One of the biggest risks that landlords face at Halloween – and no, it’s not packing on a couple pounds from sampling the candy, is fire.
Jack-o-lanterns illuminated with candles are a serious risk to tenants and property alike. Often times fires start when these Halloween hallmarks are left unattended on porches or common areas. Windy weather or mischievous children can easily carry the flame too close to curtains, papers or combustibles. Little ones have been know to tip the base over to peer inside, spilling hot wax that can burn skin or spark house fires. Children’s costumes can easily glide over the openings and catch fire.
In addition, dry conditions in many places, like Daytona Beach and the Colorado Front Range have fire officials urging all residents to avoid candle-illuminated pumpkins.
The fire risk is compounded when the jack-o-lanterns are placed in closed-in spaces, like a homemade haunted house created by hanging sheets or blankets to darken the area.
Other Halloween risks include children trick-or-treating in the dark in costumes that are poorly suited for outdoors – capes and gowns that are too long and masks that limit vision are prone to cause slip and fall accidents on stairwells or get entangled in elevator doors.
Also a good idea: discourage some of the more graphic costumes currently on the market to avoid terrorizing unsuspecting residents who are accustomed to seeing something a little tamer when they answer their doorbells.
See a previous Halloween feature, How to Protect Your Rental Property From Bats.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your rental housing investment, including rental forms, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org.