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Your Little Elm Tenants and Jack o’ Lantern Safety

Jack O’ Lantern on Porch Steps of a Little Elm Rental PropertyWhen you see a glowing jack o’ lantern, then you know it’s Halloween. But even though they’re iconic, these jack o’ lanterns can pose serious safety risks to tenants and rental houses alike. As a Little Elm rental property owner, it’s important to advise your tenants about how to avoid fires and injuries. By sharing a few safety tips, you can help your tenants have a good time during the holiday celebrations without having to worry about accidents or injury.

Jack o’ lanterns are common holiday decorations made from carved pumpkins where the top is cut off to form a lid and the inside flesh is scooped out. Then an image (usually a scary face) is carved out of the rind to expose a hollow interior. Traditionally, they are lit with small candles to give it that creepy factor. Then they are usually placed on porches, patios, and railings. Now, they can’t be placed just anywhere without considering a few things. For example, if you put carved pumpkins next to doorways, walkways, and other easily accessed areas, it can result in several safety hazards. For instance, carved pumpkins can deteriorate in just a few days, creating a slimy mess of rotting pumpkin that can make stairs and sidewalks slippery. Hornets and other pests, insects that will sting or bite if disturbed, are attracted to pumpkins.

Adding candles to a jack o’ lantern is another safety issue because if the pumpkins are placed too close to doorways, the costumes or clothing of visitors could catch fire. Without fail, each year Halloween decorations cause an estimated $13 million in property damage, dozens of injuries, and even deaths. Fortunately, there is plenty that you and your tenants can do in advance to avoid such a tragedy.

A good way to prevent pumpkin-related messes and spills is to take into account the length of time that carved pumpkins are left sitting outside. The pumpkin is more likely to rot or attract unwanted pests the longer it is exposed to the elements. If you think your tenants are preparing to carve and display pumpkins, have them hold back until just before Halloween to set them outside. The following morning they can properly dispose of them. This helps keep stinging insects from the doorways and walkways and reduces the chances of slippery spills.

There are alternatives that you can suggest to your clients. They can carve hardshell gourds or craft pumpkins instead of an actual pumpkin. That’s because gourds don’t break down and rot as pumpkins do, making them the better choice if you want to display them for a longer period of time. Craft pumpkins look like the real thing, yet because they are made of foam or other materials, they can last for a considerably long time. And since they’re made out of non-biodegradable material, they can be carved or decorated and displayed safely year after year without having to replace them.

By doing these steps, you can help reduce many risks, but the worst safety issue with jack o’ lanterns is when they are lit. Candles, for some time now, have been the illumination source of choice for carved pumpkins, though their open flames can create a serious fire hazard. If your tenants are set on using candles in their decorations, make sure that they realize it is imperative to take precautions.

Tenants should clear away dry leaves and other debris from the area where lit pumpkins will be placed. They should grasp the significance of never leaving lit candles unattended, and to position them at a safe distance from doorways and walkways. Of course, if you want to stay at the side of caution, encourage your tenants to use 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 done in a safe and proper manner. Educating your tenant on jack o’ lantern safety is a significantly important task, but it demands your time. Many property owners feel that tenant education isn’t a good use of their time since time is a valuable commodity. Rather, think of appointing Real Property Management Focus to accomplish it for you. Our comprehensive property management services include important safety advice to your tenants, enabling you to ensure that they and your property are free from injury and fire hazards. To find out more about what we can do to help Little Elm property owners like you, contact us today.

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