How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

In just a few days, homes all over the country will hear these words as costumed kids go door to door in search of candy. While most of these kids will happily collect their candy and be on their way, there are people — often bored teenagers — who lurk on Halloween looking for homes to trick.

Whether you plan to stay inside and pass out candy, host a party, or celebrate away from home, follow these Halloween safety tips to protect your home from tricksters:

Find out what goes bump in the night with security cameras

With a high-quality outdoor security camera, you can see what’s happening outside on your property around the clock. The best outdoor cameras have smart features like night vision and motion detection that activates recording. You can view the footage live (and catch pranksters in the act!) or watch it later.

Indoor security cameras can also help you keep tabs on what’s going on inside your house. The Vivint Indoor Camera records what happens inside your home, and you can view the footage real-time with the Vivint app. And for a bonus, the Indoor Camera camera’s infrared night vision is also perfect if you want to catch your kids sneaking Halloween candy in the act!

See what’s happening at the front porch with a doorbell camera

You can expect your front porch to have a lot of activity on Halloween. With a doorbell camera, you can see trick or treaters coming and going and answer the door before they ring the bell. And if you have a dog that barks whenever the bell rings or a sleeping baby, this valuable feature will come in handy on Halloween.

The doorbell camera also senses motion and will record people at your front porch even if they don’t ring the bell. And with two-way talk, you can see and speak to pranksters before any mischief occurs. (It’s also one of many fun Halloween house ideas you can use with a smart home system.)

Protect your home from a break-in with a security system

Unfortunately, not all Halloween pranks are harmless fun. When it comes to Halloween safety, statistics show property crimes see a 24 percent 1 increase on Halloween, with theft from homes and vandalism making up the majority of these crimes.

Burglars look for easy access points, and this often takes the form of a window or door. A home security system that includes door and window sensors and glass break detectors can help secure your home. If anyone tries to access your home through a door or window, the system sounds an alarm.

Keep tabs on your home wherever you go

If you’re going to be away from your home this Halloween, smart home monitoring can give you true peace of mind. This continuous monitoring will alert fire or police departments in the event something goes wrong, so you know things are taken care of even when you’re not home.

You can also keep an eye on your entire home with the Vivint app. Turn your house lights on and off, view your doorbell camera, and check live outdoor camera video feeds from your smartphone, wherever you happen to be.

Halloween is all about fun, but sometimes that fun can come in the form of tricks and pranks. These Halloween safety tips will help keep your home safe so you can focus on having fun!

We all love to taking out our holiday home decorations when the autumn leaves begin to fall. October brings jack-o-lanterns, fake cobwebs, and ghosts as far as the eye can see. However, when darkness falls on the night of October 31st, an entirely new slew of ornaments threaten to ruin the exterior of your home. Egging and toilet papering were all fun and games when we were kids but the damage that they can do to your exterior paint, windows and landscaping will last far longer than just an evening of trickery. Reacting swiftly and efficiently is the best way to make sure you keep your home exterior free of unsightly stains and damage.

Here are three tips to keep your home prepared and protected in case Halloween pranksters set their marks on your home this year.

Egging on Paint

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

If the egg has dried, this process will take a bit more attention. Wet the wall, as listed above, and apply a non-bleach detergent or stronger all-purpose home cleaner for protein and fat-rich substances. Leave the cleaning product on the egg for a while, as directed in the manufacturer’s notes, and use a soft-scrubbing brush to begin lifting protein-rich matter from the paint. Rinse and repeat if necessary.

If the stain is on brick, concrete, or roof shingles, the egg may not come out as easily with liquid detergents. Mix your non-bleach detergent with water and talc until the formula becomes a paste. Apply the tough spot with paste, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for an hour. Rinse and scrub. Prolonged exposure to the detergent might increase your chances of removing the stain.

Silly String

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Silly string may be a lot of harmless fun for kids, but it is no silly clean-up process. The most urgent factor in making sure this product doesn’t stain your home is: do not let it dry. Peel the wet silly string from the surface of your home and wash gently with a damp rag and dish soap. If the silly string has dried by the time you notice this tyrant, try a power washer or a high pressure hose nozzle to avoid using harsher solvents.

Unfortunately, the nature of silly string is that it quite often leaves immovable stains. If you haven’t gotten to the stain in time, you might need to repaint a patch.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Pick up the phone and call Apex Exteriors, Inc. at 847-531-8960 to come to your home and consult the damage reparation. We are happy to fix any spooky mischief that may fall upon your home this October 31st.

Last Updated on April 15, 2017 by ApexRoofingServices

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Oct 14, 2009

Protect Your Home from Halloween Pranks and Vandalism

Don’t want egg all over your doors? Follow these simple steps for minimizing damage on Halloween.

1. Treat visitors kindly. The biggest reason that people tend to attack your home on Halloween is that you might be avoiding giving them candy. If you show yourself to be a welcoming neighbor, you might not get vandalized.
2. Pretend you are not in. If you decide to ignore trick-or-treaters, make sure you make people think you just aren’t home. People probably won’t attack your house if they don’t think you are there. Turn off the main lights, shut the curtains and pretend you aren’t there.
3. Tape up the letterbox, the only point of entry to your house. This prevents things like stink bombs, etc.
4. If you have the choice of parking your vehicles behind your house or next to the street, pick behind your house. This prevents drive-by egging.
5. Hide in a bush with a hose. If you see someone who is going to vandalize your house aim and fire. Also you could use a air soft gun with low fps so it will not hurt or a water gun.
6. If you have to go somewhere, ask someone who is not doing anything to do the above step for you.
7. Have a big dog tied up in front of your house. Be sure the leash isn’t too short.
8. Stand in front of your house looking big and scary.
9. Put a sign or something that says something like this. “You vandalize, you don’t get candy.”
10. If you are a police officer, stay in uniform all night.
11. Freak the pranksters out! Hide behind bushes or leave a hidden tape of you saying “I see you. ” Beware as this may drive people away.

If you follow the above steps, the worst thing that can happen is that the front of your house get a little messy/smelly. This is sad, but not the end of the world, and remember, Halloween is supposed to be fun!! This isn’t so much protecting your home as it is taking “aggressive-defensive” measures. If your house has already been targeted and vandalized several times on Halloween, or even in general, you should probably call the police. Especially, don’t forget Halloween is a fun tradition. Some pranks are tolerable, such as foam in the mailbox (or anywhere else), the toilet paper routine (it is biodegradable) or any other unharmful acts. However, do not tolerate eggs, guns, paintball guns, rocks, paint, mustard on the car and graffiti. Be especially wary at night time, when “older kids” come out. Their pranks are not as innocent as the “little kid” pranks. Bologna on your car will peel the paint off in circles when left out overnight so be diligent and check every so often for malicious tricks such as this

If, despite your precautions, your house does get vandalized, try not to tell anyone about it. Then, if someone happens to come up and ask you about the prank, you know they probably did it! (ps. this has happened! Don’t knock it until you try it). Work with a group. Siblings, cousins, parents, friends, or just people you know and trust can help you. If you are working in a group, and you have walkie-talkies, give them out to each member of the group. If you don’t have enough, or don’t have any, ask a person in the group. If they don’t have any, simple communication can work (taps, hand gestures, talking in a code). Make sure you have at least one person guarding each door, at least one person guarding each side, at least one person inside, and at least one person on the sidewalk. Also, make sure each member has someway to defend him/herself. Fists sometimes can’t win against rocks, sticks, paintball guns, and eggs.

If you live in an area where you can expect passerby to be carrying weapons, you might be safer skipping the hose step. It is not recommended that you retaliate on an individual carrying a weapon, call the cops! Regarding the hose spray: do not spray someone unless you are really sure that they are going to vandalize your house. You must be sure of this. Make sure you are able to defend yourself if the trick-or-treaters have eggs or sticks. In a fight, sticks will beat bare fists.

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Here are some flashcards which I have found interesting on Halloween.

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How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

As Halloween approaches, tricks-and-treats, scary pumpkin faces, and all sorts of creepy ghoulies are going to visit your home. Nothing is quite so cute as young children coming to your home to ask for candy, and if you have any decency you’ll have some treats available to hand out. Unfortunately, there are also some sinister pranks that are potentially waiting to happen on Halloween.

Fun Pranks and Violent Vandalism

Some pranks are just good fun, others are potentially criminal vandalism, most fall somewhere in between. It might just be that your doorbell rings, but nobody is there when you open the front door with your bowl of candy expecting trick-or-treaters. When instead, there’s a gift bag on your porch which with further inspection turns out to be filled with dog poo. Disgusting, yes, but you throw it away and wash your hands, with no harm done.

Toilet paper across your yard? Poor choice, especially if you have guests coming for the holiday season, but you know it was with good intentions by which the local teenagers have declared you to be the “cool” adult in the neighborhood.

Spray paint to the front of your house or physical damage to a car in your driveway are criminal acts of vandalism and are a different story. Unfortunately, these are things you need to be aware of and prepared for.

Maintaining Security for Your Home

There are solutions that allow you to celebrate the fun Halloween celebrations while maintaining safety for your home.

  • Consider handing out treat or gifts on your driveway instead of at the door. You get to participate in the fun of the evening, and pranksters don’t have the tactical advantage or a valid reason to be on your porch. Win-Win!
  • Make sure you have plenty of lights on. Nothing deters a thief or criminal quite as much as a brightly lit environment. Without fail, criminals will move on and find an “easier” victim than a well-lit home.
  • This goes without saying on a regular basis, but make sure your doors and windows are locked when you aren’t actively using them.
  • At the end of the evening, put any valuable decorations back inside before going to bed just to be safe.

Safe Windows

Modern windows, although they will lower your power bill with eco-friendly features while maintaining a much nicer look than traditional wood framed, single pane glass, also add security features to your home. An additional locking mechanism makes them impossible to pry open from outside even if you want to have them slightly opened for a fresh breeze of outdoor air. Such features are especially useful during times like Halloween when strangers in costumes are approaching your home. With the windows slightly open, you can hear what’s going on outside, yet rest assured nobody can sneak in through them. When you’re distracted by kids trick or treating, you can rest assure knowing your home is secure.

Door Security

Doors are often the most overlooked security failure for homes. The layman tends to assume the door is closed and locked, therefore it, must be secure. Unfortunately, the professional thief knows this couldn’t be further from the truth. The most secure door ever invented is only as strong as the screws attaching it to your house. Fortunately, modern security features offer longer screws to secure deeply into the wooden framework of the house. If needed for additional security, steel reinforcements can be added to the framework in order to lock the bolts in place and create an essentially impenetrable area with a door that only allows access to the keyholder.

Stay Safe This Halloween

Halloween is a time for great fun as neighbors and friends spend time together dressing up and giving candy out. Unfortunately, some people can and will take advantage of such generosity. Practical safety considerations to protect the front of your home don’t have to ruin your enjoyment of the evening. Contact RWC for more information on secure windows and doors.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalismTrick or treat! With over 180 million Americans planning on celebrating Halloween this year and over $9.1 billion dollars spent on candy and decorations, it is understandable that there will be a significant rise in property damage, safety risks, and liability issues that will haunt many homes and businesses this Halloween. With these increased risks comes increased responsibility to ensure your home or business is safe and covered. Below are useful tricks that will help prepare your home for the frightful night.

Property Damage Risks On Halloween

With Halloween right around the corner, it is important to be aware of the specific property damage risks in order to safely prepare your home.

Fire Risks and Safety

According to the NFPA Fire Analysis & Research Division, there is an average of 860 reported fires caused by candles alone on the day of Halloween. These can be caused by unattended jack-o-lanterns or a candle left too close to curtains or decorations. A great compromise would be to invest in electric candles to place around your property to keep the effect of a candle without the increased risk of items catching fire. Remember, if you choose to keep regular candles, make sure any decorations or flammables are moved away from the heat source to reduce the risk of a fire.

Vandalism and Pranks

In relation, ABC News reports a rise in acts of vandalism during Halloween season on property and vehicles which can include pranks like throwing eggs or dried corn kernels and “TP-ing” people’s houses and cars. While these pranks may seem fun and harmless, they do have a high potential to damage property and should be taken seriously. Always be vigilant of your surroundings and do not hesitate to call 9-11 if there are suspicious individuals or activities around your property.

Liability Risks on Halloween

In addition to property damage, it is important that you are covered from any liabilities in the instance any trick-or-treaters sustain injuries on your property. Consider investing in liability insurance as a wise step to protect your home or business, as well as:

  • Clearing Obstacles: Remove any hazardous obstacles on your sidewalks and driveways.
  • Good Lighting: Making sure your property is well lit can further help prevent any injuries.
  • Avoiding Slips and Falls: If you have a sprinkler system or it is raining, adding road salt to walkways can help prevent any slips or falls.
  • Liquor Liability: If you are serving alcohol at a Halloween party and a guest sustains an injury, having liability insurance coverage can help protect you if you are found legally liable.
  • Candy Choice: Candy choice is another detail to remember in helping to protect others. Is the candy a choking hazard for toddlers or young children? Are there any allergy concerns like peanuts in the candy? These are the type of questions to ask when considering how to make Halloween a fun and safe night for everyone.

While it is important to be aware of the risks and liabilities that can arise this Halloween, remembering these tips and ensuring your property has proper coverage will provide the peace of mind needed to best enjoy the Halloween festivities. Our agents at TJ Woods hope you learned more about how to best protect and prepare your home this Halloween. Contact one of our experts today to learn how you can save on any insurance needs. We look forward to serving you.

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We’re approaching another year of kids and parents celebrating Halloween more cautiously due to COVID, but that’s not the only safety issue to be concerned with this Halloween. For homeowners throughout LA County, the other safety imperative is keeping our homes and neighborhoods safe from the vandalism and intrusion spikes that seem to happen every Halloween.

Eye-Opening Halloween Crime Data

Statistics released by Travelers Insurance point to an annual 22% spike in crime-related home insurance claims the week of Halloween. They report that Halloween crime often begins on October 30, with insurance claims increasing by 2%. On October 31, the claims rise to a 16% increase — and by the morning of November 1, they rocket to a shocking 46% increase as homeowners report the crimes that happened the night before. That’s a sobering reminder of just how vulnerable your property is the week of Halloween.

No More Innocent Halloween Pranks

Most of us are old enough to remember when Halloween decorations amounted to a candlelit jack-o-lantern on the front porch. But now, many homeowners adorn their yards with inflatable Halloween decorations that cost a pretty penny.

Just as you have upped your Halloween game, the vandals in your neighborhood have too. Yours is about creating a more festive atmosphere, while theirs is about doing more damage. Innocent pranks like pumpkin smashing have been replaced with theft of large decorations, vandalism of homes and even break-ins. It’s time to get serious about protecting your home at Halloween.

Protection for Halloween Night and Beyond

Fortunately, Post Alarm has home security technology that can help protect your home during the dark nighttime hours. It’s Night Shield security technology, a service that uses smarter security cameras, sends suspicious activity alerts directly to our monitoring center 24/7, and dispatches our Post Alarm patrol services to your home while the crime is in progress (in addition to notifying you via text alert).

This can be your best defense against crime on Halloween night and beyond. And because businesses are also highly susceptible to crime on Halloween night, Night Shield can be used for small businesses as well.

Criminal activity on Halloween night is a real concern this year, but we can help. Call Post Alarm today to learn more about our Night Shield security service.

About Post Alarm

To learn more about Southern California security technology, come see us at Post Alarm. Our highly qualified and experienced home security experts can answer all your questions. Call us today at 1-800-654-7678.

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Halloween Tricks, Pranks and Accidents: Are You Covered?

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

This article has been updated from a previous version.

Halloween may be spooky, but a pandemic is even scarier. Because of the infectious nature of COVID-19, trick-or-treating now requires some inventiveness and extra safety precautions, unless it’s replaced altogether in favour of safer activities.

It partly depends on which area of Canada you live in, and whether or not it’s considered a “hot spot” for infection rates.

With case counts nearly double what they were last fall, Alberta finds itself in that category.

Albertans are being urged to limit Halloween celebrations this year. The province’s guidelines recommend:

  • Refraining from celebrating in any way if you’re feeling ill, even if symptoms are minor
  • Only trick-or-treating with members of your household
  • Wearing masks, whether you’re trick-or-treating or handing out candy (choose costumes that allow a non-medical mask to be worn underneath, as costume masks don’t count)
  • Handing out prepackaged candy using implements, a pair of tongs or a candy chute, for example
  • Vaccinated people keeping indoor social gatherings to no more than 10 people from two households
  • No indoor gatherings for unvaccinated people Outdoor gatherings should allow for physical distancing and no more than 20 people should be present

The recommendations from Ontario’s chief medical officer largely mirror Alberta’s, with the exception that vaccinated Ontarians are allowed to gather in groups of 25 indoors and up to 100 outdoors. If a gathering includes a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, masks should be worn indoors.

Many parents are concerned that scaled-back festivities are yet another blow to normal life. Everyone is going to have to find their comfort level, but the good news is: there are many other ways to celebrate Halloween besides trick-or-treating.

Halloween is not dead: creative ways to celebrate

Most Canadian parents who let their kids trick-or-treat last year — 93% — say they’ll take their kids out again this Halloween, according to a Leger survey and the Association for Canadian Studies.

Unfortunately, 56% of respondents said they won’t be doling out candy this year due to the pandemic.

With that in mind, you might want to plan some additional activities on All Hallows’ Eve so your kids don’t feel like they’re missing out.

Here are some creative ideas on how to celebrate the spooky season safely:

  • Set up a treat hunt around your home.
  • Have fun with decorations — inside and outside of your home.
  • Host a virtual party — set up video chats to show off your costumes.
  • Organize a neighbourhood decorating contest.
  • Throw a horror movie night with family.
  • Do in-home trick-or-treating with family, and decorate each room differently.

Keeping your home safe from tricksters and treaters alike

A lot of accidents can be avoided by ensuring youngsters have a clear path to your home with no wires to trip over, adequate lighting, and no open flames. With all the excited kids running to your door, what happens if one trips and falls on your property? Fortunately, most home insurance policies will cover you if someone accidentally injures themselves in this way.

  • Halloween mischief leads to an increase in claims and property damage for homeowners.
  • Homeowners should avoid fire and tripping hazards when putting up Halloween decorations.
  • If you are hosting a haunted house, check with your homeowners insurance. You may need additional coverage.
  • See Insider’s guide to the best homeowners insurance companies.

Homeowners beware: As kids look forward to candy and dressing up as their favorite characters, you can look forward to Halloween tricks, not treats.

A representative from Travelers Insurance told Insider in an email that homeowners insurance claims and damage to property increase at Halloween, between October 30 and November 1 — known as “mischief night.” Even if you do not experience theft, a slip and fall at your home can trigger liability claims.

Homeowners insurance protects your home, belongings, and offers liability coverage for injuries that happen on your property. There are three main components to homeowners insurance: dwelling coverage, personal property coverage, and personal liability coverage.

Halloween-related crime increases homeowners insurance claims

Travelers noted a 26% increase in homeowners claims due to Halloween crime in 2018. The claims included:

  • Theft on premises
  • Mysterious disappearance
  • Theft off premises
  • Doors or windows broken or smashed
  • Contents or packages stolen from the porch

Based on Travelers auto claims data from 2012-2018, “comprehensive auto claims increase by 13% during Halloween — specifically, vandalism-related auto claims increase by 40 percent during Halloween.”

Homeowners insurance offers personal property coverage against theft. However, most homeowners insurance policies have limits for high-end electronics, fine art, cash, and special jewelry like wedding rings and family heirlooms. Due to an increase in Halloween-related crime, you might want to reach out to your agent to make sure you have sufficient coverage.

How to protect your home at Halloween

Although the coronavirus pandemic has sidelined plans for most trick-or-treaters, some people may still host Halloween parties or outdoor gatherings. Besides Halloween pranks and mischief, Halloween decorations can be a fire or trip hazard for guests.

If your home is damaged by fire, homeowners insurance repairs or rebuilds the structure under dwelling coverage. If your belongings are damaged, they are replaced under personal property coverage. Homeowners insurance offers personal liability coverage if someone is injured on your property.

Travelers recommends that homeowners practice these safety precautions before Halloween:

  • Walk your property after dark and survey to minimize potential dangers.
  • Clear walkways of any debris — fallen leaves, extension cords, stakes — that pose a tripping hazard.
  • Make sure your front yard and walkways are well lit.
  • For indoor decorations, make sure electrical outlets are not overloaded.
  • Avoid fire starters like: open flames, candles (use battery-operated instead), dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper. Also, do not put fabric over light bulbs, as it is a fire hazard.
  • Do not nail or staple extension cords or electrical wires in a way that would damage it and potentially cause a fire.

If you are charging admission to your home — haunted house — you should check your homeowners insurance policy and talk to your homeowners insurance agent, as this may count as a business activity and not be covered under your regular policy if someone is injured. You may have to get additional coverage through an umbrella policy.

If you are concerned whether you have proper coverage against personal liability and theft, contact your homeowners insurance agent and discuss your coverage before Halloween.

Oct 31, 2018 by King Law

Halloween is a holiday beloved by most American families, and for good reason: It’s full of haunted houses, spooky film nights, and fun costumes. However, for teenagers and minors who decide to perform pranks, the risk of arrest, fines, and even jail time can interfere with their Halloween night festivities, and may even impact their bright futures.

At King Law, our Rochester juvenile crime defense lawyers can handle a wide range of criminal defense cases, and we understand how to defend against overzealous prosecutors looking to make an example of your child after a Halloween prank gone wrong. One mistake shouldn’t define your child’s future – and regardless of their guilt or innocence, your child deserves a fair and thorough defense if accused.

Of course, the best way to protect your teen from criminal charges is to review the laws with them before they leave the house. In this post, we’ll touch on a few of the ways you may be able to prevent your teen from facing Halloween-related criminal charges.


Since coming to America with Irish and Scottish immigrants in the 19 th century, Halloween has had a rocky relationship with United States law enforcement. In fact, many early lawmakers actually tried to ban the holiday altogether, along with the often destructive and even violent pranks that it inspired. Even the practice of trick-or-treating was viewed with suspicion by police officers until its widespread adoption in the 1950’s.

Today, Halloween is mostly considered a harmless holiday for the whole family. However, there are still many stigmas against Halloween night traditions – to the point that some cities in Virginia have even banned trick-or-treating over the age of 13, and other cities have begun to follow their lead. Teenagers who ignore the law against trick-or-treating in these areas can face up to $100 fines and a misdemeanor charge, with the potential for up to six months in jail.

Thankfully, no New York cities have banned children from trick-or-treating just yet, although children of all ages may face curfews in some jurisdictions. But there are still a wide range of charges that your teenager could face on Halloween night for their antics, harmless or otherwise. Because the state of New York will charge them as an adult at 16 or older, these charges could carry lasting consequences.

Some of the most common charges given to teenagers on Halloween night include:

  • Trespassing: Your teen may know that it’s wrong to enter a property without explicit permission, but in the holiday excitement, poor judgment can often prevail. Teens breaking into residential or commercial properties to use hot tubs, commit damaging pranks, and perform acts of vandalism can be arrested for trespassing. Even for first offenders, trespassing can mean a Class B misdemeanor and up to 90 days in jail (New York Penal Code, Section 140.10).
  • Vandalism: According to a report published by Travelers Insurance in 2016, crime-related insurance claims spike by 24% on Halloween night, making it the number one day each year for property damage. Also known as criminal mischief, vandalism can either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. Depending on the severity of the damage done to someone’s property, a teenager with a spray can face fines ranging from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands.
  • Theft: More than 60% of the total insurance claims on Halloween night are related to theft crimes. Theft is taken even more seriously than vandalism and trespassing, especially for teenagers with a history of kleptomania. The consequences after conviction will depend on the dollar amount stolen, but even for “petit larceny” or petty theft, your child could be asked to pay up to $1000 in fines.
  • Disorderly conduct: Usually, disorderly conduct is reserved for adults who have been drinking and making a scene. However, regardless of whether your teen illegally consumed alcohol on Halloween, they can be arrested for disorderly conduct if they are using abusive language or behaving poorly in public. Make sure to remind them to treat others with respect at all times, and to avoid confrontations.

If your teenager is going out with friends this Halloween night, take the time to discuss the risks with them before they leave the house. It could save them their future and their reputation. However, even the best advice can be ignored, and your teenager may still be accused of criminal activity. If that happens, don’t hesitate to call our Rochester criminal defense attorney at King Law today. Our attorney Robert King can provide a passionate and aggressive defense for your child, and prevent them from facing a lifetime of consequences for one alleged mistake.

Contact us today at (585) 270-8882 if you need legal assistance in Rochester and surrounding areas!

Halloween is coming up quickly, and with it comes spooky movies, candy, and full moons. Of course, there is a darker side to Halloween. The tricks and mischief usually start a few days early, and cars are often a major target. While most of us have much bigger problems than a little egg on your Ford Taurus, not having to scrub dried eggs would be better. So, here are a few tips from Consumer Reports for protecting your car from Halloween pranks.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Does vandalism increase on Halloween?

Consumer Reports says that while a little silly string, eggs, pumpkin guts, and other such Halloweeny goos might seem like harmless mischief, but if left on a car for too long, these acid goos can actually cause serious paint damage. Specifically, egg whites and pumpkin guts contain these acids that can eat car finishes.

Car wax is a great way to protect your car’s part

“Just like your car’s mechanical systems, being proactive with your car’s paint finish—by keeping a good coat of wax on your vehicle and quickly removing potentially harmful materials—is the key to a long life,” says John Ibbotson, Consumer Report’s chief mechanic.

Having a fresh coat of wax on a car’s paint can help protect your vehicle from these acidic substances. Specifically, modern hybrid waxes with ceramic and traditional wax mixes are highly effective against Halloween goops like eggs and pumpkins.

A spokesperson for Mothers Wax suggests that the week of Halloween is a good time to protect your vehicle with wax. Aside from Halloween antics, Halloween marks the beginning of colder weather in many regions. Having a good coat of wax on your car before the snow and ice come is a smart way to protect against harmful road salt.

The best way to protect your car on Halloween is to keep it under wraps

The garage is always the best place to keep your car unless you have a Chevy Bolt. If keeping your car in a garage isn’t an option, even a cheap car cover from your local auto parts store can go a long way. The principle of out of sight, out of mind truly works here. Most Halloween mischief isn’t personal or targeted. Keeping your vehicle out of sight will go a long way toward protecting it.

Don’t put off the car wash

If your car does get hit by ghouls on Halloween, make sure you rinse it off as soon as possible. Even a quick rinse with just water can go a long way to mitigating paint damage. The heat of the day will speed up the chemical reaction that makes the acidic materials so damaging.

Also, be aware of eggshells and pumpkin seeds or anything else that may scratch the paint. Wash these materials off before washing the car with a rag or sponge.

Don’t let it get to you

So, you’ve been hit by some rapscallions, and you missed your window, and your car’s paint has been affected. There are some products that can help restore lightly damaged paint. Cleaning wax has a light abrasive that can remove a thin layer of paint, revealing a fresh layer of undamaged paint.

The best course of action is simply to not get in this position in the first place. If you take precautions early like waxing, covering, or straight up stashing your vehicle, this will make protecting your car on Halloween much simpler.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

How to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Out Trick-or-Treating

Although you’ve probably considered your family’s safety when going out trick-or-treating, you may not have thought about the security of your home while you’re gone. Pranks and vandalism are more common. In fact, statistics show more vandalism insurance claims are filed from Halloween than any other day of the year, with an average cost per claim at approximately $1,700.

Additionally, Halloween gives burglars a terrific opportunity to inspect houses without arousing suspicion. To help keep your home secure from vandalism or robbers, follow these eight tips:

* Trim bushes or hedges around your home, especially if they are near entrances and windows to reduce the likelihood of anyone hiding behind them.

* Put away ladders you may have outside that could make getting into your home even easier.

* Keep your home well lit. Don’t turn off your lights to let trick-or-treaters know you’re not home.

* Consider installing motion sensor flood lights outside that turn on when someone approaches your home. Automate lights inside on a random schedule.

* If you have a security system, keep it armed. If you have a pet, set it to “stay” mode to prevent them from setting it off.

* Don’t leave a spare key outside where it can be easily found by a burglar.

* Consider installing a security camera and post signs that you have one.

* Keep your car in the garage where it will be safe from vandalism.

Another threat to homes on Halloween are fires. There are approximately 10,300 fires in the United States during the three-day period around Halloween, causing about $83 million in property loss. Halloween is the perfect time to test your smoke alarm and change the batteries. Remember to never leave candles burning unattended, even in a jack-o’lantern, and use string lights and decorations outside which are labeled for outdoor usage.

Make sure to check with a trusted insurance agent to be certain that your home is adequately covered in the event of a Halloween incident. We want you to enjoy a safe and happy holiday.

For additional help with your homeowners insurance needs contact Pettineo Insurance Agency today at (954) 493-9424 or visit for a free quote.

Pettineo Insurance Agency Inc. provides homeowners insurance in Fort Lauderdale, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, North Lauderdale, Pompano Beach, Oakland Park, Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Hollywood, Sunrise, Coral Springs, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Tamarac, Plantation, Lighthouse Point and all of Florida. As an independent agent we represent many top rated companies in both the personal and commercial lines. We place your policy with the company offering the best coverage at a reasonable price. We offer a complete line of personal, commercial, life and health insurance products, designed exclusively for your insurance needs. Serving South Florida for almost 30 years, Pettineo Insurance offers the highly personalized service and stability that you should expect from your insurance agent.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Some people absolutely love Halloween because they enjoy being scared. They are the kinds of people who appreciate horror flicks. They visit haunted houses and Halloween festivals designed to scare the pants off just about anyone. However, when it comes to home security and safety, the average American home doesn’t have to be a scary place.

Are you among the millions of Americans who decorate their homes for Halloween? If so, you might be aiming to make your property as scary as possible. While you’re at it, make it scary for burglars, too. But do not make it scary for your own family members. Give them the peace of mind that comes from knowing your home is as safe as it can be.

Halloween and Property Crimes

You might be interested to know that Halloween night is a popular night for property crimes. In fact, insurance companies report a 24% increase in property crime claims on Halloween night. Claims are broken down into three categories:

  • Thefts from homes – 60%
  • Other thefts – 21%
  • Vandalism and mischief – 19%.

It is not hard to understand the vandalism and mischief problem. After all, Halloween is often associated with mischief. Is that not where trick-or-treating came from? Unfortunately, mischief and vandalism are not as innocent as so often portrayed. What starts out as a practical joke can lead to significant property damage.

In terms of thefts, Halloween night seems to be an optimal time for burglary because people are paying less attention to unusual goings-on. Someone prowling around the neighborhood could easily be mistaken for nothing but a Halloween prank. Common sense dictates burglars would have an easier time on Halloween night.

Catch Them with Cameras

You can make your home scary for burglars but not so much for family members by installing video surveillance cameras. Studies have consistently shown that burglars avoid homes that are equipped with security systems. So cameras installed alongside other home security equipment can be enough to thwart burglars unwilling to take chances.

If a burglar does try to proceed anyway, cameras will catch them in the act. With any luck the cameras will provide footage that either shows the burglar’s face or some other identifying feature. Police can use the footage to track down a suspect while prosecutors can use it as evidence in court.

Monitored Security Is Best

Whether you intend to be home on Halloween night or not, the best type of security system to protect your home is a monitored system. Monitored security guarantees that someone is keeping an eye on your property around the clock. In the event, an alarm is triggered, trained personnel immediately spring into action.

Remember that burglary is not the only threat to your home. Other threats include vandalism, fire, and even carbon monoxide leaks. All the potential threats can be monitored through a variety of sensors designed to send alerts to a monitoring center if something goes wrong.

What Constitutes a Good Security System?

By now you might be wondering what you need in a security system to keep threats at bay. In a recent post discussing haunted houses in Salt Lake City, Utah, Vivint briefly discussed how video surveillance cameras can keep homes safer.

A typical entry-level security system comes with at least one camera. Given that criminals tend to enter homes through the front door whenever possible, a single camera protects that area of the house. But you really need a second camera for the rear of the home.

A good security system also includes:

  • Door Sensors – Door sensors are designed to trigger an alert should any ghoulish fiend try to force open a front or rear door. Equipping all first-floor doors with sensors is a good idea.
  • Window Sensors – Window sensors do the same thing for first floor windows.
  • Smoke and CO Detectors – Home safety is not just about preventing burglary and home invasion. It is also about alerting you to fires and carbon monoxide leaks. Smoke and CO detectors do the trick.
  • Interior Cameras – A camera on the front door is the bare minimum. A second camera at the rear of the house, along with additional cameras inside make a home more secure.

A good, monitored security system will make your home a less scary place for you and your family. The same is not true for burglars and other criminals. If they know your home is protected by monitored home security, they will think twice about trying to make entry.

Additional Safety and Security

This time of year is a good time to evaluate any other safety and security concerns you might have. To that end, you can certainly add more components to a home security system. For example, let us go back to the windows. A burglar can look through your windows and see that they are outfitted with standard window sensors. That may not be enough.

An enterprising burglar willing to make a little noise might just smash a window to get in. You can prevent that by installing glass-break sensors. They do exactly as their name implies: they alerton a broken window. If that is not enough, here are two more devices you can add:

  • Flood Sensors – Flood sensors measure standing water in the lowest level of your home. These are ideal if you live in a flood prone area. Flood sensors are also a good idea if you are worried about water heater or plumbing failure.
  • Medical Alert – A medical alert system can be added to help keep certain members of your family safer. With just a touch of a button, a family member can get help in the event of a medical emergency.

Go ahead and make your home scary for the trick-or-treaters this Halloween. Go one step further by making it even scarier for criminals by beefing up your security. In the end, your home will be a lot less scary for you and your family.

Halloween is scary enough, we don’t mean to add to your fright, but if you are a homeowner or an apartment dweller, there are some safety precautions you should take to greet the little ghosts and goblins who will be ringing your bell or roaming the streets.

A few years ago, Christopher Boggs wrote a great Guide to Homeowners Liability for Injury to Trick or Treaters. He notes:

When the porch light is on, trick-or-treaters are considered invitees; the homeowner is inviting them onto the property (though not for a mutual benefit). Because of this relationship, the homeowner owes the candy seekers the level of “reasonable” care that falls under Ordinary Negligence.

Now anytime you have anyone visit your home, they could suffer an injury or an accident – that’s why you have insurance. But on Halloween, a steady stream of small feet traipsing across your porch in the dark increases the risk. Plus, you are giving out food.

Here are some tips to minimize Halloween hazards and reduce your risk.

  • Keep porches and walkways well-lit and free of debris and clutter that might be tripping hazards
  • Put reflective tape on your steps and along your walkway
  • When decorating, avoid candles – use LED lights and battery-powered lights instead.
  • Keep pets away from kids to avoid bites, scares or allergic reactions. Even friendly pets can be overexcited or upset by the unusual activity and may be skittish or overly protective.
  • Avoid mystery treats. Distribute labeled treats and tell parents what they are and if they contain nuts.
  • Provide alternative allergy-free treats – consider small non-food trinkets.
  • Be cautious about any spooky pranks for kids or guests – make sure they are safe and not too scary to young children.
  • If you are hosting an adult party, you have particular responsibility to take care in the serving of alcoholic beverages. See our post on holiday parties and liability issues.
  • If you are driving any time on Halloween, be super cautious. Little monsters may be out at any hour and frequenting normally quiet neighborhoods. Be particularly cautious at dusk an early evening.

Protect your home and car too!

Halloween is a huge night for vandalism. Here are a few tips to protect your property from fire, theft and vandalism.

    • Don’t overload electrical circuits with lights.
    • Paper and dried plant decorations can easily ignite. Keep them away from flames, lights, and electrical cords.
    • Lock up bicycles, gas grills and other outdoor valuables.
    • Park your car in a garage, if possible. Mischief makers may egg your house or car.
    • If you don’t have shelter for your car, consider stopping at the car wash for a coat of wax that may offer some protection.
    • If you are out trick or treating with your kids or partying with your peers, make your home looks occupied. Leave lights and the TV on.
    • Doorbell cams and motion activated lights can offer added protection.
    • If your car or home is egged, deal with it right away that night or in the morning before damage can set in. See How to Remove Egg Stains From Your Car’s Paint Job and 4 Ways to Wash Egg off your home

    Call your agent

    If you should suffer any damage to your property or have any accidents during Halloween weekend, file a claim as soon as possible to get the claim process in motion. Be ready with the details of where and when the event occurred, along with the names and addresses of any injured parties or witnesses to the event. If there is damage to your property, report it to the police, take photos, and record the details so you won’t forget them later.

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

During the Halloween season, pranks like an egged car or a broken window from a smashed pumpkin often become more common. If any of these, or another damaging prank, happens to you, you may want to consider whether or not to make a claim on your auto or homeowner’s insurance policy if your home or car suffers some damage due to Halloween tricks. Here’s a guide to help you decide.

Know how your deductible applies to Halloween prank damage

Every homeowner’s insurance and car insurance policy comes with a range of deductible amounts from a few hundred dollars to well over $1,000. That deductible is the portion of the cost of the repair or replacement of your damages you must pay before your insurance policy pays the remainder of any claim (and deductibles generally do not apply to the liability portions of your policies), according to the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded consumer education organization. A deductible applies each time you file a claim and is “deducted” from your claim amount so you don’t have actually pay the deductible to the insurance company.

“Because of the way deductibles work, it makes sense to be aware of your deductible amounts for each policy,” Michael Barry, vice president of media relations for the Insurance Information Institute, said. “Then, if you experience damages on Halloween, weigh the cost to repair or replace any damage against that deductible amount you’d need to pay out of pocket and whether that would cause your household financial distress.”

Should you file a claim?

Even though policies generally cover your home and car for accidents, vandalism and theft damages (the category many Halloween pranks fall under), Barry said if you can financially absorb that amount, it’s usually not worth it to make a claim.

Damages to your home or car that may occur on or near Halloween — like toilet-papered trees or smashed pumpkins — can be more of a messy inconvenience than expensive to repair. When it comes to these smaller damages that may cost less than or slightly above the deductible amount to repair, Barry suggested keeping an emergency savings fund to cover these smaller repair costs yourself instead of making a claim on your insurance policy.

Keeping that insurance deductible amount in an emergency fund can help protect you from resorting to a credit card to cover any out-of-pocket damages and from making small claims that could cause premium rate hikes.

But if the damage is much greater than your deductible — such as a Jack O’ Lantern that causes a house fire, eggs on your car that destroy the paint or a serious burglary — that’s when you may want to resort to your insurance to help you with the repair and replacement costs.

When making a claim can cause a rate hike

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, car insurance rates can go up after you file a claim, although many insurance companies offer “accident forgiveness” as an additional perk so this doesn’t happen because of one accident. Rate hikes are usually reserved for collision claims or claims involving dangerous behaviors (like drunk driving), according to Barry. Either way, you want to be sure it’s worth it to file a claim for damage to your car from Halloween pranks, as making several claims on your auto insurance policy can raise your risk profile. This is something insurers use when it comes time to set your premiums.

When it comes to homeowner’s insurance, Barry said it’s fairly similar to auto insurance. Homeowners who file more claims may be seen as riskier to insure, so it’s important to keep this in mind during your decision process.

“Several damage claims in a short time period such as a year or two could trigger a rate hike, depending on your risk profile, your insurance company and your claims history with the company,” he said.

October 2, 2018

Halloween is a night of fun and fright, but it does require extra caution when it comes to keeping your little monsters safe. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, “on average, twice as many child pedestrians are killed while walking on Halloween compared to any other day of the year, and more than 70 percent of accidents occur away from an intersection or crosswalk.” Follow these Halloween safety tips to help avoid common accidents and dangers:

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Trick-or-treating Safety Tips

1. Provide adult supervision

Trick or treat is safer -not to mention more fun- in groups, and adult supervision is essential. So get together with other adults and make an evening of it. Bring cellphones for quick pictures and emergencies, but leave them in your pockets to avoid getting distracted.

2. Stay on the sidewalks

The thrill of the holiday often factors into accidents as excited kids rush from door to door. Keep children on the sidewalks, and shepherd them carefully when they need to cross the road. In areas without sidewalks, walk on the far edge of the road, facing traffic.

3. Carefully check candy

Check candy for choking hazards like gum and hard candies. Throw away any candy that is not sealed with a wrapper and avoid homemade treats received from strangers.

Costume Safety Tips

4. Choose bright, visible costumes

When selecting a costume, opt for the bright-colored outfits and add a touch of reflective tape to the material. Stick some reflective tape on their trick-or-treat bags as well so they can be easily spotted by motorists. Lastly, don’t forget to make sure they’re equipped with a flashlight or glow stick – must-have accessories for any costume.

5. Make sure costumes are well-fitted and safe

Being visible isn’t the only safety consideration for a costume. The right fit is just as important. Here’s some advice on keeping your child’s ensemble safe and secure:

  • Prevent accidental tripping or entanglement by making sure costumes aren’t too big or long
  • Avoid masks that block vision, but if your child wears one – it should have large eye, nose and mouth openings. You can also op for makeup or face paint as an alternative
  • Costumes, wigs and accessories should contain a label indicating they are flame resistant
  • Make sure accessories such as swords, canes, or sticks are not sharp or too long

6. Makeup safety

If makeup is a part of your child’s Halloween costume plans, make sure it is non-toxic and test it on a small area first. Before your child goes to bed, make sure to remove all makeup.

Home Safety Tips

7. Jack-o-lantern safety

Young children can paint or color their pumpkins instead of carving. Or have them draw a face with markers and an adult can do the carving. Use colorful glow sticks inside your Jack-o-lanterns instead of candles to prevent burns.

8. Home decoration safety

If you’re turning your home into a haunted house, keep safety in mind: make sure steps, sidewalks, porches and paths are well-lit and free of decorations and holiday props. Keep decorations away from fireplaces and candles.

9. Take precaution against pranks and vandalism

Unfortunately, vandalism often increases during Halloween. That’s why taking these precautions is a good idea:

  • If you’re going away during Halloween, make it seem like you’re still home by turning down the volume of your answering machine and phone, covering your garage windows, and leaving your curtains in normal positions with valuables out of sight.
  • Install outdoor lighting (activated by a photocell or movement) to illuminate the area around your home during Halloween.
  • Consider purchasing a security system that directly alerts police to intruders.
  • Trim shrubs and large trees before Halloween so trespassers have fewer hiding spots.
  • Make sure your home owner’s insurance policy is up to date.

Car and driving safety tips

10. Use extra caution while driving

Drivers need to take particular care on this chaotic night. Keep your car parked if you can, but if you have to drive through a neighborhood, take it much slower than normal. Watch for kids who may dart between cars and into the road without looking.

11. Protect your car

Cars are another common target of vandalism on Halloween. Here are some ways you can help secure your car:

  • Park inside if you can on Halloween. Your garage is your best bet. If you do not have a garage you may want to consider investing in some outdoor lighting for your driveway and yard.
  • Make sure your car is locked on Halloween. Oftentimes, vandals complete their missions with ease when doors are unlocked and windows are down/cracked.
  • Consider a car alarm.
  • Hide your valuables on Halloween. Don’t give thieves any extra incentive to break into your car.

There might be people getting up to no good tonight, as part of “Mischief Night”

  • 10:14, 30 OCT 2018

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

The spooky season is upon us and sadly, some of us could receive our fair share of tricks instead of treats in the lead up to Halloween.

Tonight (October 30) is “Mischief Night” – which can cause misery for residents who have their homes targeted by vandals.

Many people might not know exactly what the law says about what you’re allowed to do if you catch someone vandalising your property.

Whether it’s your house, garden or your car that gets targeted by vandals, you do have the right to do something about it.

There are also a number of steps you can take to try and prevent vandals from picking on your property.

What is Mischief Night?

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

If you like us, have never heard of Mischief Night before, we’ve got the low-down on what it’s all about.

Much as the name suggests, this is where people get up to no good in the lead up to Hallowe’en.

In some parts of the country, “Mischief Night” is held on October 30, whereas in other parts it is ‘celebrated’ on November 4, the night before Bonfire Night.

In other northern parts of the country such as Yorkshire, Mischief night is known as Mischievous Night” , or the shortened “‘Chievous Night” “Miggy Night” , “Tick-Tack Night”, “Corn Night”, “Trick Night” or “Micky Night” and is celebrated across the north of England on November 4 the night before Bonfire Night.

In some areas it is extremely popular among thirteen-year-olds as they believe it to be a sort of “coming of age ceremony”.

Most of the tricks played on Mischief night tend to be teenage pranks which youngsters play between eachother.

According to The Sun, popular tricks include powder bombing each other, throwing eggs and covering each other in treacle.

Toilet papering houses, smashing pumpkins and knocking on doors and running away also occur.

How to protect your home from vandals

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

We spoke to a legal expert, about what the law says about protecting your home from vandals.

David Kirwan is managing partner at Kirwans law firm. He told the ECHO residents do have the right to use physical force to defend their property or themselves – but that it should be a last resort.

Although the law says you can use “reasonable force” to stop a vandal, it does not allow you to carry any bats or instruments that could be deemed to be harmful – and you must act proportionately to the threat

He said: “Mischief Night can cause a great deal of anxiety for residents who are concerned that their property might become the target of vandals, but they should be assured that there are steps that they can take should their vehicles, gardens or homes come under fire.

“There are the usual surveillance measures that they can put in place such as lights and cameras, but if that fails to prevent perpetrators, residents can actually use minimum physical restraint to defend their property or indeed themselves.

Hallowe’en in Cambridgeshire

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

“Although this should be the last course of action, if anyone sees their property being damaged, they do have the legal right to remonstrate with the vandal, using reasonable physical force if necessary.”

Mr Kirwan added: “Before approaching the perpetrator, there are steps the resident must take. First of all, make sure the whole incident is captured on video or smartphone if possible.

“Also, call the police to make sure that the incident has been logged. Finally, those choosing to confront the attacker should take at least one witness with them who could then explain how events unfolded in court if necessary.”

Trick or Treating safety tips

If you’re heading out Trick or Treating tomorrow night – watch our video on how to keep safe.

Protecting your home on Mischief Night

Mr Kirwan offered this list of tips for stepping up security on “Mischief Night” and making sure you’re prepared to deal with the threat of vandalism:

  1. Set up security lights and cameras, making sure that any cameras don’t overlook the gardens or windows of neighbouring properties
  2. If you already have cameras or lights installed, make sure they’re in good working order
  3. Do not set up traps such as tripwire, electrical fencing, or anything that could injure a trespasser
  4. Ensure there is space on your smartphone and have it ready to film any incidents that might occur
  5. If you are going out, leave lights on in your property so that the house doesn’t look empty
  6. Keep all pets indoors
  7. Keep all doors and windows securely locked
  8. If possible, park vehicles on your drive rather than on the road
  9. Make sure there is a neighbour or another member of your household on hand in case you suddenly need a witness
  10. Judge the situation carefully before approaching a vandal. You do have the legal right to use reasonable force, but the law does not allow you to carry any bats or instruments that could be deemed to be harmful – and you must act proportionately to the threat” />As part of the Halloween tradition, many homeowners pass out candy to children of all ages on October 31st. However, many homeowners are unaware of the risks Halloween presents when it comes to strangers on their property. From vandalism to theft, it’s important that you take measures to protect your property and prevent a home insurance claim in the process.

Light Your Property Well to Prevent Home Insurance Claims

Vandalism generally happens at night when it is too dark. The cover of darkness protects pranksters, allowing them to vandalize property without being seen. To deter pranksters, keep your house and property well-lit by installing motion lights. Any movement outside your home may trigger the light and hopefully deter people from committing criminal acts.

Prevent Falls and Injuries

With many trick-or-treaters looking for treats at night, their chances of getting injured increases. Although your home insurance covers injury, it’s important that you attempt to prevent trick-or-treaters from being injured on your property. Complete the checklist to make sure you’ve done your due diligence to prevent injuries during Halloween:

  • Remove debris from your yard
  • Fix any cracks in your sidewalk
  • Fix any broken steps on your porch
  • Warn visitors about any dangers

It’s important that someone is always outside of your home during the hours you expect trick-or-treaters. With someone supervising, you reduce your risk of filing a Halloween home insurance claim.

Protect Your Vehicle

Although not included in your home insurance, it’s important that you take steps to protect your automobiles. If you can, park your car in a garage or behind the house so people who prefer pranks over treats can’t throw eggs at or toilet paper your car. Beyond damaging your paint, pranksters could cause serious damage to your vehicle.

Use Faux Jack-O-Lanterns to Avoid Fires

Carving jack-o-lanterns for Halloween is a favorite tradition for many families. However, real jack-o-lanterns can be a fire hazard outside around strangers. Instead of using a real pumpkin lit with a burning flame, you can use faux jack-o-lanterns that are lit by a solar-powered light bulb. Your faux jack-o-lantern can still be a hit, and it should also be safe.

Get the coverage you need. Call Full Armor Insurance Services, LLC at (208) 664-6000 for an Idaho home insurance quote.

Posted by Scott Stueber on Oct 13, 2020 11:06:24 AM

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalismWhile there may not be as many kids in Halloween costumes roaming your neighborhood this year, it still may be possible for a scary visitor to show up on your front doorstep looking for a treat. While trick-or-treating has been a long-standing tradition for many, it does bring about some risk for homeowners.

Here are some things you should keep in mind this Halloween.

1. Be vigilant against an increase in property crime. Ghouls and goblins may not only be scouring your neighborhood for candy, they may also be looking for other things they can get their hands on, including wallets, purses, and other valuables. Theft and vandalism increase significantly during this time. If you’re handing out candy from your front door, make sure your garage is closed and locked. If you’re sitting in your driveway handing out candy, keep an eye on your property as well as your neighbors’ homes. If you notice anything suspicious, consider calling your local police.

2. Don’t forget to blow out the candles. As we approach the holiday season, lighting candles may be a part of your everyday routine. If you have children carving pumpkins, placing a candle inside may be a family tradition. However, when it’s time to call it a day, don’t forget to blow
them out. Or instead of using real candles, consider using battery-operated ones. Lastly, never leave candles unattended. A pet’s wagging tail or a small child could easily knock them over. For additional candle safety tips, click here.

A homeowners policy does provide coverage for fire damage. If you live in an apartment, it’s important to have a renters policy. Usually, the building is covered by the landlord’s policy. However, to get reimbursed for the loss of your personal belongings, you’ll need a renters policy.

3. Always keep your cars locked. Never keep valuables, especially your keys, in an unlocked car. Recently, our neighborhood experienced a series of thefts involving unlocked cars. Also, never keep your social security card in your wallet or purse. Keep it stored in your home, preferably in a safe with other important documents.

4. Take precautions with decorations. Halloween decorations have become more popular in many neighborhoods. Unfortunately, improper use and installation could lead to personal injury as well as property damage. Here are a couple of claims scenarios.

Claim Scenario 1

Darth Vader comes to your door with his good buddy Yoda and trips over an extension cord for your giant inflatable pumpkin in the front yard. Darth Vader and his light saber go flying. While Yoda tries to use the force to break his fall, he’s unsuccessful. Unfortunately, Darth Vader falls to the ground and breaks his arm. Because this is an accident on your property, you’d be responsible for his injuries. Fortunately, his injury would be covered by the personal liability coverage in your homeowners insurance policy.

Claim Scenario 2

This Halloween, your goal is to have the most decorations in your entire neighborhood. Extension cords are running everywhere, and your outlets are beyond their load capacity. As neighbors are enjoying your decorations, sparks begin to fly and your home catches on fire. Luckily, the fire is contained quickly, and you only experience $5,000 in property damage. Again, a homeowners policy will provide coverage for your damaged property.

5. Watch out for pedestrians. Excited kids looking to find their favorite candy may not necessarily think about safety and how to cross the street. As a driver, it’s up to you to stay alert and slow down if you’re going through a neighborhood during trick-or-treat hours. In addition, it would be wise to stay off your mobile device and focus strictly on driving.

6. Be on the lookout for vandals. Being dressed in a costume may give some the confidence to damage your property. When I was a kid, someone dumped oil on our porch as a prank. That was a huge mess for my parents to clean up. Watch for stolen decorations, eggs on your home or car, and toilet paper.

If something does happen, remember, before a claim payment can be made, you’re responsible for paying the deductible. If the items damaged or destroyed are less than your deductible, don’t file an insurance claim.

Lastly, on a regular basis review your insurance policy with your agent to make sure you have enough coverage to protect you all year round.

For additional safety tips, check out the blogs below.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them. Please share them in the box below.

This article is intended for general educational and illustrative purposes only and should not be construed to communicate legal or professional advice. Further, this article is not an offer to sell insurance. Please consult with your licensed insurance agent for specific coverage details and your insurance eligibility. All policies are subject to the terms, conditions, limitations, definitions, and exclusions contained therein.


DAVIE: 954.495.8480

VIERA: 321.888.3900

Property Damage Increases On Halloween

  • Post Author:Admin
  • Post published: October 23, 2014
  • Post Category:Auto / Homeowners / Latest News
  • Post Comments:0 Comments

Local police and insurance agents say the real scare on Halloween is vandals targeting homes and vehicles for pumpkin smashing, toilet paper rolling, raw egg battering and theft.

“Last year, we had nearly 3 percent more auto claims and 5 percent more homeowners claims during the week of Halloween, with our insured reporting everything from egged and ‘pumpkined’ cars to creatively mummified homes,” said Stephanie Behnke, claims innovation director for Mercury Insurance in a news release. The company has agents in 13 states, including Georgia andFlorida. “Although these may sound like harmless pranks, they can cause significant and costly damage, so taking some simple steps to protect your property is no joke.”

Mercury is not the only insurance company in the Augusta area that sees an uptick in theft and vandalism during the week of Halloween.

For the past five years, Nationwide Insurance has averaged a 5 1/2 percent increase in auto and a more than 9 percent rise in homeowners claims related to vandalism, spokeswoman Elizabeth Stelzer said.

State Farm Insurance saw 15 percent more thefts reported last year on Halloweenabove its daily average. In 2012, such claims were up 28 percent, increasing from 16 percent in 2011, said spokesman Justin Tomczak.

Both companies said the best defense is a well-lit home and alert residents.

“Visibly empty houses are prime targets for vandalism or break-ins,” Stelzer said. “Most know the drill — always lock your doors and windows, stop your mail and newspapers prior to vacations, and put your lights on a timer.”

Before filing a claim, insurers recommend property owners notify their agents immediately, take photos of any damage, and file a police report to provide an official record of the incident. They also recommend not moving or cleaning up any of the damaged items until the police arrive and retrieve necessary information and document the scene.

Many acts of vandalism fall under comprehensive insurance, Behnke said.

“Comprehensive insurance covers your vehicle if it’s damaged due to something other than a collision,” she said. “For example, if rowdy teens toss pumpkins out of windows or use cars for batting practice, remaining damages would be covered after you’ve paid your deductible, assuming you have comprehensive insurance at the time of the incident. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay for everything on your own.”

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Halloween is scary enough, we don’t mean to add to your fright, but if you are a homeowner or an apartment dweller, there are some safety precautions you should take to greet the little ghosts and goblins who will be ringing your bell or roaming the streets.

A few years ago, Christopher Boggs wrote a great Guide to Homeowners Liability for Injury to Trick or Treaters. He notes:

When the porch light is on, trick-or-treaters are considered invitees; the homeowner is inviting them onto the property (though not for a mutual benefit). Because of this relationship, the homeowner owes the candy seekers the level of “reasonable” care that falls under Ordinary Negligence.

Now anytime you have anyone visit your home, they could suffer an injury or an accident – that’s why you have insurance. But on Halloween, a steady stream of small feet traipsing across your porch in the dark increases the risk. Plus, you are giving out food.

Here are some tips to minimize Halloween hazards and reduce your risk.

  • Keep porches and walkways well-lit and free of debris and clutter that might be tripping hazards
  • Put reflective tape on your steps and along your walkway
  • When decorating, avoid candles – use LED lights and battery-powered lights instead.
  • Keep pets away from kids to avoid bites, scares or allergic reactions. Even friendly pets can be overexcited or upset by the unusual activity and may be skittish or overly protective.
  • Avoid mystery treats. Distribute labeled treats and tell parents what they are and if they contain nuts.
  • Provide alternative allergy-free treats – consider small non-food trinkets.
  • Be cautious about any spooky pranks for kids or guests – make sure they are safe and not too scary to young children.
  • If you are hosting an adult party, you have particular responsibility to take care in the serving of alcoholic beverages. See our post on holiday parties and liability issues.
  • If you are driving any time on Halloween, be super cautious. Little monsters may be out at any hour and frequenting normally quiet neighborhoods. Be particularly cautious at dusk an early evening.

Protect your home and car too!

Halloween is a huge night for vandalism. Here are a few tips to protect your property from fire, theft and vandalism.

    • Don’t overload electrical circuits with lights.
    • Paper and dried plant decorations can easily ignite. Keep them away from flames, lights, and electrical cords.
    • Lock up bicycles, gas grills and other outdoor valuables.
    • Park your car in a garage, if possible. Mischief makers may egg your house or car.
    • If you don’t have shelter for your car, consider stopping at the car wash for a coat of wax that may offer some protection.
    • If you are out trick or treating with your kids or partying with your peers, make your home looks occupied. Leave lights and the TV on.
    • Doorbell cams and motion activated lights can offer added protection.
    • If your car or home is egged, deal with it right away that night or in the morning before damage can set in. See How to Remove Egg Stains From Your Car’s Paint Job and 4 Ways to Wash Egg off your home

    Call your agent

    If you should suffer any damage to your property or have any accidents during Halloween weekend, file a claim as soon as possible to get the claim process in motion. Be ready with the details of where and when the event occurred, along with the names and addresses of any injured parties or witnesses to the event. If there is damage to your property, report it to the police, take photos, and record the details so you won’t forget them later.

Reprinted from Renaissance Alliance – no usage without permission.

Goblins and witches and monsters, oh my! You probably have your Halloween candy ready, but is your home safe and secure in preparation for the holiday festivities? Check out these safety tips to make sure your home and your trick-or-treaters are safe this Halloween.

Turn on the lights.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

It’s important that your property is well lit this Halloween to ensure those trick-or-treaters can make it to your door safely. You also want to prevent people from pulling any not-so-nice pranks in your yard or on your house. Take some time to replace any burned-out bulbs in your exterior lights and turn them on before the sun goes down. If you aren’t going to be home or want to discourage trick-or-treaters from stopping by, you can keep your exterior lights turned off.

Clear a safe path.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

In order to prevent your Halloween guests from tripping on your walkway, make sure your sidewalk and yard are free of clutter. It’s a good idea to put your car in the garage, lock your garage doors, and put away any potted plants. Place decorative items like jack-o-lanterns and spooky figures a safe distance from crowds. You want them to be enjoyed, not messed with. Be careful where you leave any cords or ropes, so they are not a danger to your Halloween guests. Kids often go from house to house without worrying about sidewalks. If you have a yard display, be sure it is well lit and clearly visible.

Keep your pets in a safe place.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Frequent doorbell ringing, strangers in the yard, and scary costumes easily frighten pets. Halloween probably isn’t your pets’ favorite holiday. It’s important to protect your furry friends from cars and trick-or-treaters, but you also need to protect your guests. Avoid anyone getting bitten or harmed by your pet acting out of fear or stress. It’s best to keep them inside or in some kind of safe, enclosed space away from the front door.

Deactivate your home security system.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Lots of “intruders” and “suspicious activity” on your doorstep can lead to false system alarms. This happens quite often on Halloween. Since your bell will be ringing and your door will be opening repeatedly throughout the night, it’s a good idea to disarm your alarm before those trick-or-treaters arrive. But remember to turn your alarm on before you go to bed!

This is a prime time of year for mischief, so if you’ll be away from home on Halloween, be sure to set your security alarm system. Motion-sensitive lights can be an effective layer of protection as they can alert your neighbors if someone is on your property. Lastly, inform a trusted neighbor that you’ll be out of town before you go.

Reduce your fire risk.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

For those of you planning to use candles in your jack-o-lanterns, keep a close eye on them as they present a fire risk. Place them far away from your walkways to ensure fire hazards like costumes, props and decorations lighting on fire. Battery powered light sources are a safe alternative to an open flames. You can find these at most grocery and hardware stores.

Get around to those home improvements.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

If you have any unfinished projects around the house that could present a risk of danger, be sure to take care of those. Loose bricks, cracked cement, tools lying around…the less risk at your house the better.

Be proactive by taking pictures.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Snap a few photos of your property before the sun goes down. No matter how secure your home is, you can always prevent vandalism and pranks. Having photos to show your insurance agent will be helpful if any funny business takes place.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism


If you see a MOHFL property that you’re interested in while you’re out there trick-or-treating, give us a call or click here! We’d love to give you a personal showing.

How to protect your home from halloween pranks and vandalism

Trick or treaters aren’t the only spooky things happening on Halloween. You can also face a lawsuit if someone gets hurt on your property.

While dangers lurk everywhere they are heighted on Halloween night as scores of children go door-to-door to collect candy in disguise. Not to mention vandals who use the cover of night to cause havoc and damage, particularly on Halloween.

“There are added dangers around Halloween,” says Jim Gustin, senior property specialist, risk control at Travelers. “There are more pedestrians walking on or near roads in the dark and fire hazards with decorations.”

Tripping and falling is a big danger to protect your home from on Halloween but it’s not the only one. You also have to worry about decorations gone awry and revelers causing destruction to your property.

With that in mind, here’s a look at what insurance experts say you need to do to make sure your Halloween is full of treats and not costly tricks.

More On This.

Spooky walkways can mean scary insurance bills

In order to protect visitors to your home this Halloween experts say you want to make sure your walkway is well lit and the lights are turned on. It may not be as scary but a long-running nightmare could happen if someone tripped in the dark and suffered an injury. It’s also a good idea to rid the area of any potential tripping hazards and to set up decorations with traffic flow in mind, says Gustin. If it’s a particularly windy day, experts say to remove or secure anything that can be turned into a flying object.

Frightful Decorations Can Cause More than Scares

During the holidays experts are out in full force warning homeowners about the dangers of dried out trees and decorations, but the same can be said about Halloween. After all, many people will forgo the light and use candles instead to create some scary ambience. But those candles, even inside a carved pumpkin, are a huge fire hazard as well as other decorations placed in the wrong place. To prevent fires, Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents, the trade association, says to make sure pumpkins with candles are placed at a distance where it can’t be knocked over or it can’t ignite a costume. It’s also a good idea to use battery operated lights whenever possible. According to Trusted Choice, there are a variety of Jack-O-Lantern lights on the market.

Gustin of Travelers says to avoid dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper because they are all highly combustible. You also want to use lights and other electrical decorations that have been tested for safety and avoid daisy chaining extension cords when plugging them in because it can cause overheating. “Never staple, nail through or fasten electrical wires or extension cords in any way that might damage the wire or insulation. This could cause electrical shock or fire,” says Gustin. “Plug all outdoor lights and decorations into ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to help reduce the risk of electric shock.”

Vandals’ Pranks Can Cause Damage

Preventing injuries and fires should be top of mind this Halloween, but you also have to think about vandalism. A smashed pumpkin here or there is no big deal but broken windows or damaged property can be. Brooke Gabbert, a spokeswoman for, says lighting will go a long toward discouraging burglars or vandals. Equipping your whole home may be expensive, but Gabbert says a cheaper alternative is motion sensor lighting. That way it won’t have to be on all night but will alert you when someone approaches and if they are up to know good, hopefully scare them away. Keeping your trees and bushes trimmed can go a long way from preventing vandalism as well. “Overgrown trees and bushes may provide extra cover for trespassers,” says Gabbert. “An unkempt lawn may also signal the homeowner is out of town and can be an easier target for theft. “

If your home does fall victim to pranksters this Halloween assess the damage first before calling your insurance provider. You also want to know what your deductible is to ascertain if it’s worthwhile to even make the call. “If there is not a lot of damage, your deductible (the amount the individual is responsible for) may be higher than what the repairs would cost,” says Gustin. “Also, keep in mind that homeowners insurance policies are typically best utilized when something more catastrophic happens to a home, like a fire or a tree falling on the structure.”

Halloween brings families, friends, and neighbors together for a night of trick-or-treating and other holiday activities that take place in and around the home. As homeowners, you may want to get in on the fun and add spooky decor to your front lawn or wear a festive costume. But, it will be equally rewarding to ensure you have the right insurance coverage in place should any unfortunate mishaps occur.

While you may not consider Halloween to be a high-risk holiday, we help clients like you stay protected when welcoming trick-or-treaters and other guests to your house. We offer specialized guidance in securing a homeowners insurance policy that adequately covers your unique liabilities. From fire hazards and slips and falls to vandalism, there are a number of related claims that could prove costly. Read below to learn more about some of the most common homeowners insurance risks on Halloween.

Fire Hazards

The potential for residential fires tends to rise around Halloween. Whether these fires are caused by open flames or electrical malfunctions, they may have disastrous consequences during what should be a playful holiday.

To stay safe, stick with battery-operated candles in your pumpkins and keep all flammable decorations away from heat sources. While standard homeowners insurance policies typically protect against damage or repairs associated with home fires, it’s important to talk to your trusted broker about any additional coverage you may need.

Slips & Falls

When homeowners decorate their homes for Halloween, the risk that someone may slip or fall while navigating holiday displays increases. Homeowners may face claims if a visitor hurts themselves and the property owner is found to be at fault. That’s why creating a safe environment with well-lit walkways, uncluttered spaces, and decor that will not fall down or otherwise cause harm is essential to preventing slips and falls on your property this Halloween.


While spooking friends may be considered harmless fun on Halloween, some pranks may actually lead to vandalism — which is a serious crime. Significant damage or theft to your property can lead to financial stress that can be prevented with the right insurance coverage. Homeowners insurance policies should cover deliberate acts of destruction, but you should ensure that your unique plans for Halloween decor do not increase your risk potential that may necessitate additional coverage.

While Halloween is a festive time that brings friends and families together, it also brings with it a new set of insurance risks for homeowners. At Doeren Mayhew Insurance Group, we help homeowners minimize risk associated with common liabilities that may increase at different times of the year, including during holidays such as Halloween. Contact us to schedule a personalized consultation today.

JACKSON, Wyo.— Halloween is here!

The Town of Jackson, the Jackson Police Department and the Jackson/ Teton County Animal Shelter want everyone to enjoy fun and safe Halloween celebrations. The following tips and information are reminders about safety during the Halloween festivities.

Do it Safe

  • Motorists should be overly cautious. It’s up to you. Children sometimes forget to watch for cars and might dart out of the darkness or from between cars into the roadway.
  • Parents should strongly consider accompanying children while they are trick or treating.
  • Parents should inspect all candy before their children eat it and not allow them to eat any homemade items or any candy that is not in its original packaging.
  • Parents, it looks like a wintery Halloween eve so please dress your children appropriately for the weather.
  • Children should wear costumes with reflective material and carry a light or glow stick to increase visibility.
  • Children should never enter into a residence or get into a vehicle without their parent’s permission.

Pets are not to be forgotten on Halloween either. The Jackson/ Teton County Animal Shelter reminds everyone that animals don’t have any idea what Halloween is all about. How are they going to react when noisy, costumed children come running up to your door? The shelter reminds you to play it safe:

  • Keep your animals in a secure location where you don’t have to worry about them being scared, or dashing out the door, or feeling the need to protect you from witches and devils.
  • Make sure that they can’t get into the treats you’ll be providing; your pets shouldn’t ingest sugar, and chocolate in particular can be very harmful.

Take some basic precautions with your animals to make sure that everyone has a safe and pleasant holiday. If your animal should happen to go missing on Halloween, remember to call the Animal Shelter on Monday to see if it was taken there for safekeeping. Your friends at the local animal shelter wish everyone, two-legged or four-legged, a safe and happy Halloween!

Do it smart

It has been a centuries’ long tradition for Halloween to be a time of pranks. As years progressed however, those pranks took the form of nothing less than vandalism.

Jackson Hole Crimestoppers urges Halloween revelers to temper their activities with common sense. Halloween activities should be fun and not harmful. A prank that results in damage is a criminal act.

If you see others engaging in inappropriate behavior, report it to authorities immediately by calling 307-733-2331. If you cannot report it immediately, call Crimestoppers at 307-733-5148 when you return home.

By Heather Whipps published 29 October 08

We all know what happens on Halloween, the night that little boys and girls dress up and (unwittingly) celebrate the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain and All Hallows Eve.

Anyone who has woken up on Halloween morning to find their house egged, their pumpkin smashed or yard toilet-papered, however, is lucky enough to live where a sister tradition that is not quite as old (but a yearly custom all the same) is also practiced with fervor.

The night of Oct. 30, which goes by a variety of names including Devil’s Night in Detroit and Miggy Night in parts of England, sees neighborhood youngsters pull pranks just as diverse as the custom’s monikers, ranging from the innocent to the downright dangerous.

So where did this license to cause mayhem come from?

Mischief Night, as it is most commonly known in the United States, has been around in its present form for at least 50 years, when it became a day for playing “tricks” while Halloween itself was reserved for the little one to gather “treats.” The practice goes back hundreds of years before that, though, to a time when Halloween and misbehavior were inextricably linked.

In some areas, unfortunately, today’s pranks have evolved into acts much scarier than ghosts or goblins.

Mischief always a part of Halloween

Causing mischief has been a part of the Halloween tradition since the very beginning.

The most ancient roots of Halloween come from the Celts of Great Britain, who believed that the day before their Nov. 1 New Year was a time when spirits came back to haunt and play tricks. On Oct. 31, people dressed up in scary costumes, played games, lit bonfires and left food out on their doorsteps for the ghosts in celebration of this otherworldly event, which the Celts called Samhain.

When Great Britain was Christianized in the 800s, the ghoulish games of Samhain merged with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, during which the dead were honored with parades and door-to-door solicitation by peasants for treats — usually a bit of food or money.

After the Protestant Reformation, much of England stopped the “treating” side of Halloween because it was connected to Catholic saints, and transferred the trickery to the eve of Guy Fawkes Night, a Nov. 5 holiday celebrating the foiling of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot to blow up British Parliament. Mischief Night in England is still celebrated on Nov. 4.

The Irish, Scottish and northern English, meanwhile, kept up much of their Halloween traditions, including the good-natured misbehavior, and brought their ways to North America with the wave of immigration in the 1800s.

Before the 20th century, Halloween mischief in the United States and Canada happened on Oct. 31 and consisted of tipping over outhouses, unhinging farmer’s gates, throwing eggs at houses and the like. By the 1920s and 30s, however, the celebrations had become more like a rowdy block party, and the acts of vandalism more serious, probably instigated by tensions over the Great Depression and the threat of war, historians say.

To stem the vandalism, concerned parents and town leaders tried to ply kids with candy, encouraging the forgotten tradition of trick-or-treating in costume in exchange for sweets, bumping the mischief element from the celebrations of Oct. 31 altogether. It was then that the troublemakers, neighborhood by neighborhood, adopted Oct. 30 as their day to pull pranks. Rotten vegetables

The custom of vandalism on Oct. 30, oddly, seems to have only developed sporadically, often appearing in some areas but not at all in others nearby.

Nowadays, Mischief Night is especially popular in pockets where Irish and Scottish immigration was common — in northeastern United States but not in the South and West, for example, and in the English-speaking communities of Canada but not the French. Examples of the regional varieties include:

  • Cabbage Night in parts of the northeastern United States, where rotten vegetables are collected and left on porch stoops or smeared on doors and windows.
  • Mat Night in English-speaking Quebec, where pranksters steal doormats and switch them with the neighbors’.
  • Gate Night, in the Midwest, where farmers gates are opened, leaving livestock to roam free.

Other popular pranks include the ubiquitous toilet-papering of homes and trees, “soaping” cars and windows and pumpkin smashing.

Though it consists of harmless fun in most places, “Devil’s Night” in Detroit is notorious for its ties to gang culture and random acts of arson.

In 1984, more than 800 fires were set there on Devil’s Night, leading to a serious crackdown and an Oct. 30 curfew for minors that persists to this day. This year, the mayor of Detroit has recruited an army of more than 30,000 volunteers to patrol their neighborhoods to prevent any similar mayhem.

Halloween is such an exciting time for kids and families. But it, along with mischief night, can also be a bit dangerous. Follow these tips to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your possessions safe.

Mischief Night is typically a time for pranksters to have some generally harmless fun. Occasionally though, vandals use this time to cause destruction to your vehicle. Now is the time to take some precautions to protect your car.

-If you have a garage, be sure to park your vehicle in it. Although pranks usually just involve egging the car or putting crisco on the door handles, these things can damage the vehicle’s paint.

-Be sure to keep the lights inside and outside your home on. This may deter pranksters and vandals since it implies someone is home and watching.

-Keep valuables safe in your home. It is never a good idea to leave things like wallets, purses, and electronic devices in your car.

-Take a look at your insurance policy and check your coverage. If a vandal gets really destructive and decides to spray paint your vehicle, comprehensive car insurance will protect you.

-Install a T3 tracker on your vehicle in case someone gets very bold and decides to take your car for a ride. With this device, you will be alerted the moment your vehicle makes an unauthorized movement or a pre-installed vehicle alarm goes off. The alert will show you the GPS location, speed, and direction your vehicle is traveling. You can then easily connect to the 911 operator closest to the vehicle allowing you to speak directly to the police within seconds.

On Halloween there are lots of people out and about, both on foot, and in vehicles. Here are some ways to keep yourself, and those around you, safe.

For those driving-

-Be careful, and pay close attention, especially between 4pm and 8pm when trick-or-treaters are out in full force.

-Drive slowly in residential neighborhoods, possibly even slower than usual in case children dash out into the road.

-Be extra aware of traffic signs and speed limits.

-Watch closely for children crossing the street. In all of the excitement, they may come out from in between cars and not use crosswalks.

-Keep your headlights on, even during daylight hours so that your vehicle is highly visible.

For those walking-

-Teach your children how to safely cross streets by using crosswalks, not walking out between cars, and making sure they’re visible to drivers before they cross.

-Take flashlights to make yourselves more visible. You can also put reflective tape on costumes or put glow stick necklaces and bracelets on the kids.

Nationwide offers safety tips to protect children, property and pets

News provided by

Oct 19, 2016, 09:10 ET

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BREA, Calif. , Oct. 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — The Halloween holiday brings an atmosphere filled with excitement and creativity for families across the country. However, the scare season also brings some haunting dangers that can create harmful situations for families and their property. To help guide the nation safely through the spookiest time of the year, Nationwide has released a list of comprehensive safety tips and statistics for Halloween related mishaps.

1. Protect your children

Halloween allows children to explore their imagination and splurge on savory treats, but along with the fun comes some haunting hazards. To help combat impending dangers, Nationwide’s Make Safe Happen® program has provided parents with a Halloween safety guide, which includes tips for:

  • Providing children with safe and comfortable costumes
  • What precautions should be taken during trick-or-treating
  • Child safe home decorations

The full Make Safe Happen® Halloween safety guide and downloadable Halloween safety infographic can be found here.

2. Protect your property

Halloween also brings a season of trickery, and new Nationwide data shows that property may be more at risk during the week of Halloween . Statistics taken from Nationwide claims over the last five years show that the rate of property damage caused by vandalism or malicious mischief increased by more than 8 percent during the week of Halloween , and that auto theft occurs at a 6 percent higher rate.

To help thwart mischievous behavior, Nationwide has provided a list of Halloween Prank Precautions to assist in keeping property protected. For those who are away during Halloween festivities, Nationwide also offers Home Burglary Prevention Tips to help keep homes secure when uninhabited.

3. Protect your pets

Pets are part of the family, and Halloween exposes them to more toxins and hazards than at any other time of the year. To help pet owners prepare for the dangers that surround our furry family members during the scare season, Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, has released its 2016 Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips infographic. Nationwide’s Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips include:

  • The average cost of the most common Halloween related pet mishaps
  • List of foods and materials that are toxic to pets
  • How to prevent pets from running away during Halloween

The Nationwide 2016 Top Halloween Pet Dangers and Safety Tips infographic is available for high-resolution download here.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio , is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, Join the Nation and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Ryan Whittington
(714) 706-5584
[email protected]

Author Michael Noonan
Posted June 15, 2017
Category Criminal Defense

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.

Posted: October 29, 2013

Some Halloween Pranks Can Be Charged As Juvenile Offenses

There are two old adages that attempt explain away youthful mischievousness: “kids will be kids” and “boys will be boys.” The problem is, neither is likely to be considered if your child breaks the law.

Halloween is a celebrated holiday shrouded in frights and dares and pranks. It is unofficially known as “Mischief Night.” But if your child gets into trouble on Halloween law officials may not think certain criminal areas are just “all in good fun.”

The following are just a few crimes that can get even the best-behaved kids into trouble with the law:

  • Destruction Of Property – “Tagging” or otherwise defacing any public or private property is against the law. Depending upon the value of the destruction your child could be facing serious consequences and you could be required to pay restitution. Even just “egging” a house may also incite an angry neighbor to call the police because raw eggs can leave permanent stains on certain surfaces and destroy paint finishes on doors and cars. “Toilet papering” a house may not seem destructive but it is a mess to clean up and is crime — unhappy “TP” victims may opt to file a police report.
  • Property Theft – Stealing a street sign, shoplifting, or even taking Halloween decorations are all illegal.
  • Crank Emergency Calls – Faking an emergency by calling 911 for help is a crime.
  • Pranks Involving Cars – Joyriding is a serious offense, but it is also unlawful to damage a car. Shaving cream, toothpaste, and eggs can all damage the paint on cars. Slashing tires or even just letting the air out of car tires may seem like a prank, but these acts are also against the law.
  • Breaking Curfews – Many towns throughout New Jersey have announced that they fully intend to enforce curfews on Halloween. In some places, curfews will be even earlier on Halloween night than they are on other nights. For example, Burlington County curfew for minors is 10 PM on weekdays. On Halloween, unaccompanied minors must be indoors prior to 10 PM or they could be escorted home by local police.

Freehold New Jersey Juvenile Offenses Defense Attorneys

It is important to talk with your child ahead of time about being strong in the face of peer pressure and that destroying property is not only wrong, it is against the law. If your child does end up in trouble with the police, call our law offices immediately to schedule a free, initial legal consultation. We may be able to clear the matter up and have any charges against your child dismissed or reduced.

We Can Help 24/7

Free case review. Call 732-303-7857 or send us a message now.

As you start to decorate your haunted house for Halloween, make sure to protect your gutters. It’s important to keep those gutters clean and in perfect condition as we near the winter months. Here at Industry Elite Services, we provide our customers with tips to make sure they get the most out of their gutters.

When hanging decoration from your gutters make sure to use the proper equipment and care. That begins with the correct ladder safety.

  • Always have someone else working with you when hanging Christmas lights or decorations from a ladder or roof.
  • Make sure the ladder is on a secure and level footing before climbing.
  • Space the base of the ladder one foot away from the wall for every four feet it reaches up.
  • Stay centered between the rails of the ladder.
  • Do not overreach to hang lights or decorations—move the ladder.
  • Do not stand on the ladder’s top two rungs.
  • To reach a roof, extend the ladder at least three feet beyond the edge of the roof.

Light clips are a great way to safety hang decoration. Another thing to consider is the weight of everything you are putting on your water collection system. Remember that the rain gutter has to support its own weight, water, and the decorations you place on it.

Watch out for pranksters

Halloween has a particular problem you must consider – the awful pranks. If you are the victim of an unpleasant prankster, you might have to clean up all the mess they leave behind. First, check your rain gutters and look for any foreign objects. If you find something, remove it. Also, verify your downspouts to see if they have been the target of an awful prank. Look for shaving cream, one of pranksters’ favorite things to use for their antics. When shaving cream dries up, it can be very difficult to remove. If it does, use a damp cloth to remove it. Pranksters use toilet paper too, and it is likely that when you find it, it will already be dry, so you will need some time to remove it. Make sure to protect your gutters from pranksters.