All the kids will be dressed up for a night of fun and make believe, running from house to house all over Tampa asking for treats. It’s a fun night for everyone, kids, parents, and those of us passing out treats. But if someone gets hurt or something gets broken, a fun time can go south quickly.

Make sure everyone stays happy and healthy this Halloween by getting ready now.

Lighting

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You have to find your own balance between spooky, scary lighting and light that’s bright enough so that no one trips on their way to your door. In most neighborhoods, having your porch light on is an indication that you’ve got candy to give out. Make sure the path to your door is properly lit if you expect trick-or-treaters.  Add a motion sensor light that turns on when people walk up. You can even put in an orange or purple light bulb on Halloween and call it “decorating.”

Clean Your Yard

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Yes, all those ghosts, goblins, superheroes, and princesses should stick to the driveway or path that leads to your front door. Unfortunately, Halloween is a night when little feet tromp over lawns. Before Halloween arrives, walk through your lawn and make sure there are no tools, hoses, or anything else that could be broken or tripped over lying around. A sprained ankle isn’t the kind of “trick” anyone wants to see, and a broken pot or bent rake isn’t anybody’s idea of a treat.

Go Easy on Decorations if Your Home is for Sale

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Not planning on selling your home anytime soon? Feel free to turn your yard into a ghostly cemetary or fill it with scary zombies. Consider roping or taping it off to discourage anyone from walking through. If your home is on the market, however, keep the decorations to a minimum. When potential buyers view your home, they want to see the house, not the decorations. Fake cobwebs and skeletons are fun, but it’s hard for buyers to imagine living there. And yes, even on Halloween, a possible buyer may want to see your house.

Get Your Treats Ready

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Every year it’s hard to figure out how much candy you need to buy. And if you buy too much, you gain pre-Thanksgiving weight because, well, you can’t let it go to waste. If you’re new to the neighborhood, ask around to find out how many kids are usually out on Halloween. Buying too much candy is better than not having enough. If it’s a slow night, some kids will get lucky when you start giving it out in big handfuls.

An alternative to the candy question is the Teal Pumpkin Project. Many kids have food allergies and Halloween is a nightmare for them and their parents. Put a teal pumpkin by your door or driveway to let everyone know you’re giving out allergy-free treats.  Buy non-candy treats like stickers, crayons, and small toys, and keep everyone a little healthier and safer this Halloween.

Everyone deserves to have fun on Halloween, even if you have no interest in dressing up or knocking on doors. Take a little time this month to get yourself and your home ready and brighten a kid’s day (or night) this Halloween.


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