Action 9: Residents and trick-or-treaters reminded to be safe

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Lawyers warn residents be extra careful as dozens of families come on your property for trick-or-treating.

With groups of children in the dark, accidents are very likely and you would likely take the blame.

Action 9 investigator Jason Stoogenke breaks down the four things you can do to avoid a legal scare Thursday night.

As much as kids love this holiday, some do get hurt on Halloween, especially with decorations in yards.
Every year for Halloween, Moses Halterman picks a new theme and turns his Plaza-Midwood yard into an obstacle course.

"Takes a long time to set it up and everything," Halterman said. "I just enjoy doing it."

He says he does it for the roughly 400 children who come to his door each year.

He doesn't want anyone to get hurt.

"We haven't had that yet," he said. "I do worry about that."

In September, the North Carolina Court of Appeals said a Charlotte man got hurt on someone's property.

While he didn't win, the court reminded landowners they need to be careful and make sure visitors are safe.

Charlotte lawyer Michel Daisley said stick with four basic rules for Halloween to protect yourself and your visitors.

* Keep your property well lit.

*Keep it free from obstructions.

*Be careful with candles and other fire.

*Keep pets restrained.

"To look and see what kind of hazards might be there," Daisley said. "What sort of things could trip you up, literally."

Visitors also have to take care of themselves.

But that gets tricky when the guests are young.

That's why Halterman said he hangs out in the yard Halloween night.

"We worry about people coming off the steps," he said.

Also be careful when it comes to driving.

Halterman said a trick-or-treater got hit by a vehicle in 2004.

The driver was going the speed limit but the jury said he should have been going even slower because of the holiday, according to court documents.