Halloween is the one night of the year we want things to go bump in the night. Ghouls, ghosts, pirates and princesses flood the streets and everyone takes candy from strangers. In all the fun, many home security rules get forgotten and some people take advantage of the celebration to commit acts of theft or vandalism.
Check out these ten tips to keep your home and family secure Halloween night and still share in the fun.
1. Inspect doors and windows. You want solid frames, well fitting doors and windows, and strong, non-bumpable locks. If you aren’t sure how reliable yours are, talk to one of our security experts or a reputable locksmith for advice. Do not leave a key hidden outside your home. Instead, find a trusted neighbor to hold onto an emergency key for you.
2. Test outdoor lighting. Good outdoor lighting accomplishes two things Halloween night: 1: well lit walkways ensure the safety of trick-or-treaters making their way to your door, and 2: lighting up dark corners of yards and porches discourages vandals. Before Halloween night arrives, make certain all your outdoor lights work and change any burned out bulbs. You may find it prudent to install new lights. Once the goblins are out, let your lights shine. You’ll attract the wanted visitors and deter the unwanted ones.
3. Clean up that yard. Rake the leaves, complete your fall pruning and gather up the sticks, roll up the hose, and put away any tools, ladders or mowers. Landscaping can do a lot to enhance a home’s perimeter security. You’ll make walkways safer and make yourself less vulnerable to mischief-makers.
4. Lock ’em up. Put toys, bikes, motorcycles, cars and other possible targets of theft or vandalism in the garage. Halloween mischief tends to be acts of opportunity. Don’t let your home be someone else’s opportunity.
5. Guard the garage. Garages are a point of weakness for almost all homes throughout the year. Make certain the door leading from your garage into your home has a strong, non-bumpable lock and USE IT. For an extra layer of security on Halloween night, unplug your automatic garage door opener. These devices are vulnerable to tampering and some can be opened by other people’s remotes.
6. Keep an eye on those jack-o-lanterns. Carved pumpkins get knocked over by trick-or-treaters or pets. If you use traditional candles, police these pumpkins with vigilance. No time to baby sit a jack-o-lantern? Consider using electric or battery powered votive candles instead.
7. Secure skittish pets. Lots of unusual activity at the front door can overwhelm many pets. By putting your pet in a quiet room or area of the house, you’ll keep them feeling safe and comfortable.
8. Scrutinize tardy trick-or-treaters. After the trick-or-treating rush hour has passed, give extra scrutiny to anyone coming to your door. Keep the door locked and use your peep hole. Home intruders may take advantage of your guard being down on Halloween night to convince you to open your door to them.
9. Stand your ground. No matter how upset or anxious or confused a stranger at your door seems to be, let no one inside your home. If someone you don’t know comes to your door asking for help, call police, medical assistance or their parents for them. You can help without making yourself vulnerable.
10. Follow your gut. Enjoy the holiday, but use common sense and listen to your instincts. If you get the feeling something is wrong, it probably is. Better to be wrong and feel a little embarrassed than to be right, ignore your instincts and put your family, home or self at risk.
You don’t need a complicated witches’ brew to keep your family and home secure on Halloween. Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way.