Halloween is the perfect time of the year to impress the neighbourhood with your festive spirit!
Before you stand by the front door with an endless mountain of treats in hand, make sure your property is ready for the sea of visitors coming your way.
Follow this handy checklist before the sun goes down on October 31st.
Make sure your lights stay on
It might seem obvious, but it’s a good idea to double check that none of the bulbs in your exterior lights have burnt out, or are too dim to light up the walkway.
If your lights are triggered by a motion sensor, disable the motion sensor so it’s clear to trick-or-treaters that you’re open for business.
Good lighting might mean your house is a bit less spooky, but it’ll help excited youngsters watch where they’re going.
Clear your walkway
Declutter the front of your house by putting away any items laying by front door or leaning against the side of your house – things like rakes, toys, shoes, or bicycles.
Store any décor that might be easily knocked over – like potted plants or water fountains – inside your house for the night.
Avoid placing any Halloween decorations on the ground by your front door or anywhere that might be a tight squeeze if it gets crowded. Instead, placing them right in front of your garage door might be a good idea – for most houses, this is a visible place that kids are unlikely to wander towards.
If you have an interlock walkway or a stone staircase, do a quick double take to make sure there isn’t anything coming loose or falling apart.
Use LEDs for your jack-o-lantern
Consider using an LED tea light candle instead of a traditional wax candle.
Even though a flickering flame might give your meticulously crafted jack-o-lantern that extra kick of spookiness, the possibility of a child’s costume catching on fire is much scarier.
If you do use candles, use them with caution. Place your jack-o-lantern far away from where people might walk, or consider placing it by the window inside your house. Keep a large pitcher of water or a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case.
Forego the fog
Although having a fog machine might make you seem like one of the coolest house on the block, use it with caution.
Set it at the lowest setting so that visitors are still able to see the ground and area around them. Remember that most people have never walked the path leading up to your front door before.
Peek your head out of your house every once and a while to make sure the fog isn’t too overwhelming as the night gets darker.
Secure the pets
Even if Fido the dog or Bella the cat loves to greet new visitors, they may scare a child or trigger any allergies. In addition, the opening and closing of the door all night might entice your pet to break out and take a walk around the neighbourhood.
Consider corralling them into a secure room for the evening and make it up to them by giving them a pet-safe treat.
If your pet is anxious or reactive to any inbound visitors, put them in a room far away from the front door and with the radio or TV on. Sit outside on your driveway in your favourite lawn chair and hand out candy there so no one has to ring your doorbell.
Hand out candy in sealed packaging, or a non-food treat
Offering treats in sealed packaging will give both parents and kids the peace of mind that their candy or food has not been tampered with or contaminated.
Also consider participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project. By displaying a teal-painted pumpkin outside your house, you are signifying that you can hand out a non-food treat by request to children with allergies, or those who are unable to eat candy.
Whether you’re chaperoning a youngster on their mission to collect a ridiculous amount of candy, or you’re staying in to help load trick-or-treaters up with these sweets, remember that a safe Halloween is a happy Halloween.