While Halloween can be one of the most exciting holidays of the year, it can also be a source of anxiety to parents. While there is little evidence that crime rates spike on Halloween, it remains to be a time of year when one must take extra precautionary measures to ensure safety.
Here are the types of crimes that are commonly committed during this spooky season:
Drunk driving. Halloween parties mostly include alcohol, and on Halloween weekends, a good percentage of fatal car crashes and pedestrian fatalities involve DUI and drivers who have a BAC of 0.8 and higher. If you plan on drinking at a Halloween party, make sure to have a designated driver, or better yet, do not bring a car and just take an Uber. Limit your alcohol intake and make sure to take water breaks between drinks or shots to avoid alcohol poisoning.
Property Crimes. Insurance claims that are crime-related go up on Halloween more than any other day of the year – and these claims include theft, home burglary, and vandalism. In order to protect yourself from these crimes, make sure to turn the lights on when you leave home, as a dark house is very attractive to home burglars. If you can, have a social media blackout during the Halloween weekend, or at least, refrain from tagging your location in your posts, or hinting that you have plans on leaving your house empty at night.
Kidnapping. Parents must accompany their children as they make rounds trick-or-treating. Kidnapping is also a common crime during this holiday, so it is imperative that parents take extra precautions when letting their children go around the neighborhood on Halloween. The California Department of Corrections has been implementing Operation Boo every Halloween night for the past two decades. It entails compliance checks on registered sex offenders to ensure that they do not participate in trick-or-treat. They are monitored closely to make sure that they do not attract kids into their homes – they are not allowed to turn on their lights outside and must remain indoors.
Trespassing. Homes can be vulnerable to trespassers during Halloween. These trespassers may take advantage of you being preoccupied with adorable trick-or-treaters and enter your property without your permission. Remain vigilant despite the hustle and bustle of Halloween night. Make sure back doors are locked.
General Safety Tips
- Weeks prior to Halloween, it would be helpful if homeowners come together and plan for patrol duties.
- Children must be accompanied by a parent or a responsible adult. Older children must go in groups.
- Put reflector tapes on costumes that are not bright-colored.
- Do not drink and drive.
- Avoid wearing costumes that obstruct vision and airways. If possible, wear makeup instead of masks.
- Make sure that costumes and accessories are flame retardant.
- If you welcome trick-or-treaters, make sure that your house is well-lit, your yard free of obstructions, and your pets restrained.
- Check each candy before letting your children eat any of them.
- Report any suspicious activity to the police.
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