Halloween can be scary, but not for the reasons you’re thinking of. As a landlord, this spooky season poses the threat of fires and a few potential liabilities. But don’t break into a sweat just yet, there’s still time to remind your tenants to exercise safe Halloween practices. So when the holiday comes rolling around, you can just sit back and enjoy your Ghostbusters marathon in peace.
Spider Fire Hazards
While you probably don’t rent to the Adams Family, where spider webs and flammable objects are commonplace, keeping your residents wary of potential fire hazards is for the best. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 2009 and 2011, about 11,300 fires occurred in over a three-day period around Halloween, causing an average of $7,510 in property damages per fire. By using battery operated (electric) candles in carved pumpkins and on windowsills, your tenants eliminate the fear of potential fires. However if your tenants do decide to light a candle, even if it’s just a Target pumpkin spice candle in the bathroom or kitchen, they should be warry of where they place fake spider webs. Fake spider webs are extremely flammable and by placing them around doorways, your tenants automatically block their exits in the case of a fire. Talk about frightening! The National Fire Protection Association has more Halloween safety tips for you and your tenants.
Halloween Liabilities, the Worst Curse
Halloween parties are a fun way to celebrate this ghoulish holiday, but you can only pray that your tenants don’t drink their witches brew too fast. Next thing you know your tenant’s party guest breaks their leg mid-Thriller move or accidently spills fake blood all over the carpet. While these types of situations happen accidently and aren’t necessarily your responsibility, it’s safe to warn your tenants of neighbors who might send out noise complaints.
When it comes to potential liabilities, trick or treaters can potentially be your biggest nightmare. If a trick or treater falls on your property, it could be on your shoulders. To prevent this, maintain the outside of the property before Halloween. By sweeping up dead leaves, trimming bushes, and replacing outdoor lightbulbs, you minimize potential accidents while making it easier for young trick or treaters to navigate towards their candy.
The Trick or Treating Mess
Obviously if you have a vacant rental you don’t need to warn your non-existing tenants of fire hazards, but that doesn’t mean you’re scot free. While Halloween brings adorable wobbling toddlers and candy-crazed children to our doors, it also brings out a nastier, Oogie Boogie side in middle schoolers and teenagers that go trick or treating. Although dried egg and toilet paper aren’t that big of a deal in the long run, leaving a candy offering and triple checking to make sure your rental is all locked up is the easier and safer option as pranksters get craftier each year.
As exciting as Halloween is, there’s no need for a ghoulish mess after October. Preserve Halloween’s fun by promoting safe practices and protecting yourself from potential liabilities. That way everyone can celebrate safely, however they may celebrate. No need to call on Beetlejuice.