Signs of Halloween, everyone’s favorite spooky holiday, are everywhere during the month of October – from carved-out pumpkins to skeletons hanging in the windows and elaborate decorations. Kids and adults have planned their costumes well in advance, and this year we may very well see a lot more trick-or-treaters and Halloween parties taking place, including at community associations, after a respite during the height of the pandemic last year.
It’s wise to remind your insureds of the increased and additional risks for community associations during Halloween that lie beneath the surface of this spirited holiday along with the safety precautions that a property owner and community association board should take to help keep residents and visitors safe.
Beware of Accidents, Trip, Slip & Fall Exposures
There will be many more visitors to the property as kids go trick-or-treating, increasing the risk of potential trips, slips, and falls on the premises and requiring extra precautions.
- Post fliers around the community and/or send emails out prior to Halloween informing residents to be mindful of trick-or-treaters.
- Encourage motorists to drive with extra caution on Halloween evening.
- Conduct a walkthrough or drive-through of your community and check for any potential hazards that can cause an injury.
- Establish decorating guidelines so there are no impediments that could cause a potential injury from a slip or fall. For example, residents may use animatronic and inflatable Halloween decorations that require power to operate. It’s therefore important for walkways to be clear of extension cords and other tripping hazards. Trick-or-treaters excitedly hurrying from one home or condo unit to the next in the dark can easily miss a cord on the walkway, especially if they are wearing a mask.
- Also, consider providing community members with a window of time during which they are allowed to display decorations. You don’t want people having Halloween decorations up from September to right before Thanksgiving.
Keep Homes, Condos Well Lit
Property owners should keep their walkways well lit if they are handing out candy for trick-or-treaters stopping by. Ensure that visitors can clearly see where they are going so there is a reduced risk of accidents.
Nothing Good Happens After Dark (or at least past a certain time)
Think about setting hours for trick-or-treating consistent with local municipality laws. In doing so, you can help avoid trick-or-treaters’ coming to the property way into the night, particularly teenagers who can get rowdy and end up hurt or causing property damage. In following local municipality regulations, the community association can avoid confusion, misapplication, and complaints along with the need to police trick-or-treaters.
Parking and Noise
Halloween parties are bound to take place at individual residences and at different times of the day. Board members should remind residents of the rules on parking in approved areas and not to block the road or sidewalks. Residents should also keep noise levels in mind so the party doesn’t disturb the whole community.
COVID Is Still Here
Residents may want to consider separating candy in bags to avoid all the kids taking candies from the same bowl.
Of course, have fun!
Distinguished Programs provides community association insurance with a package policy that includes General Liability and Property coverages, which can be combined with our Directors & Officers Liability, Crime, and Workers’ Compensation product lines for comprehensive protection.