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Your Georgetown Tenants and Jack o’ Lantern Safety

Jack O’ Lantern on Porch Steps of a Georgetown Rental PropertyThere’s nothing like a glowing jack o’ lantern to announce that it’s Halloween. But even though this jack o’ lanterns seem to be everywhere during this time of year, they can actually pose serious safety risks to tenants and rental houses alike. As a Georgetown rental property owner, you need to inform your tenants about what they can do to avoid fires and injuries. By sharing a few safety tips, your tenants can relax and have fun, knowing that their holiday celebrations will be without accident or injury.
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Jack o’ lanterns are common holiday decorations made from emptied out pumpkins with a carved image on the rind. The carving (usually of a scary face) exposes the hollow interior. Traditionally, these lanterns are lit with small candles to give it that ghostly will-o’-the-wisp look. Then they are placed on porches, patios, and railings for the whole neighborhood to enjoy. Now, you can’t just put them anywhere— that may result in several safety hazards. Carved pumpkins should be placed away from doorways, walkways, and other easily accessed areas. Case in point, carved pumpkins can deteriorate in just a few days, creating a slimy mess of rotting pumpkin that can make stairs and sidewalks slippery. If you’re not careful, pumpkins will also attract hornets and other pests, insects that will sting or bite if disturbed.

Adding candles to a jack o’ lantern is another safety issue. If the pumpkins are placed too close to doorways, the costumes or clothing of visitors could catch fire. Every year, Halloween decorations cause an estimated $13 million in property damage, dozens of injuries, and even deaths. As luck would have it, there is much that you and your tenants can prepare for in order to avert such a disaster.

By curbing the period of time that carved pumpkins are left sitting outside, you’ll be able to prevent plenty of pumpkin-related messes and spills. Should the pumpkin be open to the weather and other elements, there would be a higher probability of it rotting or it attracting unwanted pests. Try to convince your tenants to wait just before Halloween to carve and display pumpkins. They can set them outside while they’re still fresh and then properly dispose of them the following day. This can help ensure that doorways and walkways won’t have slippery spills and that the area would be free of stinging insects.

There are other ways to make these lanterns. You can suggest to your tenants to carve hardshell gourds or craft pumpkins instead of real pumpkins. Gourds don’t break down and rot as pumpkins do, making them the better option if you’re going for something that can be displayed longer. Craft pumpkins look like the real thing but are comprised of foam or other materials that last longer. And since they’re not made of organic matter, they wouldn’t deteriorate. That means you can carve or decorate them and display them safely year after year.

It is quite easy minimizing the many risks by following these. Keep in mind though that the biggest safety issue with jack o’ lanterns is when they are lit. Candles have long been the illumination source of choice for carved pumpkins, but their open flames can create a serious fire hazard. If your tenants want to have candles in their decorations, be sure that they understand why they need to take necessary preventive measures.

Tenants should clear away dry leaves and other debris from the area where lit pumpkins will be placed. They should also comprehend the seriousness of never leaving lit candles unattended, and put them at a safe distance from doorways and walkways. Certainly, one of the best ways is to strongly urge your tenants to opt for 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. Teaching your tenant jack o’ lantern safety is a crucial responsibility, but it often takes time to do. Quite often, property owners question whether tenant education is a wise use of their time, especially since many property owners feel that time is gold. Alternatively, take into account enlisting Real Property Management Longhorn to do it for you. Our comprehensive property management services include important safety advice to your tenants, allowing you to keep them and your property free from injury and fire hazards. For more information about what we can do for Georgetown property owners like you, contact us today.

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