Halloween may be about ghouls and ghost tales—but you can’t forget the candy.
If you plan on handing out the sweet stuff to kids this holiday, you may be wondering how to make your home both welcome and safe. Fear not, because here are nine tips to prepare your house for trick or treaters.
Clear the walkways. Toys, rakes, errant stones—clear them all out of the way before trick-or-treating starts.
Light it up. Turn on your exterior lights, including any flood lights, to help create a safe path for trick-or-treaters.
Corral your pets. A constantly opening and closing door makes it easy for pets to escape and possibly harm a child. A better idea is to keep pets in a secured room or wing of the house.
Lock all other doors. Mischief can happen when you’re doling out candy, so play it safe by locking all of your house’s (and your garage’s) other doors. Also lock your car doors.
Check your railing. If it feels rickety, take the time to secure it in place.
Skip candles. Yes, they make your pumpkins look cool. But it’s not worth the fire risk when you consider all the draping costumes and accessories that will whiz by the flame.
Consider your candy choices. Many kids are allergic to candy ingredients like nuts these days. To help them enjoy the holiday, The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages leaving a teal pumpkin on your stoop to let trick-or-treaters know that you have non-food treats like stickers and toys on hand.
Think about the best place to hand out the candy. If you have a lot of stairs or a long, winding path, it might be a better idea to hand out candy in your driveway.
Comb your yard. With all luck, the kiddos will stay on the pavement. But they may wander, so clear out any sticks, objects or other tripping hazards from your yard.
Sitting this Halloween out? If so, leave your lights on anyway to dissuade potential thieves. And skip the unsupervised candy bowl—someone could taint the candy if you aren’t around.
Next, read how to stay safe in your trick-or-treat group.