Keeping your home safe this Halloween

Despite the innocent nature of modern Halloween traditions, Halloween night can also conceal thieves and vandals, making ‘trick or treat’ a bit more of a threat than a cheerful children’s catchphrase.

It’s a known fact that insurance claims for malicious damage increase over the week of Halloween and Bonfire Night each year[1]. Many stores will stop selling eggs and flour in the week leading up to Halloween, and it was reported this week that some police forces may even arrest people found in possession of these items around the festival.

The old pranks of egging homes and cars or covering property in flour, while frustrating, can be easily fixed. Theft, broken windows and fires aren’t so simple to resolve.

We look at a few ways you can protect your home this Halloween.

Keeping your home safe this Halloween

Light up the Halloween shadows

Having lights on the lead up to your home can discourage any pranksters hiding in dark corners. This will also make your home friendlier for innocent ghouls who are simply in it for the sweets.

If you’re embracing the spirit of Halloween and lining your doorstep with pumpkins, it’s worth using LED tea lights instead of actual candles. Granted it’s unlikely that a pumpkin tea light will set your home alight, but it pays to be careful – and Halloween costumes can be flammable, posing a risk to children visiting your door.

If you’re not comfortable with answering your door, don’t feel compelled to. It can be tempting to turn your visible lights off and pretend you’re not in, but vandals may be less likely to strike if they know someone is home.

Home security

Whether you’re staying in or going out, make sure your property is secure. Put your car in the garage if you have one; tidy away anything in the driveway or front garden that could be easily used to cause damage. Attempt to secure any property which usually lives outdoors but isn’t fixed to anything. There are a lot of people roaming the streets on Halloween and if your valuables are on display this could make them a prime target for thieves.

If you’re going out, don’t forget to lock your windows – Aviva research shows 42% of homeowners fail to take this important security step when they leave the house[2]. If you have an alarm system, make sure it’s set before you leave.

Protect your pets

If your pet tends to get agitated by loud noises and visitors at the door, keep the curtains closed and get them settled in a comfortable and safe environment. It may be worth keeping them in a quiet, separate room for the night with their favourite toy if they’re getting distressed by the knocks and cries of excited children.

Being so close to bonfire night, Halloween often plays host to impromptu firework displays, which can often disturb pets. If you’re comfortable using them, there are diffusers and spritzes available to help cats and dogs stay calm.

Make sure your home cover is up to scratch

It’s sensible to regularly review the cover provided by your home insurance to ensure you’re covered against theft and malicious damage. If you have any questions or concerns about your existing policy, or to arrange a policy that covers you against risks posed throughout the year, call us on 0121 248 9229. We’ll be happy to help.

References

[1] Aviva reported in 2019 that malicious damage claims increase by 160% on Halloween

[2] https://www.aviva.com/newsroom/news-releases/2016/10/uk-its-hell-oween-for-homeowners-as-malicious-damage-and-burglary-claims-hit-the-heights-17691/