Halloween is the one day of year we literally open our doors to dozens of strangers; and while handing out candy to little ones seems safe enough, it’s important to make sure you’re not creating unnecessary security risks. After all, lots of people will be roaming through your neighborhood on Halloween night. You never know if burglars or vandals may be among them, staking out your home.
Here are a few simple tips to keep you and your home safe.
- Decide on a time to close & lock your doors.Most communities end their trick-or-treating by 8 or 9 p.m. After that, it’s time to close and lock your doors. If you’ve already turned out the front light, then there’s no reason to answer the door. To be extra safe, you may want to close and lock your door after every trick-or-treater. It only takes a second, but it’s the only way to prevent bad guys from walking straight through your front door.
- Keep other lights on.Just because you’ve turned off the front light at the end of the night doesn’t mean your entire house should go dark. In fact, it’s better to give the appearance that someone is home. Keep some lights on inside your house. Also, use any lights behind your home to make your yard well lit.
- Close the garage.An open garage door on Halloween night is an invitation for theft and vandalism. Keep it closed – with your car parked inside it.
- Going out? Don’t make it obvious.Whether you’re headed to a Halloween party or taking your child trick-or-treating, be sure that your house remains well lit. It’s okay to keep the front light off if you don’t want kids knocking on your door. Just be sure to leave some lights on inside the house.
- Consider motion-sensor lights.If you don’t already have motion-sensor lighting around your home, this is a good time to consider it. These lights can prevent burglars as well as pranksters, and it’s more energy-efficient than keeping lights turned on all night.
- Avoid open flames.Halloween home security isn’t just about preventing burglary and vandalism. It’s about safety. Don’t make the mistake of using candles and other open-flame luminaries. They create a serious fire risk! Consider battery-powered votive candles and light sticks for your decorations instead.
- Don’t be afraid to report suspicious behavior.On Halloween night, it’s easy to dismiss suspicious behavior as “just kids” – but that may not actually be the case. Call your local police department (or 9-1-1 if it’s an emergency) if you see anything that looks unusual or illegal.