Stop Halloween homeowner hazards from ruining your holiday.

By Brittney Meredith-Miller  – ALM Property Casualty 360

A little bit of mischief and mayhem on Halloween night is to be expected, but there are a host of serious Halloween hazards to be aware of to ensure your holiday is more treat than trick.

In order to keep your Halloween insurance claim-free, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) offers the following tips:

  • Cars should be parked in well-lit areas or inside of a garage. You should also ensure all vehicles are locked and any alarms are engaged.
  • Drive slowly through neighborhoods where people are trick-or-treating, and watch for children who may be crossing the street or walking between cars.
  • If you’re receiving trick-or-treaters or other guests, make sure your Halloween décor is away from walkways and paths and that these areas are well-lit to avoid falls.
  • If you’re taking children trick-or-treating, travel in groups, wear costumes that are easily visible and carry flashlights. You should also make sure children can see properly out of their costumes.
  • Keep an eye on pets when trick-or-treaters arrive, and don’t allow aggressive dogs to rush the door.
  • Don’t leave candles burning in your jack-o-lanterns (or anywhere else) unattended or overnight, or where they can be knocked over by kids. The safest solution to lighting your spooky set-up is to use battery-operated candles.


According to the NFPA, between 2015 and 2019, there were an average of 790 home structure fires each year that began with holiday decorations. These fires caused an annual average of about $13 million in direct property damage. An estimated 44% of these fires started because decorations were too close to a heat source, and 35% were started by candles.

Vandalism & Theft

Vandalism and theft are always concerns for homeowners, but these crimes tend to spike on Halloween. Recent data from Travelers Insurance revealed the company experiences 15% more theft claims on-premises and a whopping 72% more vandalism and malicious mischief claims on Halloween than any other day of the year.


If you plan to spend the evening greeting trick-or-treaters at your door, be sure your homeowners liability coverage is sufficient in the event that one of these costumed visitors is injured on your property.

Dog Bites

 While your pet may be adorable and eager to greet visitors to your home or other trick-or-treaters in your neighborhood, be aware that the constant doorbell ringing and foot traffic may be enough to excite or frighten some dogs. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2022 there were 17,583 dog bite claims filed in the U.S. with a total claim value of over $1.1 billion. As such, it’s best to keep your pet in a secure area in your home, and be sure they are leashed if you bring them along with your trick-or-treating crew.

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