Keenan Blog

Halloween: Prime Time for Property Crime

October 27, 2020

Halloween will be a different event in many areas this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. While there should be fewer tricksters out and about, Halloween is still a time to be extra vigilant about protecting property, especially facilities that are unoccupied during this public health emergency. October 31 is a date we see an annual peak in property crimes: vandalism, arson and burglary. According to a study by Travelers, property crimes average 24% higher on Halloween compared to any other day of the year. The Highway Loss Data Institute found that vehicles are twice as likely to be vandalized on October 31. These trends truly do make Halloween a frightening night.

Public facilities, businesses and homeowners can take steps to make their facilities less attractive to anyone up to malicious mischief. Empty buildings can also fall victim to non-criminal damage caused by breakdowns, such as plumbing leaks, electrical malfunctions, and pest infestation that can go undetected over time. Regular inspection of your property along with preventive actions ahead of time can help avoid property losses around Halloween.

Inspection Plan – For facilities that are vacant for long periods, create a plan to have qualified personnel regularly inspect buildings, utilities and mechanical systems to keep them in working order. Identifying failures promptly allows you to limit damage and restore habitability when it is time to put them back in operation. In locations where freezing temperatures are possible, implement mitigation against bursting pipes.

Secure the Perimeter – Keep gates locked after hours and be sure fencing is in good repair.

Clean and Well-Lit – Remove any trash and weeds from grounds that could be easily set on fire. Lighting that keeps the area more visible will deter attempts to damage or break into facilities.

Have Dumpsters Emptied In Advance – Request an additional rubbish pickup if the regular schedule doesn’t coincide with Halloween. Keep bins locked at night and keep them isolated from buildings that can be damaged by a dumpster fire.

Develop a Relationship with Neighbors – Get to know your neighbors and encourage them to report any unusual activity they see happening around the community.

Electronic Surveillance – Where feasible, consider the use of security cameras, motion detectors and sensors that alert you to intrusion, smoke and fire, or flooding. These deterrent measures may create some additional expenses to implement, but are far less costly than property crime damages or the loss of use of the facilities and destroyed equipment.

Utilize Signage to Signal Awareness – Discourage would-be vandals and burglars with signs indicating presence of surveillance and a commitment to prosecute property crime.

Protect Vehicles – Where possible, keep them garaged or in gated yards a safe distance away from fence lines.

If Property is Vandalized, Minimize the Impact – Clean up and restore damage as quickly as possible following an incident. Remove or mask graffiti right away to demonstrate that vandals’ handiwork will not be long lasting.

Your Keenan representative can help you assess your property risks and help you implement effective loss control steps to lessen your exposure to vandalism and arson.


About Brad Keenan
Brad Keenan enjoys spending time with his wife and dog and being in the sun whenever possible. If not with his family he can usually be found on the golf course or at the beach.