Neighbourhoods across the UK are preparing for a night of ghoulish goings-on as Halloween arrives on 31st October.
The celebration of Halloween has grown in popularity with families over the past few decades as the event has become more and more commercialised by retailers. No matter where you look this October, the shops will be filled with creepy costumes, disturbing decorations, and sugary sweets to satisfy the trick or treaters that will be knocking our doors on Halloween night.
What is Halloween?
According to history.com, Halloween is…
“An annual holiday celebrated each year on 31st October. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating treats.”
What to expect in your neighbourhood on Halloween night
Halloween night itself is a pretty unique event. After all, it’s not every evening that you can expect to receive a raft of visitors to your door - especially those who are dressed in their most spooky attire.
The tradition of trick-or-treating became a widespread Halloween tradition across North America in the early twentieth century. It inspires children and families to visit homes in their local neighbourhood dressed in scary costumes and to ask residents the question: “trick or treat?”
As the homeowner, answering “trick” means you’re not prepared to give a treat and accept that the visitor may choose to do something mischievous to you or your property - such as play a prank. Answering “treat” means you are happy to give them a reward for their efforts, usually in the form of chocolate and sweets.
Spotting which homes are welcoming visitors is sometimes challenging, but those taking part will usually signal their involvement by displaying decorations outside their home. These include carved pumpkins (Jack-O-Lanterns), ghostly props, lights and more.
Home security at Halloween
Whilst most people enjoy Halloween for taking part in some harmless, light-hearted fun, others might choose to take advantage of the occasion for the wrong reasons. Because of this, it’s important to remain vigilant in the midst of the excitement.
Recent analysis by leading insurer, Aviva UK, showed that home insurance claims for theft rose by 45% on Halloween 2018.
This statistic is perhaps supported by the fact the clocks go back by one hour only a few days before Halloween, guaranteeing thieves the cover of darkness in which to target unoccupied homes.
With all this in mind, it’s important to consider whether your home security is up to scratch ahead of the autumn and winter months.
What if Halloween isn't for you?
The activities surrounding Halloween can be an unsettling and frightening experience for some, especially the elderly, who feel much more comfortable having their privacy respected. Others simply don’t want to take part in the festivities and would much rather not answer the door to strangers.
Telling trick or treaters that they should avoid your property is not always easy, but there are things you can do to help convey a clear message.
No matter whether you choose to celebrate Halloween or not, our tips below will help you to protect your home and enjoy more peace of mind in the run-up to the new year.
6 security tips to keep your home safe this Halloween
1. Keep the door locked
As you should every evening, keep your front door locked. It might be slightly annoying to unlock the door every time you greet friendly phantoms with your sweet bowl, but this will prevent any opportunist thief (who could even be posing as a trick or treater) from attempting to steal from you.
2. Check who’s there
Before opening your door, if you can discreetly check who's there through a spy hole or upstairs window, you'll have a better idea of whether it's a trick or treater, expected visit or unwelcome soul.
3. Light up the darkness
If you have outdoor security lighting installed at your home, make sure it is working and switched on. That way, you can ensure any visitors are put under the spotlight whilst they're on your property. As well as providing better visibility of outside areas, it can feel much safer when there is light available. If you don't have lighting installed, it is worth looking into the options available, such as motion-sensing LED lights.
4. Set your alarm if heading out
If you're planning to be out, or off trick or treating yourself, make sure that your home's burglar alarm system is fully-set. If you don't have an alarm system installed, now is a great time to consider the options available. Systems can be wired or wireless and offer great value for money. Click here for more information on our home alarm systems.
5. Don’t make it look like no-one is home
Whilst trick or treaters might leave disappointed when they realise that they won’t be getting treats from you, we still recommend that your home looks occupied. It might be tempting to turning off all the lights to discourage visitors but remember this could give a burglar the impression the house lies empty. Sure, turn off lights around the front door, but aim to leave at least a few on upstairs or downstairs.
6. Download our free 'No Trick or Treat Poster
As well as keeping pumpkins off the doorstep, we’ve created a poster to place on your door or window to politely warn trick or treaters that you aren’t taking part in the celebrations.
DOWNLOAD YOUR POSTER
Are you ready for darker nights?
Did you know that Allcooper is currently running a campaign focused on helping homeowners improve their security as the nights draw in? As well as useful advice and information, we’re offering new customers a 20% saving off new home security installations, plus a FREE 24-Hour Timer Switch.
CLICK HERE FOR FULL OFFER DETAILS
For more home security advice and information, please call our team on 01452 372626 or fill in our online enquiry form.