Halloween is a favorite holiday for both kids and adults. For kids, it’s a night of fun costumes and candy galore, and for adults, it’s a great time to get together with friends.
If you’re planning on hosting a Halloween party this year, it’s important to make safety your top priority. Although few people anticipate Halloween parties ending with someone getting hurt, injuries at Halloween parties are more common than you might think.
Before you welcome guests to your Halloween party this year, keep these safety tips in mind to ensure the night goes off without a hitch.
Ensure Your Guests Can Safely Enter and Exit Your House
Many Halloween party injuries happen before guests even step foot inside the homes where they’re taking place. That’s because guests get seriously hurt when they slip, trip, or fall due to hazards in the path to the door. Before guests arrive, you should:
- Clear your driveway and sidewalk of all trip hazards, including fallen leaves, yard tools, toys, extension cords, and hoses.
- Ensure your driveway and sidewalk are properly lit, especially if your guests are arriving after dark. Turning on your outdoor lights and porch light are often sufficient to light your guests’ paths.
- Address any potential hazards that guests might encounter when entering your home before they arrive, such as broken or loose porch steps and missing or loose handrails.
Secure Your Pets in a Different Room or Area of the House
Even if you’ve had countless get-togethers in the past where your pets were well-behaved, having them out among guests isn’t always safe. Pets can bite without warning or a history of aggression. Halloween parties can be particularly stressful for pets, especially when guests are dressed in costumes. Even friendly pets can accidentally injure guests by jumping on them and knocking them down.
Check on your pets frequently throughout the night, but resist the temptation to let them mingle with your guests. If a guest gets bitten or injured by your pet, you can be held liable for their medical bills, lost wages, and more.
Use Electric or Battery-Powered Lights Instead of Candles
Whether they’re lighting your home’s walkway in luminaries, placed inside Jack-o-Lanterns, or placed in the open for decorative purposes, candles are a popular addition to many Halloween parties. Unfortunately, candles are also a major fire risk both for your home and for your guests.
Candles are especially dangerous during Halloween parties, as many people wear costumes with long, loose fabric that’s often highly flammable. If you’re set on getting the ambience of candles, consider using plug-in lights or battery-powered lights that can be placed inside small spaces.
Remove Excess Furniture for More Space and Walkability
If you have room to do so, clear as much clutter and extra furniture from your “party zones” as possible. Not only does this give you and your guests more room to walk around and mingle, but it also reduces the risk of someone tripping and falling over your furniture.
The best items to remove include hallway tables, bar stools, and lamps with long cords. You should also ensure that all rugs in your home have non-slip backings to reduce the risk of guests slipping and falling when they walk on them.
Clean Up Spills and Pooled Water Right Away
Any time you have a house party, there’s a good chance someone will either spill a drink or drop an ice cube. And if your party is on a rainy or wet day, your guests may track in water when they enter your home.
Liquid on the floor is one of the biggest slip and fall risks, especially on tile, vinyl, or hardwood floors. Be on the lookout for spills throughout the evening and be ready to clean them up (and dry your floors afterward) ASAP.
Serve Alcohol in Moderation and Don’t Let Drunk Guests Drive Home
If you’re serving alcohol at your Halloween party, keep these three rules in mind:
- No serving alcohol to minors. Not only is it illegal to give minors alcohol because of Oklahoma’s Social Host Law, but it can also significantly increase their risk of injuring themselves and others.
- No letting drunk party guests drive home. If you notice a party guest is visibly intoxicated, take their keys or find another way to prevent them from driving home. Offer to let them stay overnight at your home or call a cab for them. Do whatever it takes to keep them off the road.
- No serving overly strong drinks. If you’re making mixed drinks for guests, such as an alcoholic punch, err on the side of making it too weak rather than too strong. In addition, don’t let anyone “spike” the drink or add more alcohol to it as the night progresses.
When Injuries Happen on Halloween or Any Other Night, We’re Here to Help
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we love Halloween. But we also know that Halloween get-togethers can be dangerous affairs for both party hosts and partygoers. Following the tips on this page can go a long way towards making your Halloween party as safe as possible for all who attend.
If you or someone you love is injured on Oct. 31 or any other day of the year, know that our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are here to help. Reach out to us anytime for a free consultation, and don’t worry about paying us any upfront fees for our services. We only get paid if we get YOU paid.