The nights are drawing in, winter is coming and your neighbourhood seems just that little bit less welcoming when the sun goes down. The spookiest time of year is here, and for one night only those dark streets are full of vampires, ghouls and witches all out to cause a little mischief.
Some trick-or-treaters are out to have more than just a little fun though, and Hallowe’en now brings a massive increase in the number of home and car insurance claims compared to other times of year – usually resulting from vandalism and burglary.
Would-be thieves take full advantage of the end of British Summertime to emerge under cover of darkness, using the distraction of big events and busy streets to prey on the unsuspecting. Whilst most of us are out partying, carving pumpkins and handing out sweets, there’s always someone out to ruin our fun.
To help keep you safe this year, here are Adrian Flux’s Hallowe’en haunted house insurance top tips:
- Make sure that you lock all the doors and windows, including on sheds and garages. Even if you’re staying in, thieves may hope that you’re distracted by all the other ghostly goings-on whilst they sneak in
- If you’re out for the night, leave some lights on and the radio playing – break-ins and smashed windows are one of the most likely claims at Halloween, so do all you can to dissuade conspiring burglars
- Remove ornaments from your garden, especially if you’re not going to be at home. Not only could Hallowe’en haunters break valuables, but your garden gnome could become a thief’s accomplice if they try to get in
- Don’t keep any valuables near the front door – quick thinking trick-or-treaters might be able to swipe car keys, wallets and phones left just inside the door
- Park your car in your garage, especially if trick-or-treaters would have to walk by the car to knock on your door. If you can’t park in the garage, getting off the road and onto the driveway will help prevent damage from passersby
- Don’t leave spare keys outside your house – not a good idea at the best of times, and the Hallowe’en hubbub outside might mean you don’t notice someone silently letting themselves in
On top of damage to your property, you should be especially wary of distraction burglaries at Hallowe’en. Distraction crimes take place all year round, but never more so than at Hallowe’en, with little ghosts and ghouls calling for treats well into the night. Watch out for people taking advantage of visitors to sneak in whilst your back is turned.
It’s always far better to be safe than sorry, and if you don’t feel comfortable answering the door to trick-or-treaters then simply don’t. There are all sorts of signs and stickers available online to let revelers know not to ring your bell – and some official police ones are available too to dissuade even the most mischievous of creatures.
Above all, whatever you do this Hallowe’en, have fun, stay safe and don’t be afraid of the dark.