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Halloween Hazards: Decorations, Candy, and Fires

Halloween is the spookiest time of the year and not just for the costumes and scary stories. The holiday also poses safety concerns ranging from candy allergies to accidental house fires. Statistically speaking, the largest portion of injury around Halloween comes from botched pumpkin carving attempts, followed by trips and slips while walking in costume. But carving and falling are only part of what makes Halloween a hazardous holiday. 

Decorations

Similar to Christmas decorations, people really go all out for Halloween. Some houses stick to the standard headstones, cobwebs, and jack-o-lanterns, while others throw down on expensive animatronics. In either scenario, there lies danger in setting them up or taking them down. All too often do people try to put their decorations high up on their house or tree and end up in the hospital. Do your best to secure ladders before use and be cautious during the entire process. Always use a slip-resistant ladder, and have a friend or family member hold the bottom even if you feel it is secure already. If you are working with an uneven surface, you should purchase ladder levelers, and never use a metal ladder near a power line. Your health and safety are not worth placing a fake giant spider way up in a tree or on your home. As for the animatronics, most don’t require the use of a latter but present fire safety concerns. 

Fire Safety

Before you plug in your decorative lights or animatronics, make sure you take the right precautions. Most, if not all, animatronics require a power source, which more than likely ends up being your house. You may be tempted to plug all the decorations into a single extension cord, but that is a dangerous game to play. Even with a circuit breaker, an overloaded outlet can knock power out or possibly start a fire. The last thing you want to do on a holiday is file a homeowner’s insurance claim. Additionally, if you plan to place candles around the house or inside your jack-o-lantern, be aware of the surroundings. Easily combustible decorations may accidentally fall on candles, or dried up falling leaves may get too close to your jack-o-lantern. Instead, think about using battery-operated lights that still provide the effect you are looking for with less risk to you or your home. 

Candy

Depending on who you ask, one of the best parts of Halloween is trick-or-treating. As children, walking around in costume collecting candy is invigorating. Even as a parent, the joy you can feel seeing little ones excitedly yell out trick-or-treat makes you feel good. But for those with food allergies, this can be a scary time of year. 

Statistics show that 1 in 13 children have a food allergy, and on Halloween, the chances of running into a child with an allergy are sure to go up. Some parents have opted out of giving out candy, and instead, give non-food items that kids can still play with at least. Some examples include glow sticks, money, or cheap toys. 

Take-Home Message

Hopefully, this post does not scare you away from having fun this holiday season. We just want to make sure nothing happens to you, your family, or your home. Halloween should be a time of fun scares and candy, not injuries and claims. The best way you can accomplish that would be cautiously putting up or taking down decorations, making sure candy is safe for children, and taking preventative measures against fires. Insurance Navy hopes you have a Happy Halloween.

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