Fun Halloween Facts and Safety Tips

Did you know that over $2 billion will be spent on Halloween candy this year? Or how about $330 million on just pet costumes?

We know that Halloween is one of children’s favorite holidays. The chance to dress up in a costume and fill bags with candy is a sure way to excite any youngster. (Plus, the fact that the average trick-or-treater consumes the equivalent of 220 packets of sugar on this holiday doesn’t hurt either.)

For parents, though, the night can be a little stressful as you worry about your kids’ safety. With that in mind, we have compiled an infographic with 31 interesting statistics and facts associated with Halloween along with a brief list of safety tips. We encourage you to take a look at it just in case there is a tip or two that will help you avoid any potential accidents or danger.

Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating
Make sure your children take flashlights so they can avoid tripping over obstacles on the sidewalk or in yards. Flashlights and glow sticks will also help your children be seen by motorists.

If you allow your older kids to go out without your supervision, make sure they go out in a group. Don’t ever allow your kids to go out alone or even in pairs; make sure they go out with at least 3-4 other kids.
Map out their route so you know where they will be and when they should be home.

Tell your kids to only stop at familiar homes where you know the residents and where the outside lights are on.
Instruct your kids to WALK from house to house and NEVER run.
Make sure your kids know to never enter anyone’s home, to never accept rides from strangers, and to never take shortcuts through yards or other dimly lit areas

Costumes

Costumes should be light enough to be clearly visible to motorists. You may even want to add reflective tape to both your child’s costume and bag.

Make sure your child’s costume is labeled flame-resistant.
Costumes should be short to prevent trips and falls.

Try cosmetic face paint rather than a mask. Masks, especially on children, may not fit properly and can obstruct vision.

Be sure to remove all face paint that night to prevent skin irritation.

Candy
Don’t allow your child to eat any candy before you have a chance to inspect it for choking hazards or tampering.

Only permit your child to eat candy that is unopened in its original wrapper. Any homemade or unwrapped candy should be discarded.

A good way to prevent your kids from eating any candy before they get home is to make sure you give them a meal or snack right before they go out.

Above all else, limit the amount of candy your child eats after they get home or you will be dealing with one big stomachache.

Adults
Use additional caution when driving a vehicle. Lookout for children who might run into traffic from behind parked cars or other obstacles.
Turn on your porch and any other exterior lights to welcome trick-or-treaters to your home.

Remove any obstacles from your lawns, steps or porches that could be a tripping hazard for children or adults.
Keep all jack-o’-lanterns from doorsteps or steps where a child could brush by the flame with their costume.
If you keep your jack-o’-lantern inside, place it on a sturdy table away from curtains or other ignitable decorations and out of reach from children and pets.

Preventing Water Damage Claims

Did you know that water damage is the number one cause of homeowners insurance claims?  In fact, 98% of all basements will experience some sort of water damage and approximately 37% of all homeowners will report a financial loss from water damage.
 
Even just a small leak can present major problems.  For example, just a 1/8 inch pipe crack can quickly add up to 250 gallons of water per day!  
 
Even though most homeowners insurance policies cover basic water damage claims up to the purchased limit, implementing some simple prevention techniques is much easier than submitting a claim.
 
Below we have included an infographic with additional information on water leaks along with some prevention tips. 
 
If you have any questions on how your policy will respond to water damage, please feel free to give our office a call.

Be Careful Where you Plant. Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, foundation, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines and well away from your home’s foundation.

Clean Out Your Gutters.  If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing their job. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down into your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.

Keep an Eye on Your Water Bill. With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.

Use a Drain Snake Instead of Unclogging Chemicals.  Chances are at some point in your life you’ve used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes. If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes.  Drain snakes also have less impact on our environment and won’t leave your eyes red and teary. 

Never Pour Grease Down Your Sink.  It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.  The safest thing to do is just to pour your grease in an empty can, and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done.

Water Damage Infographic