Overall, the best thing you can do to safeguard your home on Halloween is to be home. The chances of someone breaking into your house is significantly lower if your house is occupied. This means keeping your lights on, opening your door for trick or treaters, and moving around inside and outside of your house.
Plus, an active neighborhood is safer for children trick or treating. Debra Holtzman, J.D., M.A., a child safety expert, recommends using flashlights, glow sticks, and reflective tape to help children see and be seen by people around them. And while you can equip your kids with all the safety devices out there, it’s also important for them to pay attention to their surroundings and learn the correct way to cross a street. Younger kids should have an adult chaperone on their neighborhood jaunts and older kids should be reminded to stay off the road, use the sidewalk, and to walk at the edge of the road facing traffic when there are no sidewalks available.
If you’re sending kids out into the neighborhood, consider nontoxic face paint or makeup instead of masks that may obstruct vision. Always check to make sure your child’s costume is flame resistant. Fabrics such as nylon and polyester are best. Don’t forget to check beards, masks, and wigs, as well. Avoid costumes that might restrict mobility too much and make it difficult for a child to move around.
Homeowners opening their doors to trick-or-treaters can help keep things safe by lighting up walkways and front porches and removing any obstructions. Make sure all props are highly visible or tagged with reflective tape to prevent visitors from tripping over them. If you have jack-o-lanterns on the porch, look for battery-equipped faux candles or glow sticks to light them, so you don’t have to worry about any open flames.