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Less Tricks, More Treats: Tips for Staying Safe this Halloween

South Tampa Resident Holding a Stack of a Decorated Pumpkin and a Jack-o-LanternThe holiday of Halloween has become synonymous with candy for most Americans. And for children, Halloween = candy. This makes Trick-or-treating one of the most Halloween activities in the country, including in South Tampa. Your tenants may plan to participate in trick-or-treating by going out, or they may choose to stay home and be the ones receiving costumed guests for candies. Either way, there are some important things they can do to makes sure the evening is a safe and enjoyable one for all. Now, as a property owner, regular tenant communication is encouraged, and this includes providing some safety tips on trick-or-treating.

The first thing we’ll look at are some simple safety rules your tenants should follow if they decide to go out trick-or-treating. You can encourage tenants to use reflective tape on costumes or carry flashlights to help improve visibility while walking down dark streets. It’s also good to give them advice about costumes. Avoid masks that obstruct your vision and skip the oversized shoes, robes, or skirts that could cause someone to trip and fall. Encourage your tenants to secure all doors, douse any candles, and turn off all electronic decorations when they leave the house. Because, when candles and electric decorations are left unattended, they are a huge risk. They are one of the leading causes of residential fires on Halloween.

Second, we need to talk about properly preparing for visitors. This is the other side of trick-or-treating, which means it is also a very important part of the Halloween celebration. As the property owner, one big help is to perform regular landscaping maintenance or ensuring that your tenants have done so. Clearing away overgrowth, low-hanging branches, and other potential hazards are some preventive maintenance that you can do any time of the year.

Encourage your tenants to help the celebration go without accidents by clearing leaves and debris from sidewalks, driveways, and walkways, as well as removing any tripping hazards like garden hoses. It’s also a good plan to check the property’s exterior lights. If there are any burned-out bulbs, they should be replaced. As you walk around checking the lights, also keep an eye out for any dark areas around the property. It’s best that these be illuminated with extra light sources, such as landscaping lights or even battery-powered tea lights in decorative bags. A clear and well-lit walkway is a safe walkway.

If your tenant plans to display jack o’ lanterns, then they should do so safely. Here are a few tips you could give to them. First, keep doorways and walkways free of candles and other hazards. You could also suggest to your tenants to use lighting sources that do not require an open flame. However, if your tenant insists on being traditional and goes with candles in their decorating, have them place it in a low-risk area. See to it that they are at a safe distance from where visitors might be walking or standing. Another important thing is to ensure that all exterior decorations your tenant hangs up are properly secured. Should a decorative item fall and injure a visitor, that would be a disaster. Or what if an improperly placed candle would burn someone or start a fire? This could result in, among other things, a lawsuit against you as the property owner.

There are some additional precautions your tenant can take to prevent accidents and injuries on Halloween. If your tenant has pets and plans to give out candy on Halloween, they should be sure to keep their furry friends indoors and secured in a safe location. It’s best for the sake of your pet. Doing this ensures that nobody gets hurt because some strangers stressed out a dog. Together with that, wouldn’t you absolutely hate it if you get sued because your tenant’s dog injured someone?

Your tenants should also know that not all items are considered safe and appropriate for trick-or-treaters of all ages. Store-bought, individually wrapped items are normally the go-to option, provided, of course, that they aren’t too small that they pose as a choking hazard. In some neighborhoods, you can leave a bowl of treats outside. This is really smart especially if your tenant is not planning to hand out candies themselves. Doing this not only makes the experience better for the kids but it also helps your rental property from becoming the target of Halloween pranks and vandalism.

While educating your tenants is an important part of rental property ownership— and it’s something you can’t ignore— it also takes up so much time. With so many demands that your real estate investing business requires from you, it might make sense to hire a South Tampa property manager. Real Property Management TradeWinds is an expert in the industry, providing services that allow you to spend your time on more valuable aspects of rental property ownership. Please contact us online or call us at 727-400-4722 to learn more about what we have to offer property owners like yourself.

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