“It's Halloween, everyone's entitled to one good scare.” – Halloween (1978)
The orange lights, saccharine headaches, and glowing jack-o-lanterns are all postmarks of Halloween night; it’s hard not to get caught up in the mischievous fun of costumes and candy, but, the scariest thing about Halloween aren’t the skeletons or vampires, it’s the real (and potentially) life threatening dangers that occur on October, 31st.
With fun ratcheted up and awareness down, Halloween can put you, your family, and your home in jeopardy. Here are the real dangers of Halloween and how to combat them.
Are Motorists the Real Monsters?
Halloween has become synonymous with a lack of safety and heightened danger. Did you know that pedestrians under 18 are twice as vulnerable to getting hit by a car on Halloween? A statistic like this is frequently overshadowed by stories of strangers poisoning chocolates and candy apple razorblades, but, these tales are mostly urban legend; families should be thinking about safe travels through the streets.
A solution to this troubling problem is to make sure you, your kids, and anyone in your party has a flashlight and their costume is fashioned with reflective tape. Additionally, make sure your costume or mask does not obstruct your vision. Lastly, if you are trick-or-treating on Halloween, it is necessary to make sure the group sticks together and no one wanders off.
On Halloween it isn’t always pedestrians who are getting caught up in their candy bags and not paying attention to the road—23% of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween involve a drunk driver. This, combined with the congested streets and running children, means that you and your family need to be cautious, prepared, and informed.
Costumes are as common as candy corn on Halloween. In 2014, there was $7.4 billion dollars spent on Halloween and 38% of that was on costumes. The problem is that these costumes, which are highly targeted towards children, can be very dangerous.
One of the main concerns that has recently been raised is how flammable are today’s Halloween costumes? The answer is extremely. It is especially troublesome for children who are walking door to door, hoping for a treat. Many of these walkways are lined with lit jack-o-lanterns that could easily catch any part of a costume and send it up in a blaze of flames. It is recommended that you look for outfits made of nylon or polyester and avoid things like glitter.
In addition to the costumes themselves being dangerous, it is imperative to consider who is underneath those devil horns. With burglaries spiking on Halloween, you should proceed with extra caution. The violent crime count on October 31 can be 50 percent higher than on any other date during the year. Thankfully, programs like Operation Safe Halloween have been recently established to put a bigger emphasis on police presence to protect children.
Vandalism and Property Pranks
With anonymity being a cornerstone of the Halloween holiday, misguided confidence and fearlessness begin to take hold. This means that there is an increased amount of property damage reported. The types of vandalism and property damage you are likely to see include: pumpkin smashing, toilet paper rolling, house-egging, and broken-in windows/doors. Fear not though, there are ways to prevent your house from looking like a ransacked supermarket.
First off, and this should be a no brainer, it can go a long way on Halloween to be nice to little ones who eagerly lay out their palms for candy. If you unenthusiastically toss a pack of raisins at a 12-year-old, then you could be doomed to cleaning egg off your siding for the majority of November, 1st.
To really combat the threat of property damage, it is recommended that you invest in a smart security system. This will enable you to monitor your property through video cameras and be aware of any mischievous activity. At a Halloween party and worried that chaos will ensue once kids realize the candy bowl is empty? Smart systems allow you to access live feeds right from your smart phone and act accordingly.
While it may affect the spooky ambiance you are going for, it is helpful to have a set of motion sensor lights that you can control. This will give the interior and exterior of your home the sense that it is occupied. With these safety and precautionary measures in place, you can ensure that the only thing you have to worry about is a post-Halloween sugar hangover.