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

Westchester Resident Holding a Stack of a Decorated Pumpkin and a Jack-o-LanternThe holiday of Halloween has become synonymous with candy for most Americans. And for children, Halloween = candy. This makes Trick-or-treating one of the most Halloween activities in the country, including in Westchester. Your tenants may plan to participate in trick-or-treating by going out, or they may choose to stay home and be the ones receiving costumed guests for candies. Either way, there are some important things they can do to makes sure the evening is a safe and enjoyable one for all. Now, as a property owner, regular tenant communication is encouraged, and this includes providing some safety tips on trick-or-treating.

First, if your tenants choose to go out trick-or-treating, there are some simple safety rules they should follow. 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 would also be beneficial to give some good 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. Encourage your tenants to secure all doors, douse any candles, and turn off all electronic decorations when they leave the house. This is because of the risk that comes with unattended candles and electric decorations. These are actually some 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 a good idea to make the property ready for the trick-or-treaters.

Tell your tenants that they could help make the fun evening go smoother 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 the property checking the lights, try to see if there are any dark areas. These should 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, see to it that doorways and walkways are free of candles and other hazards. Better yet, your tenants could use lighting sources that do not require an open flame. However, there are tenants that want to be authentic and use candles in their decorating. For cases like these, just make sure that they are placed at a safe distance from where visitors might be walking or standing. You must also see to it that any exterior decorations your tenant hangs up are properly secured. If a decorative item were to fall and injure a visitor or an improperly placed candle burns someone or starts a fire, this could result in 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 what’s best for the pet during this time. This measure sees to it that nobody gets hurt because a dog was stressed out by 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 informed about 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 neighborhoods, you can leave a bowl of treats outside. This is really smart especially if your tenant is not planning to hand out candies themselves. This gesture helps your rental property not be the target of Halloween pranks and vandalism. Not to mention how the kids will be delighted when they see the candy.

Educating your tenants is truly an important part of being a rental property owner. However, it also takes a lot of time. With so many demands that your real estate investing business requires from you, it might make sense to hire a Westchester property manager. Real Property Management California Coast is an expert in the industry, providing services that allow you to spend your time on more valuable aspects of rental property ownership. Please contact us online or call us at 310-535-2150 to learn more about what we have to offer property owners like yourself.

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