What Are My Responsibilities as a Homeowner on Halloween?

Posted by : Milles Law on October 29, 2018

Halloween is fun for children and adults alike. We understand the work it takes to have the spookiest house in the neighborhood. Who hasn’t spent hours decorating their house for Halloween? However, with that work comes responsibilities. When we take our children trick-or-treating, we expect our neighbors who are participating in Halloween festivities to maintain a safe environment for our children. Actually, it is the law.

If you are a homeowner participating in trick-or-treating, then you are inviting trick-or-treaters onto your property. Under premises liability law, you are also taking on the responsibility to keep your property reasonably safe for trick-or-treaters and their families.

How to Safeguard Your Property on Halloween Night

As homeowners, we can only hope that trick-or-treaters will walk carefully down our walkways to the front door. It’s unlikely. Even so, it’s important that trick-or-treaters and their parents can find their way safely up the walkway. Consider adding lighting. Also, check and repair loose bricks or rocks, where children and their parents could slip or trip.

If there are steps up to the front door, there should be plenty of lighting so no one misses a step. Due to the spooky nature of Halloween, some homeowners will use dim lighting or black lighting. However, if you can’t see far out of your front door, then your visitors’ visibility is likely low too.

Be prepared for children in costumes running through the yard unattended, too. Before the evening’s festivities, it could be beneficial to walk your yard for hazards, such as loose soil, holes, yard tools or tree stumps.

Check for risky Halloween decorations too. A fog machine could cause breathing problems for young children or even an asthma attack. Strobe lights have been known to cause seizures for certain individuals.

Florida recognizes the attractive nuisance doctrine as a part of premises liability law, too. An attractive nuisance can be any object, structure, or condition that could hurt a child, but could also appeal to a child. Halloween decorations in the yard that could cause an injury could be seen as an attractive nuisance in court.

We also recommend to keep your dog indoors on Halloween. It’s better for them and better for guests. A dog bite falls under premises liability. Dogs can also be considered as attractive nuisances.

Keeping our children safe from potential dangers is so important. Take action by doing your best to eliminate the risk. If there is a situation you can’t remedy, do your best to warn children and their families of the danger. You could use a warning sign or block off that area of your property.

If you are unsure of how to best protect your little Halloween visitors and yourself from potential premises liability lawsuits, ask an experienced attorney. If you or your child has been injured on someone else’s property due to negligence, Milles Law has successful experience in a wide variety of personal injury lawsuits, including premises liability lawsuits. Contact us today at (855)-553-3310 or fill out our online form.

Your Rights. Your Lawyer. Your Personal Injury Law Firm.

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