Halloween is perhaps the pinnacle of the fall season for many, and there are plenty of ways for adults & children to enjoy the holiday. However, there are many potential pitfalls to steer clear of so you don’t end up with an unplanned costume…behind bars. Here are five ways to keep your Halloween safe & fun.
In the Workplace
Many workplaces allow, and some even encourage, Halloween festivities, including costumes. While the holiday can certainly add elements of fun to the workday, there are several ways the festivities can work against you. Be cautious with your costume choice. Any outfits that are racist, inappropriate, or overtly sexual in nature may lead to reputation injury, or worse, potential lawsuits. In addition, choosing to wear certain costumes could muddy the waters in any of personal harm claim post-event.
Hosting a party? Opening your door for trick-or-treaters? Then you’ll need to pay attention. As a party host, you need to pay attention and obey social host liability laws and noise ordinances (keep it down after 11:00 PM in Charlotte). North Carolina is one of several states that has social host liability laws. A social host can be a private individual, employer, or organization. If a party goer leaves your party intoxicated and causes a crash, you could potentially be held liable. This liability is limited to injuries suffered by a third party; a host is not liable for injuries sustained by the drunken guest. The following three elements put you, as a host, at risk:
- You served alcohol to the guest,
- You should have known the person was intoxicated, and
- You knew the person would be driving after the party.
The best way to prevent such liability is to simply not provide alcohol at a party. However, limiting the amount of alcohol served to each guests (perhaps by using Spooky themed drink tickets), providing non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers, serving ample food, and providing access to services such as Uber or Lyft are all simple precautions.
Even if you opt to skip the party, you could still have property liability issues if you are passing out candy to trick-or-treaters. To avoid some of the common issues, make sure the walking paths are clear, well-lit, and free from open flames (including the pumpkins!). Remember, costumes are flammable and kids are vulnerable. Even with the parents close behind, it only takes moments for an accident to occur. Protect yourself from liability and the kids from harm by following some simple guidelines.
On the Roads
Since Halloween falls on a weekend this year, it is especially important to remember to be extra alert and practice safe driving habits. There will be extra patrol out looking for distracted, intoxicated, or reckless drivers. And, during Charlotte’s trick or treat hours (around 6 pm), there will be kids crossing streets, crowding sidewalks, and walking on or near roadways. It will be dusk and dark during the busiest times which further complicates the situation and decreases visibility.
Texting while driving, driving under the influence, or speeding is especially dangerous on Halloween. Charlotte was recently named one of the best cities for trick or treating. That fact, combined with the holiday landing on a Saturday, will definitely draw large volumes of trick-or-treaters to the area. Make sure you are practicing safe habits as you travel to and from parties, bars, and the store (to replenish your candy supply!).
Keep it Safe & Legal
Halloween is a holiday that appeals to a wide range of people and takes many forms of celebration. Costumes, masks, candy, alcohol, and tricks are all a part of the holiday. This year, all of the elements combine on the same day, as the holiday falls on a Saturday. In order to keep the day (and night) a safe & fun treat for all, there are several extra precautions to take and safety tips to keep in mind as you are traveling, celebrating, and enjoying Halloween. Of course, if you need us, you can always contact us. No tricks and no judgment.