Ultimately, it's really about peace of mind and not fear of legal liability
Chicago, IL (PRWEB) October 20, 2008
Driveways, corridors, condominium party rooms and lawns are not as frightening as Frankenstein or Freddy Kruger. However, they all are potential premises liabilities against homeowners and condo associations that could have frightening results. According to premises liability expert, attorney Jeffrey Kroll (http://www.kroll-lawfirm.com), Halloween is the perfect time to appraise potential dangers for visitors to your property. "Parents protect their children on Halloween with fire-retardant costumes and equipping them with flashlights to be more visible," said Kroll. "However, homeowners also have a responsibility to make sure their residences are safe for all the strangers that come knocking for treats."
According to Kroll, here is what homeowners need to watch for:
Lighting for Entrance Ways: Hold the Candles. People walking up to your home might have to climb steps or walk down a long pavement before they get to your door. Be sure that the entire path is clear and lighted. Also, avoid using those candle luminaries in bags, they are a fire hazard and could brush up against a child's costume.
Condominium Owners Need to Set Policies. Condominium owners that have an outside management company need to remember that final responsibility for safety and liability rests with the condominium unit owners. Therefore, if someone is going to let people into the common area, they need to make sure those people are safe.
Keep Pets Out of the Picture. Pets that are normally friendly may get excited by all the noise and cause harm to the trick-or-treaters. According to the American Medical Association, dog bites are the second leading cause of childhood injury. And besides, if you're distracted with handing out candy, the pet might make a run for it out the front door!
Keep the Path Clear. Some municipalities have requirements about how level concrete needs to be for pathways. Be sure you don't have cement popping up that people can easily trip on. There are temporary solutions available for leveling those potential tripping areas.
Cover Up the Holes. Since some trick-or-treaters do not necessarily use the path to your front door, be sure that ground openings or even swimming pools are repaired, blocked or covered over. Major repairs might require fencing or bright cones to mark dangerous areas.
"Ultimately, it's really about peace of mind and not fear of legal liability," said Kroll. "There are some important non-legal benefits of taking the time to check all this out. First, it's important to find ways to protect anyone visiting your home. Second, neighbors with children will appreciate your care. Finally, it's a good reason to check on safety issues that can impact your property throughout the year. People have learned to change their smoke detector batteries when they change their clocks. Halloween can be a reminder to check the safety of your home and property."
About Jeffrey J. Kroll
With 17 years' experience representing victims and their families, Jeffrey Kroll has seen firsthand the pain experienced by individuals and families in personal injury and wrongful death actions. While The Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll is best known for its success in fighting for victims of auto, truck and bus accidents, it has achieved record verdicts and settlements in a wide range of practice areas. Kroll is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. For more information about Kroll's work with personal injury and wrongful death cases, visit Law Offices of Jeffrey J. Kroll.
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