Halloween is almost here; and that means a small dose of organised bedlam in residential areas and communities for just one night.
As seen in our previous blog post last week, damage to property increases around this time of year according to recent research. Though it should all be a bit of fun and a chance to dress up or go mad on more chocolate than is good for us, Halloween can have frightful consequences on our homes. This might be whether you’re hosting a party or you attract hungry trick-or-treaters to your doorstep. Unfortunately there are a few bad (toffee) apples out there who set out to put a damper on the fun for the rest of us.
So here are a few tips to ensure that come November 1st, your home doesn’t look like the setting of a horror film:
Burglaries increase around this time of year because the darker evenings make for an excellent cover. If your house is the setting of a party or base for trick-or-treaters, there will be a lot of comings and goings; do your best to find out everyone’s names or that people you trust can vouch for those you don’t. All the costumes and large numbers can make this difficult, so it make it a closed event or keep a tight control on who is invited. A lot of property in London is located on main roads or are near to them; so consider a lot of foot-traffic which passes by, and may see an open door with no one around.
With candles being placed in pumpkins, Halloween is a prime opportunity for incidents involving fire. Keep wet rags at hand, while anything that does require an open flame should be kept away from wooden furniture or fittings that are flammable. Rather than use actual fire, use flashlights or LED lights instead for a similar effect. Any decorations which require a plug, like light-up lanterns, should be plugged in close to the outlet to avoid tripping on wires; and if you do have several things plugged in at once, check that wiring is up-to-standard and split electrical appliances between several sockets.
Clear as much space as you if you plan on having a dance-floor. This includes stairways and corridors. Expect some rather large and lavish creations in the costume-department, which may require extra space for the individual to move around freely. It might just be easier to dump these costumes as the night goes on. Related to the point above, make sure any doorways aren’t blocked either in case you do have to “abandon ship”.
Take care of any remnants from unhappy “treaters”, as soon as possible for hygiene reasons and to prevent any infestations (ideally the next morning). Don’t hang out of windows to clean the side of your house, but use an extendable mop instead from the ground. You also don’t want any lasting dried egg or produce marks on your home either.