Summer is officially over, and, whether you like it or not, now that we’re into October everything pumpkin and Halloween has taken over coffee shops and store shelves. In just a few weeks animals, Disney characters, ghosts, vampires, and ballerinas are going to come knocking on your front door. To keep the kids and your home stress-free on Halloween, we gathered up some tips for you below.

Halloween Tip #1: Keep Your Pets in a Separate Room

This is for the good of both your pets, and the kids. The constant door-knocking, noise, and potentially unwanted attention from strangers can stress out your usually-friendly family pet. There’s also a good chance that not all of the trick-or-treaters knocking at your door will be animal lovers. It’s best to keep them separated for the evening.

Halloween Tip #2: Keep Some Outdoor Lights On

It’s easy to get carried away with the spirit of the season, and any other night of the week (or month, if that’s your style) you can let your front yard be as dark and spooky as you like! But on Halloween when the little ones are walking up your front pathway, it’s best to keep a couple lights on. They’ll be safer because they can see where they are walking, and it’ll help them from getting too spooked.

Halloween Tip #3: Turn off Your Security Alarm

This one is more for your sanity than anything else! While we normally recommend keeping your home alarm system on at all times, the frequent opening and closing of the door can create confusion. In this case, it’s best to disarm the system before the parade begins – just be sure to turn it back on at the end of the evening.

Halloween Tip #4: Don’t Give Pranksters the Chance

If you have a garage, park your car inside. Halloween doesn’t just bring out the kids in cute costumes, unfortunately: there is bound to be some groups out armed with eggs as well. Save yourself from a potential clean-up on November 1st and park your car and keep other valuables inside.

Halloween Tip #5: Save the Baked Goods for Family

It may be tempting to bake your famous bars and give the kids a special treat, but it’s safer for kids and their parents when treats come pre-packaged and with allergy labels. It would be a shame to have your baking go to waste, so save the goodies for the family get-together.

What tips do you have for other homeowners to keep everyone safe this Halloween?

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