Halloween is just around the corner, so it’s time to start thinking about your home’s “scary” appeal. With nearly 42 million potential trick-or-treaters this year, you’ll want to be sure that your home meets the fun and safety standards of today’s eager Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Monster High visitors.

Here are some tips to get crowds of happy kids to your home this Halloween safely without sacrificing an ounce of festive fun.

Mow that lawn!

For homeowners who have a front yard, nothing can be more frightful-looking than knee-high grass. While this may create that frightening effect that you’re looking for, it may also prompt folks to skip your home and move on to your neighbor’s. That’s why it’s essential to find that right balance between inviting and spooky. A fresh cut lawn also ensures that no hidden objects become ankle-twisting nightmares for your trick-or-treaters.

Consolidate the creepiness

While creepy front yard decorations will certainly attract globs of kids, the real emphasis should be on what visitors will experience right at your doorstep. From the spooky doorbell ring to the brightly lit pumpkin, trick-or-treaters will certainly appreciate what they see close up. This means that when you open your door, visitors will be looking inside your home to see signs of Halloween décor. The trick is to consolidate your creepiest decorations for all to see.

Don’t scare them too much

While it may be time for ghouls and ghosts, younger children may not be able to handle scary elements like objects coming out of bushes or loud scary noises. Remember that folks of all ages will be stopping by your home, so it’s best to accommodate everyone.

Keep the lights on

Many homeowners make the mistake of creating dark environments during Halloween. The problem is, when any event involves crowds of children, it’s always best to have well-lit areas to avoid little ones tripping on permanent objects like tree stubs or uneven paved surfaces. Plus, “lights out” usually means the candy is out – so unless you’re down to your last Hershey’s Kiss, keep the lights on.

Secure decorative items around your home

When you place loose items around your home like pumpkins or decorative toys, be aware that kids may remove these from the property. As far as they know, they’re treats. So you’ll want to secure any items to the property or position them far enough away from the entry point so it’s clear that they’re not for the taking.

Put a good greeter at the door

When kids, and adults accompanying their kids, come to your home, there is one overriding element that makes the visit memorable: the greeter. The person who actually has the goodies is really in control. A little humor, scare tactics, and bag full of goodness will get you second and third repeat customers.

And, speaking of greeters, if you have dogs or cats in the house, you might want to find a comfortable and safe place for them to relax during trick-or-treating hours away from your front door. Some trick-or-treaters might be fearful of animals and their ghoulish costumes and doorbell ringing might spook your four-legged friends.

It’s all about the candy

Halloween is not the time to give away that old candy hiding in your attic. In fact, if your giveaways include apples, Candy Corn or Tootsie Rolls, you already have three of the most unpopular Halloween treats among kids according to the Huffington Post. A good mix of popular candy choices will go a long way, particularly since kids may have various food allergies.

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