It’s the second Halloween of a world-wide pandemic, but at the very least this time we better know what to expect. We’ve all made some adjustments in order to enjoy a safe Halloween, and many of us are finding that the changes are for the better.
Start with the basics
The very first thing for a safe Halloween is to ensure your pathways are perfectly clear. It’s still a very pleasant mid-October in Calgary, but the long-range forecast points to cooler-than-usual temperatures for the end of the month. In fact, it’s entirely possible there will be snow on the ground on Oct. 31. If you haven’t already done so, and feel as though you won’t be able to keep up, it’s not too late to schedule your snow removal services. Mirage Landscaping is a year-round outdoor property maintenance company providing high level, professional snow removal services for both commercial and residential clients.
It’s always important to keep your driveways, pathways and sidewalks clear of potential tripping, slipping and falling hazards, but perhaps never more so than on Halloween. There is no other day of the year when you will have so many visitors in such a short period of time. Not only is it the neighbourly thing to do, it also reduces your chance of liability should someone injure themselves on your property.
Provide plenty of light and mark paths clearly
Don’t forget that while costumes are cute, they can hinder the visibility and mobility of trick-or-treaters. For a safe Halloween, definitely keep your outdoor patio and front entrance lights on to signal to the ghosts and goblins that you are ready to welcome them. You may want to consider providing additional light, as well. Line your walkways with portable lights (be sure to check their batteries or charge them up), and dress them up with fake cobwebs and spiders for a spooky effect. Another option could be an outdoor LED projector that can cast Halloween-themed images on the front of your house. High-quality spotlights should come with a remote control option and offer casting options for other holidays, such as Christmas and New Year’s. Always ensure power cords are safely off sidewalks where they can easily be missed and tangle someone up.
Now that you’ve made sure people know where they should be walking on your property, take care to also clearly mark where you do not want them to go. If you would prefer visitors use your walkway and not your driveway, block off driveway access at your sidewalk with a decorative display, like a fake graveyard with Styrofoam tombstones or a creepy old fence with “Do not Enter!” signs strung up everywhere. Providing the foundation for the graveyard or fence (or both) could be the last job your planters perform for the season. They make it easy to simply spike your decorations into the soil and you could even “tape” off the whole area off with high-visibility streamers.
Thoughts for Halloween during a pandemic
Given that Alberta is not out of the grips of a particularly nasty fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not time to let down our defenses just yet. Last year, the Government of Alberta provided a number of tips for celebrating Halloween while also maintaining physical distancing that still stand today. First and foremost, anyone handing out candy or going door to door should not have had any symptoms of COVID-19 for the last 14 days or have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive.
Trick-or-treating groups should only be comprised of family or cohort members. If possible, and it’s not too cold, a suggestion is to set up your candy station outdoors – on your steps or your driveway. Wear a scary mask (it is Halloween, after all), and hand out candy using tongs.
If it’s too cold to spend the whole evening outside, another suggestion is to put up a sign discouraging trick-or-treaters from ringing the doorbell. Instead, ask them to knock or simply yell out the tried-and-true “trick-or-treat!” Place a table outside your door to ensure proper distancing and have the kids pick up their candy from its surface rather than tossing it into their bags.
Another idea is to keep your door closed and leave candy out on your table in individual bags. Put up a sign requesting visitors take only one at a time.
Kids that have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated should wear masks over their noses and mouths while trick-or-treating. Traditional Halloween masks like the rubber werewolf are not recommended as they do not fit tightly enough. With some thought, you could even match a mask with a chosen costume. For example, a Spiderman costume could be worn with a mask festooned with spider webs. There are a lot more options available at costume stores that provide some measure of protection against COVID-19.
When home, trick-or-treaters should wash their hands, wipe down candy wrappers with a disinfectant wipe, and then wash hands again. Then, enjoy!
Reminder to compost your pumpkins and bags of leaves
After having green carts in Calgary for several years now, we should all be well aware that pumpkins can go right in our composting bins to be turned into high-quality soil at the city’s high-tech facility. But be aware that at the Calgary Composting Facility, not every pumpkin is welcome. The City of Calgary asks that those tossing out their pumpkins follow these guidelines:
- Dispose of seeds and guts in the composting as well.
- Remove candles and candle wax.
- Do not put pumpkins that have been painted or treated (such as with bleach) into your green bin. These should go in black bins instead.
We all love the bright-orange garbage bags with huge jack o’lantern grins on them as they provide quick and easy decorations while also playing a major part in annual fall clean-ups. Once Halloween is over, don’t forget to dump these bags out in your green bin if they are not compostable. Be sure to read the label carefully. The City of Calgary asks that you do your best to fill your bin as much as possible before leaving extra bags out for collectors. Don’t forget that extra yard waste MUST be placed in paper bags in order to be picked up. Roll the tops of the bags and make sure they are not too heavy. They should be able to be picked up with one hand. Your cart should be placed out properly by 7 a.m. on your day of pick up (you can check your schedule here).
Snow removal services from Mirage Landscaping
Mirage Landscaping is a family-owned business, and we work hard to maintain the reputation we have worked for decades to earn. Our snow removal contracts are clear and detailed so you know exactly what our obligations are, and we always live our promises to the letter.
In addition to snow removal services, we also provide landscape maintenance and landscape construction services. We specialize in serving the southeast communities of Calgary, where we have lived and worked for several years. Contact us today for a fast and easy quote using our online form, or else give us a call at 403-252-5235.