No one has died or been seriously injured – but a bit of Clown Hysteria 2016 is sweeping the nation. When readying the house for trick-or-treaters, ensuring a safe Halloween on your property is key, clown crisis be damned. But you may want to pass on the clown face paint and rubber nose this year.
People dressed as clowns were first reported in South Carolina during late summer with the theory that clowns were trying to coax children into the woods. For the past several weeks, mounting creepy clown sightings have been made in more than twenty states. Many were hoaxes or copycats, but others led to arrests, including terror threats. While some police forces state there is no imminent threat, there has been an uptick in retaliation efforts, like a recent “clown hunt” at Penn State.
While the climate around Halloween may be more charged this year, there are some steps that you can take to reduce the risk of injury while trick-or-treaters are coming to your door. Starting with the basics isn’t a bad idea in the wake of this national clown-related weirdness.
Keep your front-door area safe for little goblins, witches, and Pokemon-goers:
- Use battery-powered tea lights instead of candles to keep Jack lit up and looking lovely (and safe from being knocked over and starting a fire).
- Keep stairs and paths well-lit in case someone runs away screaming (or just runs away, and smacks their head into your fencepost).
- Make sure decorations are secured and out of the footpath so no one will trip over them. Or slide on that fake blood you just had to pour on the railings.
- Keep Fido locked inside just to be safe. Insurance claims on dog bites are very common.
Partying for the Adults
- Serving your guests booze? Take their keys first. Drunk driving fatalities around Halloween are actually three times more likely than on New Year’s Eve, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It’s a terrible, preventable tragedy, and if the person was drinking at your party, you could be held liable.
- Do the pumpkin carving before the grown-up drinks get poured. Maybe even the day before, or better yet, paint those pumpkins instead! Either way, kids with knives should always be supervised.
- If you do a haunted house and charge a fee, you’ll want to make sure your insurance carrier knows this. You won’t want to pay out of pocket for any surprise injuries.
Pre-Halloween is as good a time as any to review your home insurance and make sure it’s up-to-date. How about liability coverage for accidents? Confirming your policy details is key in case someone gets hurt on your property. Holidays are about having fun, after all! So now that we’ve covered some basics, it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit. And forget all about those lurking clowns!