Written by Bernie Carr
Imagine being in a store and reaching for your wallet only to find out it’s no longer you placed it. Or, looking for your phone and realizing it’s gone. I know that scared, sick to your stomach feeling. Years ago, I was shopping for costumes at a store and the guy next to me suddenly dropped a bunch of coins on the floor. The sound got my attention and I looked over to see what happened. I reached into my pocket to pull out my wallet and found that it was gone. I looked around and it was nowhere to be found. My wallet had been stolen.
One of the scary things about Halloween is the higher risk of becoming a victim. According to a study by Travelers Insurance, compared to other days of the year, property crimes average 24% higher on Halloween. There is also a high risk of vehicles being vandalized on Halloween, along with a high risk of auto accidents. Avoid becoming a victim and enjoy Halloween: pay attention to safety.
Practice situational awareness
If you will be out on the town, keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel. There have been so many sudden attacks especially in large cities that you need to be constantly aware of who is approaching you or within your personal space. Travel in a group as much as possible.
Zippered pockets and purses
If you are attending a crowded Halloween event, protect your belongings by zipping up your purse; or, if you are wearing pants, it’s best to have zippered pockets. Pick-pockets attend crowded events on purpose as they know that revelers will be busy paying attention to festivities and will likely not notice their phone or wallet is missing until it’s too late.
Trick or treaters
- Accompany your kids. I see a lot of unaccompanied kids walking along the neighborhood who don’t pay attention while crossing the street. Kids under 13 years of age should be accompanied by an adult. Older kids should go in a group.
- Keep your pets away. Having strangers around may cause pets to get agitated, and kids trick or treating may also be afraid of larger pets. You can be liable if your pet bites or scratches someone. If you are giving out candy, have your pets stay in another room to avoid potentially unsafe situations.
Carry a glow stick or flashlight when you take your kids trick-or-treating. Try to have something reflective in the costume to gain more visibility.
When choosing lighting decorations, avoid candles and lanterns that can fall and cause a fire. Fire is another risk that’s
Check the area for crime stats and sex-offenders
Many police departments publish crime stats for zip codes and neighborhoods. When you plan your trick or treating route, be aware of high crime areas and avoid them.
There are sites that list sex-offenders living in your neighborhood. Check the list and avoid those areas.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission warned that trips and falls is high among the most common Halloween injuries. These are caused by costumes that don’t fit well, or masks that limit visibility. Have your child try on costume ahead of time: make sure he or she can see out of the mask and adjust appropriately. Measure capes and costume lengths to avoid trips and falls.
Leaving your home
If you won’t be home for Halloween, keep the lights on inside to make your home look occupied, but keep your porch light off since you’re not giving out candy.
If you have an alarm system, don’t forget to arm it before leaving.
Don’t advertise on social media that you will be out. You can post your activities afterwards.
Drive extra carefully
According to an analysis done by State Farm, children have the highest risk of getting fatally injured during Halloween than any other day of the year.
Since there will be a lot of children and adults out and about, be extra careful while driving as accidents are very common with pedestrians around. Avoid being distracted by your phone, the radio, Halloween decorations or costumes.
With a little bit of planning, you can minimize your risks. Have a happy Halloween everyone!
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Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and Clark.com, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.
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