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Halloween is full of festivities, fun, and costumes. Don’t allow the risk of a homeowner’s insurance claim to spoil the fun. Whether you will be hosting a party or welcoming trick-or-treaters, opening your property to the public can leave you vulnerable to insurance claims and lawsuits.

Follow these tips to ensure safety and protect your home:

1. Create a Clear Path - Keep the area around your home clear of obstructions so that visitors don’t stumble and injure themselves.  Clear away lawn ornaments, gardening equipment, toys, etc. 

2. Keep the Lights On - Be sure that trick-or-treaters and other visitors are able to see clearly after dark to avoid falls and other injuries on your property.  You will not only help avoid a liability claim, but you’ll deter burglars who are always less inclined to approach a well-lit home.

3. Think before you decorate - Keep in mind that Halloween can be fun with creative decorations but make sure that no one can be hurt by the decorations either physically or emotionally. Also, be considerate of the neighbors. Excessive lights and noise can take the fun out of
Halloween.

4. Costumes are Fun - While Halloween Costumes can be fun and creative, make sure they are also safe. One that restricts clear vision or creates a tripping hazard can be dangerous.

5. Confine Your Pets - For the safety of your pets and your guests, keep dogs and cats away from the front porch or areas where they might jump on or even bite unfamiliar visitors.

6. Avoid Open Flames - While candles and luminaries set the spooky mood on Halloween, they can easily be overturned and result in homeowners insurance claims for fire damage.  Consider light sticks and battery-powered lanterns and candles instead.

7. Think Before You Serve - You are responsible for the safety of guests who will visit your home this Halloween.  Offer only commercially-packaged treats to trick-or-treaters.  Likewise, be sure to serve non-alcoholic beverages to your older party guests and never serve alcohol to anyone who is under-age.  If you are setting the mood at your party by using dry ice in a punchbowl, be sure to keep the chips out since they can cause severe injury if ingested.

8. Drive Safely - If you happen to being driving Halloween night, be very watchful for trick or treaters. Neighborhoods fill up with tons of pedestrians, especially kids. Keep an eye out for little ghost, goblins, and princesses!

9. Assure Home Security - If you will be away from home during Halloween, don’t forget to set your security alarm system before you go. This is a prime time of year for mischief and burglaries.  So be sure to also activate motion-sensitive lights and alert your neighbors that you will be away.

10. Test Your Home Smoke Alarms - While you are testing your home security system, don’t forget to test your smoke alarms well in advance of the Halloween celebrations to minimize the chance of having a claim for fire damage.

11. Check Your Homeowners Insurance - Take a moment to speak with your insurance agent to be sure you will be fully protected for whatever plans you have for the holiday.  The time to find out that your coverage is incomplete is NOT after you have a claim!
Posted 3:10 PM  View Comments

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