It won’t be long now until kids of all ages flood the streets on Hallowe’en.
And when you’re getting ready to hand out treats to all those little hockey players, princesses and ghosts – do kids still dress as ghosts? – it’s also time for a quick security audit of your house and property to make sure everyone has a fun and safe time.
There are some basic things to do that won’t take long at all.
1. Insure your property is free of tripping hazards (severed heads notwithstanding)
2. Dress your kids in costumes that fit securely (except if your son insists – yet again – on going as a mummy)
3. Occupy your front door at all times during peak trick-or-treater times (you never know when your cat will make a run for it)
4. Ensure your door is well lit (so that the Felix Baumgartner lookalikes have somewhere to land).
Of course, homeowners keen on shows like “NCIS” and “Homeland” could always re-frame their standard Hallowe’en safety tips into something that sounds like a Secret Service operation.
That’s exactly what a local community college in Los Angeles suggests in providing the following tips, quoted verbatim (because we couldn’t resist) but edited for length.
1. Engage in Situational Analysis – Look Out and Stand Guard!
Homeland Security concept is simply learning how to be more aware of your surroundings to protect yourself against any acts of violence or injury. The act of trick or treating and the increase of individuals attending Halloween parties outside of their own residential area, means an influx of traffic and persons visiting unfamiliar neighborhoods.
2. Practice Security Management Tactics – Is that Halloween Costume Safe?
While dressing up as a witch, ghost or goblin, may be fun and entertaining, the greater question is whether the costume is safe. Select costumes that are flame resistant, easily visible at night, and have bright and reflective materials incorporated into the fabric.
3. Emergency Response Preparedness – How to Better Mobilize Yourself Against Crime.
During the Korean War, a fighter pilot, Colonel John Boyd, USAF (ret) developed the OODA concept, “Observe, Orient, Decide and take Action” that was designed to increase your chances of survival in a dangerous situation.
Civilians can use this same concept to detect signs of danger and prevent violent encounters by applying OODA during Halloween. For example, if you are trick or treating and you are fast approaching a group of individuals who are drinking beer and screaming obscenities at you, your first action is to remain calm, unemotional and in control.
Engaging in crisis emergency response preparedness in this situation is to first take inventory of the individuals in front of you, which includes identifying any marked characteristics that you can easily recall later.
Have a fun and safe Hallowe’en from your friends at Veridin.