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Happy Halloween – the smart way

Happy Halloween – the smart way

Decidedly one of the most beloved American holidays, Halloween brings out our playful side. But as the old adage goes, it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. Or a door. Or the home cinema system. Because Halloween not only brings out the fun side of people, which in itself can be annoying and dangerous (I’m looking at you bored teenaged pranksters!), but it certainly brings out the crazy as well.  To stay safe this Halloween, here are a few easy tips.

  1. Whether you plan on going out for the night or huddle around a giant bucket of popcorn while you rewatch the first season of American Horror story, check that all doors and windows are locked properly before you get on with your night.
  2. If you’re hosting a party, no matter how tired you are, do a quick roundup after your last guest leaves, to make sure all entry points are secured. Do not facilitate crimes of opportunity and do your best to hamper anyone’s malicious intent.
  3. While you do a room-by-room sweep for locked doors and windows, be sure to check for still lit cigarettes. Check in trashcans, take a peek under the furniture, between sofa folds and pillows.
  4. Make sure all your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are functioning well and have batteries. If something catches fire, say from a carelessly discarded cigarette or fallen candle, the smoke alarm is your first line of defense. And whatever you do, do not disable them. You might want to allow friends to smoke inside your apartment, but in all honesty, what’s more important: your physical safety or your smoker friends’ comfort? When guests arrive, inform them of the designated smoking area (ie. the balcony).  Print out a few simple signs with directional arrows leading towards the designated area and spread them throughout your place.
  5. Alcohol-related crimes and pranks tend to spike on All Hallows Eve, so be sure to update your renter’s insurance policy. Have you bought any new electronics, appliances, jewelry or books lately?  Be sure to add them to your policy. Should they go missing while you’re out trick-or-treating or be damaged in a fire thanks to the drunken random dude that knocked over your candles, the more accurate and detailed your inventory is, the more you’ll receive in your insurance claim. Renter’s insurance offers you coverage in case of vandalism too, so if your apartment get paint bombed or a rock flies through the window and knocks out your TV, you’re covered.
  6. Another perk of renter’s insurance is personal liability coverage, including a provision for dog bites. So if a guest tripped and hurt himself enough to need medical attention, and is blaming you and definitely not his way too elaborate and cumbersome costume, renter’s insurance has your back. The same goes for your friend’s girlfriend’s medical bills. Even though she wouldn’t have any had she listened to you, when you told her that your dog is afraid of new people and please do not pet him.
  7. Don’t put any candles, including jack-o-lanterns in places where they can easily be knocked over, especially if you’re throwing a party. Other than having to clean melted wax off your furniture, they pose a real fire hazard as well. Go for flameless candles, glow-in-the dark sticks and twinkly lights. If you can’t resist having candles, be sure to put them all out when the party is over.
  8. Avoid using extension cords. Any novelty appliances you use (ie. fog machines) should come from a reputable retailer and manufacturer, to decrease the chances of short-circuits. DO NOT DIY any electronics or appliances.

Now that Resident Shield has your back, you’ll definitely get the treat and not trick, so go have some fun! Happy Halloween!