10 Ways to Prank-Proof Your Home on Halloween

Halloween has the potential to bring out the world’s best fun or worst mischief. To ensure that your holiday is full of treats instead of tricks, consider these tips to protect your home from Halloween pranksters.

  1. Be a Good Neighbor

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    Be a friendly neighbor this Halloween—and every day of the year. Vandals are less likely to target the house of someone they know and like.


    Related: 9 Ways Your Neighbors Can Screw Up Your Home Sale

  2. Keep Your Porch Lights On

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    This Halloween, keep your porch and exterior lights on all night. Vandals are less likely to act if neighbors and passersby can easily spot them.


    Related: 8 Budget Buys for Your Best-Ever Fall Porch

  3. Install Motion-Sensor Lights

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    Consider installing exterior lighting equipped with motion sensors, which turn on the lights as people walk around your property. This will lead the way for honest trick-or-treaters while discouraging would-be pranksters.


    Related: DIY Deals: Outdoor Lighting

  4. Park Your Car in the Garage

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    On Mischief Night, parked cars are an easy target for pranksters. Prevent your ride from getting egged or spray-painted by putting it in the garage. If you don’t have a garage, consider moving your car to a neighbor’s.


    Related: 7 Steps to Making Your Garage More Livable

  5. Tape Up Your Mail Slot

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    A mail slot is convenient for you—and also for punks wielding smoke bombs. Tape up this weak link in your home’s defense to avoid receiving any unwanted "mail" on Halloween night.


    Related: 8 Clutter-Cutting Strategies for Managing Mail

  6. Sit Outside During Trick-or-Treating

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    Make your presence known on Halloween night. Instead of waiting inside for trick-or-treaters, be proactive and greet them on the porch. Sit ready with a bowl of candy and a smile, so everybody knows their movements are being watched.


    Related: 10 Fall Door DIYs for the Best House on the Block

  7. Bring in Toys and Lawn Equipment

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    Bring your loose toys and lawn equipment inside before Halloween night. This precaution prevents theft and vandalism, and it also keeps the objects from becoming trip hazards during trick-or-treating. 


    Related: Winterize Your Lawn and Garden in 7 Steps

  8. Pretend You’re Not Home

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    Don’t want to participate in Halloween this year? Close your curtains and turn off your interior and exterior lights. If you pretend you’re not at home, trick-or-treaters will pass you by. Keep in mind, however, that a quiet home may attract vandals. 


    Related: 10 Things a Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know

  9. Temporarily Remove Your Mailbox

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    If mailboxes in your neighborhood tend to get stuffed with rotten eggs or bashed with baseball bats on All Hallows' Eve, consider taking yours inside for the night. By doing so, you'll avoid having to clean or replace your mailbox on November 1.


    Related: 10 Ways to Buy Better Curb Appeal for Under $50

  10. Use Flameless Candles

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    A jack-o'-lantern can easily get kicked over, either accidentally or on purpose. Minimize the risk of fire by using flameless candles instead of the real-deal wax variety.


    Related: 12 Brilliant Hacks for Your Best-Ever Halloween Pumpkin

  11. See the House of the Week

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    Discover and admire beautiful and innovative home architecture, from grand Victorians to quaint cabins and all the styles in between. Take a look at the latest images and inspiration!