ALEXANDRIA, Virginia, Oct. 21, 2014 — Halloween is less than two weeks away and many consumers may not realize how frightening this scary night could really be for their personal safety, their property or their bank accounts. Trusted Choice® independent insurance agents can help families and businesses better prepare for Halloween hazards that may come in disguise or under the cloak of dark.
To help individuals, families and businesses have a good time and protect themselves against spooky 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.
• Stay Accident-free: Remove or move lawn furniture, garden gnomes, 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 are clear 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 costume cannot be ignited or a curious guest may tip it over. Extinguish all candles before going to bed. Use battery operated lights wherever possible. A variety of Jack-O-Lantern lights are available at many stores that sell Halloween decor.
• Costume Safety: Costumes can hide more than someone’s true identity and cloak hazards. All disguises should be made from flame-resistant materials and shouldn’t contain sharp accessories or be too long. Avoid masks that may obscure vision and only use hypo-allergenic make-up.
• See and Be Seen: Encourage all trick-or-treaters and adult chaperones to each carry a flashlight. Apply light-reflecting material to costumes for added safety.
• 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, animals, 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 children to stay away from animals as they go door-to-door. Halloween night can be stressful, even to 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.
• Have an Umbrella: Make sure you’ve got homeowners (or tenant/renters’) insurance which can provide protection in the event of slips and falls, a burning pumpkin candle that sets a costume on fire, claims of tainted candy, etc. An umbrella policy may be the best option.
For more information on Halloween safety or to speak with a Trusted Choice® or IIABA expert, please contact Sue Nester (broadcast), (703) 706-5448, firstname.lastname@example.org or Margarita Tapia (print) at (703) 706-5374, email@example.com.
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 26,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 69 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
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