Do you have a costume for Halloween yet? Whether you’re dressing up for the office, for a party, or for the kids in your neighbourhood, chances are you’ll be celebrating All Hallow’s Eve. Last year, more than 175 million Americans celebrated, and 7 out of 10 consumers planned to hand out candy.
Here are some ways you can prepare your home or business for the little ghosts and goblins, and big ones, who come to ask for treats or play tricks.1. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
You can deter theft and vandalism by improving visibility around a property. Take a walk around your building and the perimeter of your property and look for any weak points.
- Do trees and shrubs, and the decorations on them, obscure the view of your building from the street?
- Is your property fenced in, front and back, with a lockable gate?
- Have you installed bright lighting outside, especially around entrances and walkways?
- Are your exterior doors and windows secure? Solid-core doors with dead-bolt locks are a good idea for homes.
- Do you have a clear view of your sheds and outbuildings from the main building?
Cars are twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween as on any other day. At home, park your vehicle in a garage or in a well-lit area. Roll up your windows, lock your doors and engage your alarm system.
For auto dealerships, construction sites and other sites with outdoor assets, in addition to the CPTED principles above, your best defence is an event-triggered security system. Security cameras that issue an alert if, for example, a group of teens decides to celebrate by throwing eggs, smashing windows or climbing cranes.
A similar system works well for monitoring retail display windows and entrance ways and outdoor storage areas.
Halloween is also a busy retail holiday, with many businesses drawing trick-or-treaters all day and night. With the increased traffic comes more opportunities for shoplifters. This is a good time to review your indoor security cameras. Is your analog CCTV unit still doing the job? Perhaps it’s time to upgrade to a DVR system with alarm verification, just in case some goblins decide to sneak in after hours.
While you’re taking your CPTED walk around your building, keep an eye for any slippery or uneven patches on your pavement or steps. Consider using electric lights instead of candles to light up your walkway or pumpkins. If you think it’s funny to scare the little ones when you open your door, just don’t. The last thing you need is some little fairy to bolt down your stairs, trip on your uneven path, knock over a candle and set your decorations on fire. And just in case any of that happens? Take a look at whether your insurance policy covers slips and falls on your property, or candle fires.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!
- Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. York Regional Police.
- Halloween Fast Facts. CNN, November 5, 2018.
- Halloween Safety Tips for Homes and Businesses. Insurance Programs of America.