Have a bright and safe Halloween

blackberry 403With a nip in the air, it’s a sure sign that Halloween is just around the corner.  This year, there’s something new that will make this Halloween a little brighter.  For the first time, daylight savings time will be extended into November, so there will be an extra hour of daylight on October 31st that we haven’t seen in the past. That’s good news for parents as their little ghosts and goblins roam the streets going door to door.  Although we’re going to have the benefit of better visibility in the early evening this Halloween, there are some additional measures that you can take to help keep your home and family safe, as well as ensure the safety of other trick or treaters visiting your property.

  • Clear the decks.  Make sure your doorway is well lit and your front walk and porch are clear of toys, bikes, newspapers or other obstructions. Remember, some of your visitors will have on masks or hoods that make seeing difficult.
  • Be Fire Safe.  Candles are a major cause of house fires.  Ensure that jack-o-lanterns and lit decorations are placed far away from foot traffic and curtains and don’t leave anything lit in a room unattended.
  • Choose treats that are clear of common allergens.  When choosing your treats, steer clear of peanuts – the #1 food allergy for children.  If you’re making homemade treats, include a label listing the ingredients and adding your family’s name and address to reassure neighbourhood parents.
  • Choose the right costume for your kids.  While your child will only be concerned with how a costume looks, you’ll need to ensure that it isn’t too long or cumbersome to restrict easy movement.  Try it before you buy it.
  • Masks should allow a clear field of vision in both directions.  If there’s a mask, ensure it allows a clear field of vision so streets can be crossed safely.
  • Consider using face makeup instead of a mask.  It can be more creative and fun, not to mention more comfortable than wearing a mask all night.
  • Older children should travel in groups.  If you’re sending out your older children to trick or treat without a parental escort, have them pre-arrange to travel in a group, or instruct them to attach themselves to another group.
  • Plan the route and stay the course.  If your children are going out on their own, make sure they advise you in advance of exactly what route they’ll be taking and insist that they stick to that plan.
  • Add a lighted or reflective accessory to your child’s costume.  Visibility is still a concern even with an extra hour of daylight.  Most Halloween costume or novelty stores sell pumpkin-head flashlights, magic wands, or even lighted treat bags.  Stick-on reflective strips or tape can be applied to shoes and clothing.  They’re great fun and help your little ones be seen on a dark street.

With a little planning and some advance preparation, you and your family can enjoy a happy – and safe – Halloween.  And as any Coldwell Banker® real estate professional can tell you, safe neighbourhoods are good business!

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