Getting Ready for Halloween: A Homeowner’s Guide to Decorating, Staying Safe, and Getting Spooky

by Alex ThatcherOctober 25, 2018

Stay Spooky and Safe This Halloween

As someone who will be passing out candy this Halloween instead of going door to door trick-or-treating, you may not be spending countless hours perfecting the costume of your dreams. However, there are other things that you can be doing this year to prepare for the big night. After all, prepping your home for Halloween can help to ensure that every trick-or-treater in the neighborhood has a super fun night.

As Halloween evening approaches, it’s time to stock up on candy, carve up the pumpkins, and string up those faux spider webs. But aside from decorations and candy, there are a few steps you should take to ensure that trick-or-treaters are safe as they approach your house for candy.

If you have a rickety porch railing, a hole in the porch floor, or any obstacles on your walkway, you’ll want to get these things squared away before the big spooky night. Here are some other ways you can prep your home for an awesome, spooky, and safe Halloween evening.

halloween tips for homeowners

Create a (Spooky) Clear Path to Your Door

For some homeowners, there’s nothing scarier than kids wandering around your front yard, possibly trampling flowers and plants, trying to get to your front door. In addition to being possibly destructive, it can also be dangerous for the trick-or-treaters, as they might trip and fall over items around your front yard.

If you have a walkway leading to your door, make sure it’s clear of all debris, toys, hoses and yard tools, and other obstacles. Line the walkway with lights so that it’s easy to see the path leading to your door.

If you don’t have a walkway, you can still use lights to create a path to the door. Some kids could be wearing costumes that obstruct their vision, and most kids will be excited and not paying close attention to where they’re going. For these reasons, use lights to ensure that the path leading to your door is clear and easy to navigate. If you use an irrigation system, be sure to turn it off with plenty of time for your walkways to dry.

Fix Up the Front Porch for the Scary Night

Before Halloween night, be sure to fix any broken stairs and rickety railings. Break out the tool box and complete any porch repairs that you’ve been putting off. Kids in costumes and their adult supervisors will be using the railings, so now is the perfect time to whip your porch into shape.

If you’ve strung up lights or anything else that needs to be plugged in, be sure to tape down the cords and wires so that no one can trip on them. Before you hang your Halloween lights, be sure to inspect them to be sure that there aren’t any bare wires or damaged sockets.
halloween tips for homeowners

This Halloween, Don’t Create Fire Hazards

While it’s always a fun tradition to place a candle in the jack-o-lantern, open flames on Halloween are a risk that you might not want to take. According to FEMA, roughly 10,100 Halloween-related fires were reported between 2014 and 2016. The estimated damage of these fires added up to $10,000 per instance.

Keep your Halloween fire-free by using LED lights or battery-operated candles in your jack-o-lanterns instead, and avoid any flammable decorations. Also stay away from crepe paper and other paper decorations that could easily catch on fire. Choose other methods of lighting up the front porch and walkways of your house instead of using candles.

Keep Pets Indoors for the Night

While you may have a super adorable costume idea for your furry friend this Halloween, it’s safest to keep the pets indoors while trick-or-treaters are wandering the streets. Remember: Halloween poses a lot of stimulation for pets. The doorbell is constantly ringing, dressed-up kids are knocking on the door, and tons of unfamiliar smells fill the air. Even if your pet is good with strangers, Halloween can be an overwhelming time.

Avoid the risk of your pets bolting from the house and getting lost in the neighborhood by keeping them safely indoors and on a leash or tucked away in a safe bedroom, far from the action. Little trick-or-treaters who aren’t used to pets (and their parents) will also appreciate you keeping your pets indoors.

Secure Your Valuables

According to USA Today, crime-related insurance claims spike by 24% on or around Halloween. While most trick-or-treaters are only looking for a tasty candy treat on Halloween, it’s also a day that is known for pranks and mischief. Keep your home protected by parking your car in the garage and bringing in any valuables that you usually keep in the yard.

While you’ll want to turn your alarm off while trick-or-treaters are frequenting the house, remember to turn it back on once the evening’s festivities have ended. If you plan on leaving the house on Halloween, you may want to keep the lights on to make it look like someone is home. Motion-detecting lights are also a good way to deter burglars and mischief-makers.

halloween tips for homeowners

Have a Happy Halloween!

Halloween is all about getting creative with costumes and decorations, enjoying time with friends and family, and eating lots of delicious candy. Take these precautions to ensure that you have an amazing Halloween this year!

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.