Haunted Houses and Monsters Aren’t The Only Things To Fret About This Fall


Halloween this month has got us thinking: the McDowell office can be a spooky place. Like any old building, it has its fair share of squeaks and growls, especially after dark. From long shadows to some intense stained-glass windows (installed before we occupied the building), our offices have a kind of mysterious charm that really comes out during pumpkin season. 

But stained glass and creaky walls aren’t the only spooky things to keep in mind this fall. Here are 4 tips for a safe Halloween season. 



Part of the fun of Halloween season is carving monster faces into pumpkins, dropping in a candle, and leaving these ghoulish gourds on your front porch to scare off all your neighbors at night. Some neighborhoods and friend groups even hold carving competitions. 

But a quick word of caution: Always use the appropriate tools to carve a pumpkin. This is not the time to see how sharp your machete is or if your steak knife doubles as a carving blade. Cuts and severed limbs should stay in horror movies where they belong, and not be a part of your holiday season. 

If you need a set of great pumpkin carving tools so you can be neighborhood champ, here’s one we like a whole lot. It even comes in a zip-up case to keep little fingers safe when the carving is done.


What could be spookier than a jack o lantern glowing in the night or wax dripping from some dark candles at a moody Halloween party? 

House fires. That’s what. According to a study conducted by the US Fire Administration between 2014 and 2016, there were an average of a little over 10,000 fires reported each year on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday around Halloween weekends. That’s a lot of fires. 

Our advice? If you’re going to use real fire or candles, monitor them closely, never leave them unattended, and make sure they get put out at the end of the night or before you go to bed. Better yet, we recommend using artificial candles to help set the mood. 


According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Halloween ranks #3 for vehicle break-ins on holidays, coming in behind President’s Day (go figure) and New Year’s Day. Why is Halloween so far up on the list? We have no idea. Maybe everybody already looks the part of a villain? 

Some ways to keep your car secure: 

    • Keep the keys out of the ignition or interior
    • Don’t leave the car running, even on cold mornings 
    • Make sure all the locks work 
    • Keep windows rolled up 
    • If you have an alarm, make sure it is turned on whenever you leave your vehicle
    • Park your car near well-lit areas, or by a motion-activated light for your driveway

Follow the guidelines above and keep your car right where it belongs. If not, you might just have to take a magic pumpkin carriage to work. 


Halloween, like many other seasons, can be an expensive one. By the time you’re through with candy, costumes, parties, pumpkins, and decorations – you might find little more than cobwebs in your bank account.   

So here are a few ways to still go all out this Halloween season, while staying inside your budget: 

    • Buy candy from a wholesale distributor, rather than a supermarket or big-box retailer 
    • Make homemade costumes (all our favorites growing up were homemade anyway)
    • Shop at online party stores rather than in-person ones (even with shipping it’s usually cheaper)
    • Wait till as close as possible to Halloween to buy pumpkins, when they are far cheaper to purchase

Making Halloween fun doesn’t have to be expensive. With some creativity and a little magic, you can create some truly haunting times without scaring off your budget. 


As always, we want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday and we hope the above suggestions make that more possible. 

For more on how to make your life more secure, or to get more from your investments and budget, reach out to us! We promise, we’re not easily scared off – even by the toughest situations.

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