded.
  • Keep your home lit with smart lighting. Rather than leaving a light or two on all night, use smart lighting to program random lights in your home to turn on and off at different times, which mimics natural lighting people use when they’re at home. You can also program certain lights to turn on at dusk, so your home will remain lit even if you’re not there.
  • Consider a monitored security system. Nothing gives you peace of mind while you’re away quite like knowing your home is being monitored around the clock. With a professionally monitored security system, if an intruder attempts to break into your home or a fire alarm goes off, you and the monitoring center will both be notified. They’ll even send emergency services to your home, so you know help is on its way even if you’re not home.

Let Vivint help protect your home

Keeping your home safe and sound this Halloween is simple—and Vivint can help. Contact our Smart Home Pros at 855.822.1220 today to learn more.

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