Halloween is coming! According to the Census Bureau, an estimated 73.1 million children under 18 in the U.S. may trick-or-treat this year. That is a lot of candy and foot traffic.
Know the Dates and Time
In an effort to keep Halloween trick-or-treating festivities on the weekend, many military bases may shift trick-or-treating to the Saturday before the actual Halloween date, especially if the 31st falls on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. This allows military members to participate if they are home and allows for an earlier start time. It allows for increased patrol coverage by the military police, as the weekends allow for more flexibility in their support.
Check out your military installation social media page for the times that trick-or-treating will run so you can be prepared and have your kids ready to participate.
On most military bases, trick-or-treating in the barracks or dormitories (depending on the service branch) is not allowed. Office buildings are also typically off-limits.
Preparing for Trick-or-Treaters
If you want to open your home for trick-or-treaters, base recommendations include:
- Keeping the porch area well-lit
- Keep the light on during trick-or-treating hours, so children know the home is participating
- Clear the porch and sidewalk of any possible tripping hazards (this includes sweeping away wet leaves)
- Be prepared to answer the door to trick-or-treaters
- Secure pets to avoid them from running out the door or potential scaring trick-or-treaters
Know the Basics
The basic rules for trick-or-treating apply:
- Homes with lights on indicate that the home can be visited for trick-or-treating
- Children and adults with them should carry glowsticks and flashlights (with new batteries) and wear reflective wear to ensure maximum visibility
- Stick to sidewalks
- Avoid walking close to luminaries or candles
- Make sure costumes are fire-resistant
- Don’t wear costume pieces that block your vision
- Cross at cross-walks
Drivers driving through base neighborhoods should drive 10 mph below the posted speed limit due to increased pedestrian traffic and carefully enter and exit driveways or alleys through neighborhoods.
It should go without saying if you are going to a Halloween party and having an alcoholic drink, designate a sober driver in advance.
The key to trick-or-treating on base is to follow the installation’s social media or check their website for dates, times, and specific information. If you are living on base, the base housing office will typically send out specifics. Once you have secured that all your safety plans are intact, have a great time!