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Your Mount Pleasant Tenants and Jack o’ Lantern Safety

There’s nothing like a glowing jack o’ lantern to announce that it’s Halloween. But even though they’re super popular during this time of year, jack o’ lanterns can pose serious safety risks to tenants and rental houses alike. As a Mount Pleasant rental property owner, it’s important to advise your tenants about Jack O’ Lantern on Porch Steps of a Wilmington Rental Propertyhow 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 worry about accidents or injury.

Jack o’ lanterns are common holiday decorations made from hollowed pumpkins. They empty it out and carve a spooky image (usually a face) on the rind, exposing the hollow interior. They are traditionally lit with small candles to give it the ghostly flickering 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. Pumpkins have a tendency to attract hornets and other pests, insects that will sting or bite if disturbed.

Adding candles to a jack o’ lantern is another safety issue. This is a very real possibility if the pumpkins are placed too close to doorways where the costumes or clothing of visitors could catch fire. Every October, 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.

One way to prevent pumpkin-related messes and spills is to restrict 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 can help make sure that doorways and walkways are free of those pesky stinging insects. This also lessens the chance of having slippery spills.

There is another option. Instead of your tenants carving on a real pumpkin, they can carve hardshell gourds or craft pumpkins instead. Gourds don’t break down and rot as pumpkins do, making them better if you want the decorations up for a longer period. Craft pumpkins look like the real thing but are comprised of foam or other materials that last longer. And since they don’t rot, they can be carved or decorated and displayed safely year after year without having to buy new ones.

Always remember that the biggest safety issue with jack o’ lanterns is when they are lit but many other risks can be avoided if you follow these steps. Candles have long been the illumination source of choice for carved pumpkins, but their open flames can create a serious fire hazard. Just in case your tenants insist on including candles in their decorations, see to it that they understand and take precautionary measures ahead of time.

Tenants should clear away dry leaves and other debris from the area where lit pumpkins will be placed. They should, likewise, be aware that they should never leave lit candles unattended, and to set them at a safe distance from doorways and walkways. However, the best option for safety would be to strongly urge your tenants to have 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 you exercise caution when doing it. 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. Instead, think about authorizing Real Property Management Distinguished Care to do 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 Mount Pleasant property owners like you, contact us today.

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