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A Brief Guide to Staying Safe and Secure This Halloween

pumpkin-201956_1280Halloween is right around the corner and that means pumpkin carving, costume ideas, and a lot of candy, but it’s also a troublesome night for homeowners. Questionable characters come out of the woodwork and teenagers tend to cause trouble, but some thieves are after more than some stray pumpkins. Keep your home safe and secure from Halloween trouble with this brief guide:

Decorate Wisely

It’s understandable to get excited and go all-out on your home’s Halloween decorations, but adding too much can obscure your home from the outside, making it harder for neighbors to spot evildoers. Break-ins, vandals, and thieves look for clutter, lawn furniture, and shrubs for hiding places as they scout your home, so the more you decorate, the more you’ll play into their hands. If you do decide to transform your home into a haunted house, make sure it’s well lit to ward off any evil spirits.

Bring Your Pumpkins Indoors at Night

Youngsters love carving and decorating pumpkins, but it’s never a fun experience to find bits of smashed pumpkins after a visit from a prankster. Don’t run the risk of tears from the little ones, so be sure to bring your pumpkins and any other valued decorations inside once the day is done.

Be Wary

Halloween attracts trouble from all angles, meaning you and your household should be extra vigilant throughout the season. Lock your doors and windows even when you’re at home and don’t answer the door late at night. Depending on your neighborhood, trick or treaters should be home and off the streets by 8 or 9 at the latest. It also wouldn’t hurt to get the contact information for your neighborhood watch group and report any suspicious activity.

Educate Your Kids

The best defense is always prudence. Even if you’ve told them several times before, reiterate the rules to your children throughout the Halloween season: don’t enter a stranger’s home or car, don’t eat any candy until it’s been inspected by an adult, and always use the buddy system. Plan a trick or treating route beforehand and stick to it. If your child is going with another adult or group of kids, get together and make sure everyone knows the route. And with stories of generally harmless pranks floating around, it’s always a good idea to remind your children that destroying or damaging other peoples’ property is never acceptable.

Happy Halloween!

[About the author: Peter Kim is a freelance writer with a passion for the environment and green business.]

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