As a homeowner, you are responsible for keeping your property safe on Halloween and throughout the year. If a person trips or slips and gets hurt walking through your yard, you can be held responsible for any medical expenses they incur as a result. This is known as premises liability.
Your friends at Elk & Elk offer these Halloween safety tips to make your home safer for trick-or-treaters and help protect yourself from potential premises liability claims.
Light it up
A dark, spooky house might look festive, but opt for porch lights instead. Lighting along your driveway, on stairs, or along meandering paths makes it easier for little ones to see where they’re going and prevents trips, falls, and injury. Inexpensive wireless solar lights are available; just make sure they are charged properly before the festivities begin.
Clear the way
Remove all clutter from the yard, driveway, and walkways. Pick up lawn equipment, garden hoses, flowerpots, children’s toys, or any other items that may pose a tripping hazard. You may also want to consider pulling up low trellis fences or other landscape edging.
Clean up your act
The crunching of little feet on newly fallen leaves may bring a smile to your face, but they can be slippery, especially when wet. Leaves may also hide uneven pavement or divots in your lawn. To prevent injury, carefully rake and sweep the day of Halloween.
Who let the dogs out?
Dogs and other pets can become agitated with a bevy of oddly clad trick-or-treaters at your door. To prevent bites or an escaping pet, it’s best to keep your furry friends contained in a bedroom or behind a gate.
Don’t get burned
Battery operated candles in a jack-o’-lantern are a great alternative to traditional flames. They’re inexpensive, reusable and some even operate with a realistic flicker. However, if you’re a stickler for tradition, make sure candle-lit pumpkins are securely resting on a sturdy table, safely away from decorations and passers-by.
Remember, as a homeowner, premises liability is a legal responsibility that should always be taken seriously. A few simple steps may make the difference between a happy Halloween and a nightmarish lawsuit.
Now, who has the peanut butter cups?