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2013: TC10222013_Halloween The Big "I" provides numerous resources to assist consumer and general business writers, editors and producers with insurance-related or small business-related stories. IIABA has knowledgeable staff sources as well as hundreds of local agent spokespeople located in communities across the nation who are available to answer questions from reporters and serve as news sources on insurance-related consumer issues.
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Have a Safe Halloween from Trusted Choice®
Independent insurance agents offer tips to protect families, homeowners and drivers from scary risks.
Halloween.jpgALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 22, 2013 — Halloween is just around the corner and many consumers may not realize how frightening this spooky night could really be for their personal safety, their property or their bank accounts. Trusted Choice® independent agents can help families better prepare for Halloween hazards that may come in disguise or under the cloak of dark.
 
To help families and businesses have a good time and protect themselves against scarier Halloween risks, Trusted Choice®, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, offers the following safety tips:
 
• Don’t be a Scary Driver: Drive sober, slowly and even more carefully than usual on Halloween. Watch for children who may be running or wearing dark costumes in the road.
• Stay Accident-free: Remove or move lawn furniture, or any other obstacles, to avoid accidents or damage. Ensure your home’s entry is in good condition, free of loose or broken pieces on stairwells and walkways to avoid trick-or-treaters’ injuries on your property.

• Prevent Fire Dangers: Prevent fires by making sure pumpkins containing candles are placed at a distance where a child’s costume cannot be ignited or a curious guest may tip it over. Extinguish all candles before going to bed. Consider using battery operated lights wherever possible. A variety of Jack-O-Lantern lights are available at most stores that sell Halloween decor.

• Costume Safety: Costumes can hide more than someone’s true identity, such as hazards. All disguises should be made from flame-resistant materials and shouldn’t be too long or contain sharp accessories. Avoid masks that may obscure vision and stick to use hypo-allergenic make-up.

• See and Be Seen: Encourage each trick-or-treater and adult chaperones to carry a flashlight. Apply light-reflecting material to costumes.

• Hear and Be Heard: Make sure your hearing isn’t impaired with cumbersome costumes or ear buds. Be alert to the sounds of moving vehicles, other groups of pedestrians or bicyclists, and listen to all of your surroundings.

• Power in Numbers: When traveling on foot, walk in groups and cross only at corners and crosswalks—never between parked cars—and stay on well-lit streets.

• Unwelcomed Guests: Property vandals often use the chaos of Halloween night to strike. Scare them away by keeping outdoor lights on.

• Pet Safety: Keep pets inside. Warn your children to stay away from animals as they go door-to-door. Halloween night can be stressful, even on the friendliest on the friendliest creature including the neighborhood dogs and cats.

• Candy Inspection:  Cavities aren’t the only candy-related risks on Halloween. Inspect all trick-or-treat candy and other treats. Never eat unwrapped items. Collect candy only from people you know and trust and ask the local police department if it offers a candy x-ray and/or inspection service. Throw away any suspicious candy.
 
For more information on Halloween safety or to speak with a Trusted Choice® or IIABA expert, please contact Sue Nester (broadcast), (703) 706-5448, susan.nester@iiaba.net or Margarita Tapia (print) at (703) 706-5374, margarita.tapia@iiaba.net.
 
Trusted Choice® was launched by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) and several independent agency companies to highlight the benefits independent agencies and brokerage firms offer consumers—choice of companies, customization of policies and advocacy support. It is the premier consumer brand for independent insurance agents and provides national advertising and other strategic tools to reach consumers.  
 
Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for more than 25,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 70 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
 
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