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Less Tricks, More Treats: Tips for Staying Safe this Halloween

Millbury Resident Holding a Stack of a Decorated Pumpkin and a Jack-o-LanternAlthough there are many Halloween traditions, it seems that the most popular one is trick-or-treating. To kids all around the country— including in Millbury— Halloween just means candy. Your tenants may want to dress up in costume with their kids and go door to door, trick-or-treating, or they may prefer to receive costumed guests for candies instead. Whichever way they decide to participate in the festivities, they still have to consider a few things to make sure the evening is a safe and enjoyable one for all. Now, as a property owner, regular tenant communication is a must. So, with Halloween coming close, this presents a great opportunity. You can use this holiday to open the lines of communication by providing some safety tips when trick-or-treating.

The first thing we’ll look at are some simple safety rules your tenants should follow if they decide to go out trick-or-treating. One thing you could do is to encourage tenants to place reflective tape on costumes or carry flashlights to help improve visibility while walking down dark streets. It’s also good to give them advice about costumes. Avoid masks that obstruct your vision and skip the oversized shoes, robes, or skirts that could cause someone to trip and fall. For safety purposes, encourage your tenants to secure all doors, douse any candles, and turn off all electronic decorations, when they leave the house. Because, if left unattended, candles and electric decorations pose a risk. They are one of the leading causes of residential fires on Halloween.

Second, we need to talk about properly preparing for visitors. This is the other side of trick-or-treating, which means it is also a very important part of the Halloween celebration. As the owner of the property, you can start by performing regular landscaping maintenance or ensuring that your tenants have done so. Clearing away overgrowth, low-hanging branches, and other potential hazards are some preventive maintenance that you can do any time of the year.

Encourage your tenants to help the celebration go without accidents by clearing leaves and debris from sidewalks, driveways, and walkways, as well as removing any tripping hazards like garden hoses. It would be great if you also check up on the property’s exterior lights to see if they still work. And if you see any burned-out bulbs, you’ll have to replace them. As you go around checking the exterior lights, also observe if there are any dark areas. It would be best that these be illuminated with extra light sources, such as landscaping lights or even battery-powered tea lights in decorative bags. A clear and well-lit walkway is a safe walkway.

If your tenant plans to decorate the house with some jack o’ lanterns, then you should give them some advice on how to do it safely. First, make sure that doorways and walkways are kept free of candles and other hazards. To lessen the risk, suggest to your tenants to go for lighting sources that do not require an open flame. However, if your tenant really wants to use candles in their decorating, then suggest a safe location. Make sure that it’s placed at a safe distance from where visitors might be walking or standing. It is also vital that all exterior decorations your tenant hangs up are properly secured. If a decorative item falls and injures a visitor, or maybe an improperly placed candle was to tip over and burn someone or start a fire, you’d have a disaster on your hands. This could result in, among others, a lawsuit against you as the property owner.

There are still some other safeguards your tenant can take to prevent accidents and injuries on Halloween. If your tenant has pets and plans to give out candy on Halloween, they should be sure to keep their furry friends indoors and secured in a safe location.  It’s the best option for the sake of your pet’s safety. This ensures that nobody gets hurt because a dog was stressed out by a bunch of strangers. In addition to that, you would hate it if you get sued because your tenant’s dog injured someone.

Your tenants should also be aware of what items are considered safe and appropriate for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Store-bought, individually wrapped items are normally the go-to option, provided, of course, that they aren’t too small that they pose as a choking hazard. In some areas, an alternative is to leave a bowl of treats outside. This is a good option if your tenant is not planning to hand out candies themselves. Doing this also helps your rental property from becoming the target of Halloween pranks and vandalism.

While educating your tenants is an important task that rental property owners must do, it also takes time. Since your real estate investing business demands so much time and attention from you, it might make sense to hire a Millbury property manager. Real Property Management Metro West-Worcester is an expert in the industry, providing services that allow you to spend your time on more valuable aspects of rental property ownership. If you want to know more about what we have to offer property owners like yourself, don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 508-329-6000.

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