9 Tips to Stay Safe this Halloween for Apartment Renters
Halloween is different for everyone, whether you leave a bowl of candy at your door or opt for full-blown decorations. Regardless of how you like to celebrate the holiday, living in an apartment means you’re likely going to get more foot traffic this time of year than usual.
Here at Apartment List, it’s our goal to make sure that everyone has a happy and safe Halloween this year, which is why we’ve put together this list of 9 tips to stay safe this Halloween for apartment renters.
1. Find Out if There’s Any HOA Rules or Guidelines
Before you bust out the cobwebs and fake mummies for your entryway, you always want to be sure to check with your landlord or property manager to see if there are any HOA rules or guidelines that must be followed.
Keep in mind that these rules can change from year to year, so even if you received one memo last year, it could be completely different this time around.
It’s best to check in to see what, if any, guidelines you must follow when it comes to Halloween. Make sure you ask about:
2. Map Out a Trick-Or-Treat Route Ahead of Time
Apartment complexes can have intricate walkways. While you might think you know your community quite well, things can start to feel less familiar upon nightfall and with plenty of decorations.
Rather than leaving it up to your senses on Halloween night, we recommend mapping out a safe walking route ahead of time. Especially if you have small children, you can walk the path beforehand during the day and again in the evening. That way, if anyone does happen to get lost, they know what route to follow to get home or to the nearest safe place.
When you’re walking the route with your children, be sure to identify notable landmarks that will help them identify where they are within the community if they get separated for whatever reason.
3. Accompany Young Children on Their Routes
Even though Halloween is a night where you can anticipate other families walking around, you still want to accompany young children on their trick-or-treating routes. Even if you don’t walk up to every door with them, it helps to escort them and make sure they are within your eyesight at all times.
Keeping a close eye on young children will ensure they don’t get lost or left behind. You can also join in on the festivities by dressing up in a theme with the children. Make it an event for the whole family to enjoy.
Remember, while trick-or-treating on Halloween is designed to be a fun activity for children, safety should always be the number one priority.
4. Implement a Buddy System
A fun approach to enforcing safety this Halloween is by teaching your children about the buddy system. The buddy system is simple. Basically, two individuals work as buddies and operate as one unit. When two children buddy up, it helps to have an additional set of eyes on the other as often as possible.
Be sure you teach your children about the buddy system. If one person goes somewhere, the other must follow.
5. Follow CDC Guidelines
In addition to keeping you and your children safe from physical harm, you’ll also want to keep your health in mind. The best way to ensure you follow safe and healthy holiday practices is by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Holiday Celebrations Guidelines.
Here are the latest holiday celebrations guidelines from the CDC as of October 15, 2021:
- Make sure you and other eligible people around you are vaccinated
- If you are not fully vaccinated, wear a mask in public indoor spaces
- If you are fully vaccinated, it is still recommended to wear a mask in public indoors
- Keeping activities outdoors is always safer than indoors
- Do not host or attend an event if you are sick or are symptomatic
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, get tested right away
6. Avoid Unwrapped Candy
Gone are the days of welcoming baked goods and treats from neighbors while trick-or-treating. Today, if someone gives you or your children any type of unwrapped candy, make sure to throw it away.
The only treats that are safe for consumption should be wrapped without any breaks in the seal. If ever you’re unsure where the candy came from or a treat is homemade, it’s better to throw it out to be safe.
Always wash your hands properly after handling wrapped treats at the end of the night and before eating. Thankfully, the World Health Organization (WHO) has released information proving you can’t get COVID-19 from food packaging materials, but it’s still a good safe practice.
7. Bring Hand Sanitizer
These days, everyone should have hand sanitizer options readily available at all times. If your kids aren’t as familiar with this practice as you, it might be time to find them a fun-themed bottle or let them pick one of their own.
Since washing hands while trick-or-treating isn’t usually an option, having hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
8. Bring a Flashlight (Just in Case)
Since you mapped out your trick-or-treating route ahead of time, you should have been able to identify any poorly lit areas to avoid. Unfortunately, you can’t always anticipate light bulbs burning out in certain areas.
Bring a flashlight with you in case anything should happen. It will be dark out, and any wanderers might be hard to find while in costume. Having a flashlight handy will ensure that no one gets left behind.
9. Make Sure Your Apartment Is Safe for Trick-or-Treaters
As much as ensuring you and your family are safe this Halloween is the priority, you also want to do your part to ensure the safety of others near your home. Take the time to prep your apartment for any trick-or-treaters headed your way by following these steps.
There’s no better time to make sure all of your outdoor lights are working correctly than before trick-or-treating begins. Check for any burnt-out bulbs, and be sure to replace them before Halloween. You can even go a step above and beyond by checking communal areas and letting your property manager know of anything you find.
If your apartment is along a trick-or-treating path, make sure you check the areas and clear them of any leaves or debris before the festivities begin. From walkways to driveways to sidewalks, remove any natural or unnatural objects that could cause a tripping hazard.
If trees are surrounding your apartment, keep an eye out for any dead branches. Large gusts of wind can pick up at any time and cause dead branches to fall loose. If you see anything that could pose a potential threat to trick-or-treaters, be sure to let your landlord or property manager know.
Unfortunately, Halloween often brings vandalism and theft due to the increased pedestrian traffic. Help prevent any temptation by locking up any exterior doors, gates, garages, or windows ahead of time.
People often burn candles during spooky seasons, which means fire safety should be top of mind. Ensure that your smoke alarms and carbon dioxide monitors are all working correctly before the holiday.
Be Mindful of Your Pets
If you are in an apartment with pets, remember that Halloween can cause a great deal of anxiety on your furry friends. With added foot traffic and knocking, pets can get nervous and are more prone to aggressive behavior or escapes from the holiday. Make sure your animals are secure to prevent any unwanted mishaps.
Do a Walk-Through in the Morning
The morning after Halloween, take a few minutes to walk around the exterior of your apartment. Check for any vandalism or signs of attempted entries, and be sure to report anything to your landlord right away.
So, there you have it. Whether you’re looking for full-out frightful festivities or trying to lay low for the night, there are several different ways to make sure you are keeping yourself and your family safe this Halloween.