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happy halloween

Halloween is a night of tricks, treats, and lots of fun. Unfortunately it’s also a night when people often forget to exercise caution. The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is providing the following tips to help make this Halloween a fun and safe night for all.

 

Minimize hazards that could lead to home and auto insurance claims:

  • Turn on outside lights to assist excited trick-or-treaters while on your property. Keep walkways and stairs clear of objects.
  • A typical homeowner’s insurance policy covers damages from fire but artificial or flameless lights are your safest option to help avoid a fire hazard. If real fire is a must, lit candles and jack-o-lanterns should be placed with caution.  Indoors, place them away from curtains, fabrics and other flammable objects. Outdoors, watch out for areas of dry grass or brush.
  • Mischievous goblins are known to egg or otherwise tamper with your vehicle. Park your car in your garage or in a well-lit area and be sure to lock the doors, roll-up windows, and set the alarm. If your vehicle is damaged, it’s usually covered by comprehensive car insurance.
  • Give your pets the night off. Even the friendliest animal can go full werewolf if spooked by the loud noises and scary costumes.
  • Do not overload extension cords or sockets and use heavy-duty extension cords for decorations that require high wattag

Minimize hazards that can lead to medical insurance claims:

  • Check for recalls on costumes and other Halloween accessories, such as flashlights and masks. Some items could be flammable or present choking hazards. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission is a credible resource to check for recall notices.
  • When carving away at pumpkins, work on stable, flat surfaces with good lighting.  Do not let children use sharp knives.
  • Be cautious when crossing the street. The cover of night makes it harder for drivers to spot you. Stay in well-lit areas and carry a flashlight or use reflective tape. It’s also smart to plan your route ahead of time and avoid taking short-cuts through alleys and parking lots.
  • Check treats for any kind of tampering before eating.  Do not accept homemade treats from someone you do not know very well as they could contain allergens.

Remember, whether you are trick-or-treating or passing out candy, Halloween should be fun and safe for everyone! Abide by your city or town’s curfew hours and make sure young children are accompanied by an adult.  Consider attaching their full names and a phone number to their costumes somewhere if they are too young to remember them.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry.

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