28 October 2015
Are You Prepared for Trick or Treaters this Halloween?
For all the spooks and scares of Halloween, the fright of someone suffering a personal injury on your property can be avoided. Here’s how to sleep soundly this Halloween.
The scenario may be easy enough to imagine, with the tradition of trick or treating occurring every 31st October: children and maybe a few accompanying adults dressed in costume walk up to knock your door, proclaiming, “Trick or treat!” The same may apply at Christmas time when carollers come to your door. Harmless enough, one would think, unless you opt against the treat. However, if a trick or treater were hurt themselves on your property and it wasn’t their fault, you may be held responsible. As the occupier you owe a duty of care to take reasonable steps to make sure that a visitor does not suffer injury on your property.
The answer is simple enough. You just need to take care to ensure there isn’t anything dangerous or broken on your property which might cause someone an injury.
A Checklist of Potential Hazards
1. Be cautious when hanging decorations
If you’re getting in the spirit of Halloween, draping cobwebs, putting out a skeleton, hanging a hangman, make sure that they are secure and that there’s no risk of them causing someone an injury by falling or tripping them.
2. Consider fire hazards
Carved your pumpkins and setting them on the porch or garden path? Consider using electric candles instead of the real thing if there’s the slightest chance they could escape your attention.
3. Keep your pets indoors
Regardless of how well-trained, friendly and loveable your dog or cat may be, in the dark with the expectation of visitors, your pet may cause an accident for which you could be held responsible – not to mention the possibility of an injury caused by a less well-trained animal.
4. Could someone trip, slip or fall?
This is a straight-forward question to ask yourself: between the gate and your front door is there anything that could cause someone to slip, trip or fall? This could be a loose paving stone, an unravelled hose pipe, a puddle, or broken step.
5. Is lighting an issue?
It’s October and with the clocks having changed, it will likely by dark when even the earliest trick or treaters come knocking. Keeping your footpath and any steps well-lit for visitors could save accidents from happening.
If you would like legal advice regarding an injury you or a member of your family has suffered through no fault of your own call Slater and Gordon Personal Injury Lawyers on freephone 0800 112 4489 or contact us online.
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