The leaves are turning crisp and colorful, the weather has become brisk, and your warm boots have been dusted off. With the season change comes the next big holiday: Halloween!

A favorite holiday to many, Halloween offers the perfect opportunity to show off creative costumes, home decorations and pumpkin-carving skills. With all the excitement in the air, it is easy to overlook the safety vulnerabilities that the holiday brings. Observe the following tips to keep your celebration safe.

1. Keep Your Visitors Safe

Increased foot traffic escalates the possibility of someone injuring themselves on your property, leaving you liable. Start by walking the path to see if there are any obstructions that could cause someone to trip or fall. Keep decorations away from this path to ensure an uncluttered passageway.

Outdoor lighting is a year-round necessity for home safety. While Halloween encourages a darker atmosphere, don’t turn your exterior dim. Sufficient lighting helps guests see where they are walking as they trick-or-treat to your door.

2. Keep Your Guard Up

Increased foot traffic on your street also allows for strangers to blend into the environment. Costumes, masks and crowds are the perfect opportunity to commit crimes in plain sight. Some burglars even use this night to scope out homes and occupants for future easy targets.

Keep an eye out for suspicious people and behavior. Holidays are an easy time to slip up and let your guard down. Take precaution, and keep a keen eye out for anything or anyone that seems out of place.

3. Electric and Fire Safety

When you decorate your home with jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs and lights, keep fire safety in mind. Here are a few key rules to obey:

  • Read packaging to make sure that festive lights are approved for outdoor use.
  • Only use outlets with ground fault circuit interrupters.
  • Don't overload a single circuit.
  • Use electronic lights to light jack-o-lanterns; this avoids a potential fire hazard.
  • If you decide to use a candle for your jack-o-lantern, place it away from your guests’ pathway and flammable objects.
  • Turn off your festive outdoor lighting when you go to bed or leave your home.
  • Have fire alarms installed and active in your home.

4. Protect Your Children

Here are a few safety vulnerabilities and solutions to keep in mind as you trick-or-treat with your child:

  • Bring your child to a familiar neighborhood with well-light yards and inviting decorations.
  • Candy safety is a big topic for this holiday. Teach your children to never eat candy that has been opened in any capacity.
  • Incorporate a flashlight, glow stick or reflective tape into your child’s costume. Only 18% of parents utilize this tip despite the increased risk of car-to-pedestrian accidents.
  • Don't cut through yards, bushes or between cars. Always walk on lit paths and sidewalks. Cross the street only at crosswalks.
  • Teach your child to never enter a home, apartment or automobile without you or a trusted adult.

For more information check out this cool infographic about child safety on Halloween.

Image Source: Christina Rutz via FlickR