How to Avoid Halloween Legal Issues

halloween legal issues

Now that Halloween is right around the corner, everyone is looking for the best costumes and tastiest treats. And while Halloween is usually regarded as a children’s holiday, adults also like to join in on the fun. Because of this, there are more factors that need to be considered before the candy corn is dished and the pumpkins are carved.

Surprisingly, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled Halloween as one of the most dangerous and fatal holidays. The most common hazards involving Halloween include falling down stairs, tripping on sidewalks, and dog bites. But there are more dangerous risks involved, such as car accidents, fire hazards, and alcohol-related injuries.

The Major Risks

When trick-or-treaters are out roaming the neighborhoods, or you invite friends over to tour your backyard haunted-house, be sure that all hazards are eliminated beforehand. With most Halloween costumes, sight is usually obscured and certain costumes could result in tripping. If someone falls on your property, you could be held liable.

Another Halloween risk involves fires. Be sure to place candles far from walking paths. Long costumes could brush up against candles, setting them ablaze. Fire hazards also include electrical fires. With all of the Halloween lights and decorations, be sure not to overload electrical outlets.

For the adult parties where alcohol may be involved, remember that you may be held responsible if one of your guests causes an accident, even after they leave your property. For instance, if one of your guests becomes intoxicated on your property then leaves and causes a traffic accident, you could be liable. Some tips to avoid alcohol-related accidents:

  • Consider limiting the number of drinks a person can consume
  • Instruct guests that their keys may be held if they become intoxicated
  • Have guests sign a contract that relieves you of liability should an alcohol-related accident occurs

Consider Upgrading Your Insurance

If you are considering having a large party on your property, you may want to consider upgrading your insurance policy for the event. Sometimes injuries happen when many people are gathered, especially if alcohol is present. A basic insurance policy may not cover you against medical liabilities, which could result in significant fees. While adding to your current insurance policy may cost you a few extra dollars, you will be glad that you did it should someone get seriously injured on your property.

Recommendations by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Swords, knives, and similar costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trust adult.

Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.


Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. Always WALK and don’t run from house to house.

Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

Look both ways before crossing the street. Use established crosswalks wherever possible.

Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

Enter homes only if you’re with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Don’t stop at dark houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Bighorn Staff

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