Halloween has always been a day that is surrounded by an air of death and fright, but we as a society know that these grisly images and macabre masks are for fun. In reality, we still wish to avoid the mortal dangers of the world regardless of how in-depth we go with our festivities.
Historically, Halloween has been a very crime filled day due to the inordinate number of people on the streets, folks opening their homes when the doorbell rings, and general ease for criminals to sneak around in the night with who knows what underneath their costumes.
Well, we have spent the last few Halloweens talking to you about the potential dangers that surround this scary evening and what you should do to prepare yourself and be ready for anything this holiday has to offer.
Is It Really Something to Worry About?
Halloween is a night of fun but also can be a night of terror if you allow it. There are plenty of stories out there about things happening on Halloween. We spoke about them on Episode 65 of the Concealed Carry Podcast and that was just a select few.
In 2016 on Halloween there were incidents such as parties interrupted by Freddy Krueger, a Halloween Shooting of a 5-year-old boy, a Halloween shooting in North Denver that killed 2, and a mass shooting in New York that left 2 dead and 5 injured.
HOW TO STAY SAFE ON HALLOWEEN (WHAT THE GOVERNMENT SAYS)
Now, most people know about the suggestions that the National Security Council has given to parents and young trick-or-treaters, but if you haven't seen it, it is a good list to check out, so we have it for you right here …
- All children under the age of 12 should be accompanied by an adult or someone who will be responsible for them.
- Talk to your children about where they may go. Tell them what areas are off limits. Set boundaries of where they are allowed to go. Drive the route with them earlier that day or the night before so there is no confusion.
- Make sure your children know to only stop at well-lit homes. If a house is dark and the porch light is off, tell them to skip the home and go on.
- Decide when your children will leave and what time they are expected to return home. Make sure they have a watch.
- Tell your children to bring all candy home for your inspection before they eat any. Inspect the candy when they return. Do not allow them to eat any home-baked goods or open candy.
- Review safety guidelines on talking to strangers, accepting rides from strangers and entering strangers' homes. Remind them these rules are still in place on Halloween.
- Be sure your children have reflectors on their costume and/or a flashlight so they can easily be seen. One option is to have them carry a glow-in-the-dark bag to carry candy.
- If it is cold, be sure your children's costumes can keep them warm. Make sure they wear sturdy, comfortable shoes. Be sure their costumes are far enough from the ground to prevent tripping.
Source: The National Safety Council
That seems like a lot of rules and while many of them are just common sense items there are still plenty on this list that are good to know or to re-hash every so often so that your children are a bit better prepared for the night out.
However, in this list, we have noticed a distinct lack of talk about firearms and the ability they have to make your night safer, so that's why we have come up with our own suggestions for carriers to prepare for their night out.
HOW TO STAY SAFE ON HALLOWEEN (WHAT CONCEALEDCARRY.COM SAYS)
So just like the National Security Council has done, we have made our own short, sweet list of how best to stay safe on Halloween. Without further ado, here's the Halloween Safety Checklist for Carriers.
For Carriers Staying at Home:
- Make sure your front and back yards are well lit and the lights stay on all night. This will help deter potential criminals from viewing your house as an empty target for burglary.
- Vandalism increases statistically on Halloween. Whether it is toilet paper and eggs, graffiti, or worse, make sure that your property isn't hit. Again yard lights will help indicate that you are home. Lights on inside will make people aware that people are awake at home as well. As for cars, if you have the ability make sure that you park cars in closed garages or in driveways/parking lots where they are visible to you from inside your home.
- Even if you are not a fan of trick-or-treaters coming to your door don't act like the house is empty to deter the children. Do not turn off lights and leave candy on the front porch. That is an invitation for strangers to walk onto your property.
- Don't answer the door after 9 pm. Most children are already wrapping up their night out at that point.
- Whenever, if ever you do open the front door, make sure to use discretion. Criminals take advantage of the tendency to open the door for every knock or ring.
- Make sure you're carrying your gun so you can act if necessary. We are advocates of home carry every day of the year, not just Halloween.
- If you don't plan to give out candy, consider putting a sign out front that says so, while leaving your house lit.
- Follow the rest of our tips in our Complete Home Defense Course.
For Carriers Going Out and About:
Only attend smaller group parties where you know everyone in attendance. Large parties full of strangers could be subject to being targets for attackers (especially on Halloween).
Report suspicious activity to the police right away but remember that average police response times are going to be a bit slower on Halloween.
Costumes that rely on masks greatly decrease visibility and situational awareness. Makeup is preferred if you need something on your face.
You are more vulnerable to attack in the dark. Be sure to have a good flashlight.
- Remain alert and aware of your surroundings. Remember that some kids are just innocent idiots so try not react unless you're positive that there is a threat.
And as always, make sure you're carrying your gun.
Have we left anything out? Let us know in the comments below.