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Tips for Halloween Safety

When you think of Halloween, what comes to mind? Spooky costumes, bags full of candy, or maybe even that Halloween bash you are throwing for friends and family. With all of the spooky fun, how much thought have you put into Halloween safety?

Halloween can be a fun night for kids and adults alike. It can also be a dangerous one. The statistics show that children are more than twice as likely to be involved in a fatal car accident on Halloween night. The National Highway Safety Administration has found that Halloween is one of the top three days of the year for pedestrian injuries and deaths. These statistics are alarming. Parents and anyone celebrating Halloween should take their safety and that of their children, seriously. 

At Off Duty Officers, we care about the safety and security of the communities we serve. As you prepare for the Halloween festivities, we urge you to take five minutes to review the safety tips below. If you plan on driving, take note of the tips for motorists since traffic incidents are so prevalent on this holiday. Parents, prepare your children before they head out for trick-or-treating, so they know how to stay safe and what to do in case of an emergency.

Tips for Staying Safe on Halloween

Trick-or-Treaters

Excited children pay more attention to the candy they are collecting than on traffic safety and being aware of their surroundings. Trick-or-treaters can follow these safety guidelines while out on Halloween to protect themselves, their siblings and their friends.

  • Always go out in groups. Use the buddy system, so no one is ever walking alone.  
  • Never enter a stranger’s home or car.
  • Do not eat any candy until an adult has inspected it.
  • Do not eat homemade treats.
  • Bring a flashlight. It will make children more visible to drivers and help them avoid tripping hazards.
  • Only cross streets at crosswalks or other designated crossing areas.
  • Do not run into the street at any time.
  • Wear bright colors and add reflective tape to costumes, so children are more visible to drivers.
  • Stay on sidewalks if they are available.
  • Decide on a trick-or-treating route and stick to it. If there is a change in the route, contact a parent beforehand.
  • Walk in familiar neighborhoods and avoid dark alleys.
  • Watch out for pets. Sometimes, animals become scared of the costumes and activity, making them more likely to act out.
  • Avoid long costumes that can be a tripping hazard.
  • Avoid masks that obscure vision.
  • Only go to homes that have their lights on.

Motorists

  • Avoid using smartphones to talk or text while driving.
  • Be overly alert and ready for pedestrians who are not following the regular rules of the road.
  • Be aware that pedestrians may be more difficult to see in dark costumes.
  • Reduce your speeds in busy trick-or-treating areas.
  • Be cautious at alleyways and driveways.
  • Always keep your headlights on.  
  • Scan a larger area to watch for children who may run into the road.

Parents

  • Purchase fire-resistant costumes, wigs and props.
  • Buy non-toxic makeup and be sure that it is all removed at the end of the night.
  • Accompany younger children on the trick-or-treating route.
  • Inspect all candy before allowing children to eat it.
  • If older children are going out alone, agree to a route and return time.
  • Track children on an app like Life360.
  • Review emergency procedures several times before Halloween night.
  • Put emergency contact information in your child’s phone or pocket.
  • Use neighborhood apps such as Facebook or NextDoor to track criminal activity or post emergency information.

Protect Your Home on Halloween

Children and pedestrians are not the only ones at risk on Halloween. Homes can become the targets of criminals who want to steal or vandalize. We’ve compiled some of the best tips to help you keep your property safe and protected during the holiday.

  • Make sure all yard lights are turned on to increase visibility for pedestrians and trick-or-treaters.
  • Remove any tripping hazards such as electrical cords, yard tools or Halloween decorations.
  • Set up motion detectors to alert you to anyone approaching your home.
  • If you leave your house, keep the lights to give the impression that someone is home.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of real flames.
  • Make sure your pets are secured.
  • Be sure that party guests are sober or have a safe ride home if they have been drinking.  

Halloween Safety is Up to Everyone

We can all do our part to keep our communities safe during the Halloween holiday. Being aware of the safety threats that exist is just the first step to keeping you and your family secure. Parents, pedestrians and motorists are advised to take extra precautions on Halloween to keep it a safe and fun evening for everyone involved. 

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