Party Pointer: Halloween Party Safety Pointers

If you are hosting a Halloween party, be sure to read over these Halloween party safety pointers to protect your guests physically and yourself from any liability:

  1. Prepare your yard, deck and porch–pick up sticks, branches or rocks that might trip up a guest walking through the yard. Clearly mark any holes in the ground or fill them with dirt. Make sure that your sidewalk and steps are clear of any obstructions. Check and clean off your outdoor furniture to be sure it is sturdy and will not tear a guest’s costume.
  2. Check your yard decorations–make sure that there are no frayed electrical cords or that any cords are where they could trip a guest. Make certain all yard décor is lit well so no one will trip on it. All lit pumpkins and luminaries should have LED battery-operated candles or glow sticks instead of real candles.
  3. Prepare the rooms in your home for the party–move anything from stairs and walkways that would be a tripping obstacle, and use nonslip runners and rugs or roll them up for the party. Remove any glass-topped tables or glass decorations that could get broken. If small children will be among the guests, check for sharp edges, put child-proof plugs in the outlet and put up safety gates in front of the stairs. Put away glass items and knives in your kitchen. Have extra toilet paper and a plunger in your bathroom for emergencies. Skip the real candles–use LED battery-operated tealights and pillars.
  4. Make sure nothing is blocking the exits to your home.
  5. Put your pets away during the party so they will not be frightened or excited by all the party hub-bub. This protects your pets from being fed candy as well as your guests who may have pet allergies or fears.
  6. Provide adequate lighting–guests should be able to move around safely. Light up walkways, and clearly indicate exits. You can create a spooky look without turning off all the lights–try some colored light bulbs for atmosphere.
  7. Have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case. Dried cornstalks and crepe paper decorations are highly flammable so keep these and other decorations well away from open flames and heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
  8. Check guests’ costumes as they arrive for any long sleeves or hems that might catch on things, face masks that make it difficult for the guest to see where he/she is walking, costume props like swords or axes that might be dangerous to other guests. Suggest the guest adjust these things so he/she can enjoy being at the party.
  9. Ask your guests in advance about any possible food allergies they may have or any sensitivity to strobe lights if you intend to use them. Ask in the invitations–this will help avoid problems later. Label the food items on your buffet if they have peanuts or shellfish or the like. Practice food safety by not leaving food out over two hours.
  10. Put a first-aid kit where you can reach it quickly as well as the emergency phone numbers for your neighborhood.
  11. If you are using dry ice in a punch bowl, make sure you read up in advance on how to use it. Put your dry ice and hot water in a large bowl and your punch in a small bowl that fits inside the larger one. Since dry ice is not to be ingested and can cause serious damage to your internal organs if swallowed, keep the ingredients of the two bowls separate.
  12. If you are serving alcohol at your party, keep an eye on the drinking and don’t let it get out of hand. If you don’t want to do this yourself, hire a bartender who can keep watch. Ask guests who came together to appoint a designated driver. Don’t be afraid to take the car keys of a guest too intoxicated to drive. Call a ride for this guest, or provide transportation yourself.
  13. Keep an eye on the children. At a Halloween party with guests of all ages in costume, it might be difficult to keep up with all the young guests who might leave the house or yard. Take frequent headcounts.

If you are a conscientious host, you will have a wonderful time dressing up and celebrating Halloween at your party! Enjoy!


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