Nothing symbolizes Halloween like a glowing jack o’ lantern. But despite their ubiquitousness during this season, jack o’ lanterns can pose serious safety risks to tenants and rental houses alike. As a Palatine rental property owner, there is a need to inform your tenants about how they can avoid fires and injuries. By sharing a few safety tips, your tenants can have fun and enjoy their holiday celebrations without fear of accident or injury.
Jack o’ lanterns are common holiday decorations usually made from pumpkins. People cut off the top and scoop out the inside flesh. Then they carve an image out of the rind— usually a scary face. They are traditionally lit with small candles. The flickering flame gives it that eerie factor. Then they are placed on porches, patios, and railings for the whole neighborhood to enjoy. Now, they just can’t be placed anywhere you like. If you place carved pumpkins next to doorways, walkways, and other easily accessed areas, you’re basically setting up several safety hazards. Case in point, carved pumpkins can deteriorate in just a few days, creating a slimy mess of rotting pumpkin that can make stairs and sidewalks slippery. If you’re not careful, pumpkins will also attract hornets and other pests, insects that will sting or bite if disturbed.
Adding candles to a jack o’ lantern is another safety issue. This is a very real possibility if the pumpkins are placed too close to doorways where the costumes or clothing of visitors could catch fire. Every year, Halloween decorations cause an estimated $13 million in property damage, dozens of injuries, and even deaths. Thankfully, there is a lot you and your tenants can accomplish to avert such a disaster.
By curbing the period of time that carved pumpkins are left sitting outside, you’ll be able to prevent plenty of pumpkin-related messes and spills. The pumpkin will begin to rot or attract unwanted pests the longer it is left outside, exposed to the elements. Encourage your tenants to wait as long as they can before they carve and display pumpkins, and then, just before Halloween, to set them outside. After the holiday is over they can properly dispose of them right away. This can help ensure that doorways and walkways won’t have slippery spills and that the area would be free of stinging insects.
There is another option. Instead of your tenants carving on a real pumpkin, they can carve hardshell gourds or craft pumpkins instead. Gourds don’t break down and rot as pumpkins do, making them better if you want to keep the decorations up for a longer period. A safe and fun option to try is craft pumpkins. Craft pumpkins look like the real thing but are made of foam or other materials that can last a longer period of time. And since they don’t rot, they can be carved or decorated and displayed safely year after year without having to buy new ones.
All of these measures can help prevent many risks and accidents. However, the biggest safety issue with jack o’ lanterns is when they are lit. Candles, for some considerable time, have been the illumination source of choice for carved pumpkins, but always be aware that their open flames can create a serious fire hazard. In case that your tenants are preparing to make use of candles in their decorations, make sure that they understand that they need to take precautionary measures.
Tenants should clear away dry leaves and other debris from the area where lit pumpkins will be placed. They should understand the seriousness of never leaving lit candles unattended, and place them at a safe distance from doorways and walkways. However, the best option for safety would be to strongly urge your tenants to have an alternative lighting source, such as glow sticks, which are non-flammable, do not use batteries or electricity, and are weatherproof. Glow sticks can also be used to illuminate craft pumpkins, unlike candles which should never be used in these decorations.
Carving and displaying jack o’ lanterns is an enjoyable part of Halloween, but only if it is safely executed. Teaching your tenant jack o’ lantern safety is a crucial responsibility, but it often takes time to do. If, as they say, time is gold, then really, tenant education may not be a great utilization of your precious time. On the contrary, think about working with Real Property Management Northwest Chicago Suburbs to carry it out for you. Our comprehensive property management services include important safety advice to your tenants. This would help keep them, and your property, free from injury and fire hazards. If you have any questions about what we can offer Palatine property owners like yourself, feel free to contact us today.
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