“This should be a fun, carefree time of year for children and parents alike,” Ario said. “But unfortunately, Halloween can sometimes be the most dangerous day of the year. Following a few simple precautions can ensure that it is safe for you and your children and not harmful to your homeowners insurance.”
Before children go out trick-or-treating, parents are advised to make sure they are walking in groups and that their costumes do not block their vision. Also, it is essential that they can be seen by motorists.
“Costumes and treat buckets should be decorated with reflective tape or glow sticks,” Ario said. “Because many communities hold trick-or-treat night before Oct. 31, drivers should be especially careful all week. Slow down and be on the lookout for trick-or-treaters.”
Homeowners can reduce the chance of injury by making sure that outside lights are on and that sidewalks and the walkways are clear of branches, cords and anything that could pose a tripping hazard.
He also reminded homeowners with dogs to keep the pets inside during trick-or-treating and, if need be, restrained—especially if they are prone to jumping on or biting visitors. Ario also cautioned about the risk of using candles in jack-o-lanterns or other decorations.
“One misstep by a child or pet, and a serious fire could erupt,” he said.
Be sure to distribute only treats that are securely wrapped and sealed. When children return from their neighborhood adventures, do not let them eat anything until you have inspected it.
Consumers with questions about Halloween safety are invited
to visit www.ins.state.pa.us or call
the Insurance Department’s toll-free, automated consumer hotline at (877)
They may also contact any of the department’s Bureau of Consumer
Services’ regional offices: (717) 787-2317,