Trick or treat! It’s that time of year when pumpkins are picked and decorated, costumes are chosen and all the children in the association are anxiously waiting for Halloween. But for the association, this is also a time of concern as children walk, most often after dark, throughout the property. Without the right safety measures in place children can be injured.
“We facilitate Halloween, so why not be proactive about it?” says David J. Levy, president of Sterling Services, Inc., in Holliston, Massachusetts. “We remind residents to put the lights on and be extra careful when driving to the property.” In addition to keeping the property well-lit on this fun holiday, associations should also keep the grounds clear of items, such as tools, gardening equipment, etc., that cause children or parents to fall.
But it’s also wise to remember that the association is responsible for maintaining the common elements of the property year-round, not just for an active holiday such as Halloween. As a result, if the staff has been on top of their regular maintenance duties, there should be no reason for concern.
“Most of our safety issues are generic to age, such as egresses, guard rails and hand rails,” says Levy. “We take care of the property because it’s safe for everyone, not just children.”
When kids aren’t trick-or-treating, they’re enjoying the property’s playgrounds, but these are areas of common injury among children. Bill Eckhardt, founder of ChildScapes in Marshfield, Massachusetts, says that in the last two decades the regulatory environment has become attuned to what kind of injuries are occurring on playgrounds.