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Premises Liability & Halloween

It is that crazy time of year where people decorate their houses, trees, lawns and even sidewalks all in the hope of creating an authentic Halloween atmosphere. Some homeowners are quite creative, constructing almost mini-haunted houses on their front lawns that trick-or-treaters must go through in order to reach the front door. Others, while not so elaborate, may have jack-o-lanterns lit with burning candles. Some may attempt to spook visitors with darkness--keeping the usual post lights or porch lights off.

While these Halloween decorations are all made in fun, they can result in serious injuries. By participating in Halloween festivities, you are inviting trick-or-treaters onto your property, and as a property owner, you are therefore liable for any personal injuries sustained. So how do you minimize your liability and maximize the fun?

Homeowners have a duty to keep their property safe. For rental properties, the responsibility for property safety typically falls on the landlord or management company, unless stated otherwise in the lease. The following are a few safety tips when preparing for the Night of Fright:

  1. Make sure your property is free of tripping hazards
  2. Keep the area well lit
  3. Use battery candles instead of real ones in your jack-o-lanterns
  4. Keep pets confined and away from the trick-or-treaters
  5. Clean all debris from any stairwells/steps

Taking the above reasonable precautions to keep your property safe is a good way to ensure that scary part of Halloween will be the costumes and not any injuries. Additionally, homeowners should make sure that their property insurance is current and that it includes liability coverage. For more information or help with assessing potential liability for personal injury claims, contact our firm.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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