By AAA Western and Central New York
No one chooses the trick over the treat, but sometimes you can't avoid Halloween mischief. Whether you're throwing a monster bash with friends, going door-to-door with the little ghouls or just doling out the candy corn at home, keep these tips in mind for a happy Halloween.
"Property vandalism and injuries tend to spike on Halloween night," said Steve Seitz, insurance manager, AAA Western and Central New York. "It's important to make sure you're covered for whatever hijinks might occur."
Prepare for pranksters: Vehicles are nearly twice as likely to be vandalized on Halloween as on an average day, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute. To avoid having your car egged or even stolen, park it in a secure garage or a safe, well-lit area. Double check that car doors are locked and windows are up. Arm your car alarm if you have one.
Look out for black cats, blind spots and Batman: Drive slowly and be on the lookout for creatures that can come out of nowhere. Turn your headlights on earlier in the day to spot children from greater distances. Don't hesitate to use your horn if you're concerned that trick-or-treaters may not see you coming. Never drink and drive.
Light up the night: Generous lighting outside of your home keeps the creeps away while providing safe passage to party guests and trick-or-treaters. Keep walkways and stairs clear of debris and make sure they're well-lit to avoid slips, trips and falls.
Follow safe pumpkin protocol: Keep candles, lit jack-o-lanterns, matches and lighters where children can't reach. Celebrants in unwieldy costumes - or masks that limit sight - are particularly at risk of brushing against open flames. Use flameless candles if possible.
Beware the brew: Keep a close eye on your guests. Depending on your local laws, you could be liable for injuries they cause to themselves or others while still at your party or driving home. Serve nonalcoholic beverages and food along with your preferred potion. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party ends.
Say boo to bad luck with insurance: For more information on auto, homeowners and other personal lines of insurance, contact your local AAA office.