halloween risk reduction

Halloween is Coming to a Multifamily Community Near You!

Are you ready for Halloween?  It is a fun time of year but traditions like Trick or Treating can present unusual risks for multifamily communities.  Have you taken the proper action to prepare and protect your community?  Today in our blog we are going to give you some tips for Halloween risk reduction in your multifamily community!

From live fire inside pumpkins placed on wooden landings and balconies to Trick or Treat trip hazards, multifamily communities should be well aware of the risks associated with Halloween celebrations.  But knowledge is only half the battle.  Every multifamily community should take steps to protect their property and residents this season.

Multifamily Halloween Risk Reduction Tip: Identify Potentially Hazards

Fire: Halloween carries an increased risk of fire hazard. Often residents love to decorate with open flames, candles, Jack-o-Lanterns and more but each of these can easily cause a fire.  Additionally, when there are many adults waiting for children to trick or treat in the outdoors, you will often see many of them smoking.  Discarded cigarettes that are not properly disposed of can also cause a fire hazard.

Trip Hazards: Often Halloween will be an increased population to your community, especially if you are hosting activities.  Simply because people are unfamiliar with your community, there is an increased risk of trip hazard.  Add to that children in ill fitting costumes and shoes and you could have a recipe for disaster!

Vandalism: Halloween is also a very popular time for vandalism.  This is generally nothing more than older kids and teens who are bored but it can be costly for your property and residents if not avoided.

Theft / Violence: By far the biggest hazard that you want to avoid is anything that could mean risking the safety of your residents.  During Halloween people often enjoy hiding behind masks and committing crimes they otherwise may not have considered.  People are lax with their door locking because of Trick or Treaters.  Combine this with many people lingering in your community who may not have had a background check and it may create a hot locale for theft or violence.

Multifamily Halloween Risk Reduction Tip: Prepare Your Community

  • In preparation for the Halloween season, be sure to perform maintenance checks that ensure the safety and functionality of your multifamily community.
  • Double check lighting and replace any bulbs necessary.
  • In decorating your community, use durable, nonbreakable items.  Avoid glass and candles.
  • Check landscaping, trees and bushes for any low hanging, overhanging or damaged foliage, tree limbs, etc.
  • Walk your property looking for broken or uneven concrete, sidewalks, stairs etc. If you cannot get broken items fixed prior to Halloween events, at bare minimum, block them off so that they do not become hazardous.
  • Double check that all smoke detectors are in working order and replace any batteries needed.
  • Consider hiring additional security for the evening and prepare for overtime hours for maintenance staff to cleanup after the evening.
  • Update your first aid kit and be sure that emergency plans are readily accessible just in case.
  • Double check all locks, doors, gates etc to ensure that they are secured and un-tampered with.  Encourage your residents to do the same.  This will help reduce theft.
  • If vandalism DOES occur, be sure to clean it up ASAP.

Although this can sound like an extensive list to add to your maintenance schedule, having a performance management software like Leonardo247 can allow your team to seamlessly and with little effort, schedule these items into your regular action cycles.

Multifamily Halloween Risk Reduction Tip: Offer Structured Community Activities

One of the best methods of Halloween risk reduction in your multifamily community is to host structured activities during the Halloween season.  This will cut down on the number of keg fueled costume parties and will direct your residents to enjoy themselves in an organized manner.  Additionally it can be GREAT advertising for your multifamily community.  Encourage your residents to invite friends and family.  They may all be potential residents!

Here are some great community activity ideas for Halloween:

Set Trick or Treat Guidelines and distribute them readily so that the community is well informed of the rules surrounding the holiday.  Make sure to post on social media, website, on a poster in the office and on flyers distributed to doors.  Consider offering an alternative to Trick or Treating in your community such as prizes in the office or gift bags for each of the children in your community.  If you DO allow Trick or Treating, be sure to outline specifics date and time as well as location.  You could encourage something like a “Trunk or Treat” or an indoor Trick or Treat in your community room.

Host a costume contest.  Include a pet contest if your community is pet friendly.  This will keep singles from feeling left out.

Throw a Halloween party and invite local vendors to give out samples.  Have food, drink, games etc and tailor it to your community’s residents.  If you are hosting a family friend event, have games, crafts and face painting.  If your community is mostly singles, consider making the event an upscale wine and cheese mixer.  If you have a heavily pent centric community, offer a YAPPY HOUR that includes pets.

Organize a Halloween decor contest. Encourage your residents to decorate their patios, doors, etc and allow each resident to vote for their favorite.  Offer a small prize like a restaurant gift card to encourage participation.

Conduct a charity centered drive. Use Halloween to mark the beginning of the holiday season. Invite your residents to attend an event such as pumpkin carving night and have the “cost” of admission be a canned goods or a coat donation that can be given to a local charity.

No matter how you choose to handle Halloween festivities in your multifamily community, risk reduction should always be at the forefront of your mind.  Not only because it protects your residents but because it also protects your community.  We hope, that with these great tips, you will be able to have a SAFE and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!



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