Tips for a Safe, Legal-Incident Free Halloween

A holiday all about dressing up in costume and scaring people is bound to lead to some trouble from time to time. Although there are a number of common legal incidents associated with Halloween festivities, don’t fear – there are some simple things you can do to protect yourself from liabilities this Halloween season.

Here are some things to consider for a safe and legal-incident free Halloween:

Check Around Your Property

With people walking all around your property, you want to make sure there is nothing that could cause an injury in your yard or around your front door. Check around your property for low tree stumps, hoses or any wires that could lead to someone tripping and possibly getting injured. If you notice any potential liabilities, address them or put a sign up to alert people to avoid those areas.

Fire Safety

Every neighborhood has one – the house on the street that sets up an elaborate haunted house-themed display, complete with strobe lights, scary flaming jack-o-lanterns and all sorts of electric-operated Halloween goblins and ghouls. If this is your house, you’ll want to make sure you’ve considered any potential fire hazards. Don’t overload your electrical sockets and make sure to keep candlelit jack-o-lanterns away from anywhere they could come in contact with a costume.

House Parties

In addition to making sure that guests to your Halloween party come in costume, you’ll also may want to make sure they don’t drink too much. In some states, a host can be held liable for a guest that leaves a party intoxicated and gets in a car accident or injures someone else. You can limit your risk by only providing two drinks per guest, or by offering transportation to any guests who drink too much.

Dog Bites

According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog require medical attention.2   With people constantly ringing your doorbell and walking around your house, Halloween can be a stressful time for dogs who think they need to protect the house. It’s important to keep your dog inside in an area where he can’t easily get to the door or to anyone outside of your house.

With these things in mind, we hope you and your family have a safe and fun Halloween!
 

1 FindLaw, http://injury.findlaw.com/accident-injury-law/social-host-liability.html
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/features/dog-bite-prevention/index.html