Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years

12 Tips to Keep Halloween Festive & Safe

HalloweenA bit mystical, magical and fun, Halloween draws all kinds of kids in search of candy treats and harmless gags. Unfortunately, this popular childhood staple could run the risk of turning into a nightmare. Taking a few simple precautions can keep the excitement alive and the haunting all in fun without compromising the safety of your home or your little ones.

TRICK-OR-TREAT SAFETY

1. Un-Mask

Non-toxic face paint makes for a safer costume accessory than a mask. While masks can provide a realistic look, they can limit and block vision, creating a risk of injury. They also hold the potential of restricting a child’s breathing, as some masks can be too tight and constrictive to allow adequate breathability. There are many online tutorials available on how to create the perfect face paint look for your desired costume.

2. Know the Route

While an adult should ALWAYS accompany younger children, be sure older trick-or-treaters know the route to safe treats. Review safety and emergency protocol with all children before the big night.

3. Get Glowing

Choose costumes which are bright and easily seen in darkened areas. Add reflective tape to costumes and trick-or-treat bags to increase visibility for passing motorists.

4. Share the Wealth

Host a candy swap at home to exchange favorites among siblings or a few friends. With the loot spread out, use this as an opportunity to discard items with signs of tampering, such as spoiled, unwrapped or looking otherwise suspicious.

PUMPKIN CARVING SAFE PRACTICES

1. Set the Stage

Be sure the carving or decorating area is clean and well lit. The gooey mess of pumpkin innards creates slippery surfaces which affect the stability of both the pumpkins and tools.

2. Get Crafty

For younger celebrators, gather the art supplies and let them decorate safely without the sharp carving tools. Paint, permanent markers and glue on accessories such as pom-poms and yarn make for one-of-a-kind creations.

3. Choose Tools Wisely

Specialty tools work best to carve those infamous pumpkin characters, according to Consumer Reports. Small, easy-to-handle tools designed to tackle this gooey job decrease risk of injury.

4. Extinguish the Flame.

Consider an alternate lighting source for those beloved jack-o-lanterns. Flashlights and battery-operated candles offer safer glowing creations than flamed candles. If you insist on that genuine candle flame look for your jack-o-lantern, never leave lit flames unattended and always extinguish them properly before the end of the evening.

HOLIDAY HOME PROTECTION

1. Be the Light

Though it may slightly hinder the creepy mood and atmosphere, replace burned out light bulbs and light your home’s exterior to increase visibility. This allows residents to more clearly see any potential pranksters that may be tempted to pull a ‘trick’ rather than ask for a treat.

2. Park It

Park your vehicles in a garage (if possible) to deter pranksters.  If a garage is not available, park your vehicles as closely to your home as possible. Never keep valuables inside your vehicles on Halloween night.

3. Lock It Up

While continually locking the front door in between visitors should go without saying, it offers protection for your home when you are distracted by the festivities. Be sure to keep all additional entryways locked, especially while handing out candy at your main entrance.

4. Be Alert

Even amid the jovial atmosphere, be certain to keep your eyes open to your surroundings. Consider handing out treats in the driveway for better sight lines and home security.

Preventing a Halloween nightmare is as simple as following the suggestions listed above. Waitte’s Insurance Agency encourages people of all ages to enjoy all facets of the holiday but to do so responsibly!

In the unlikely event of a natural disaster or your home is vandalized, do you know what your current Homeowners Insurance policy covers?  Call us today at (860) 886-1961 to review your coverage or receive a new rate quote by clicking here.

Seasonal Depression: Monster or Myth?

Seasonal DepressionWith summer in the rear-view mirror, the calendar begins to turn towards the autumn and winter months. Especially in New England, the temperatures will gradually decrease, the days will become shorter, and the warm sunshine will start to feel like an old friend that you just don’t get to see anymore. This combination of lack of sunlight and colder weather can cause many to feel a little down in the dumps. It’s not unusual this time of year to feel the winter blues, but is that all it is? Could there be an underlying cause? In the past couple of decades, a lot of attention has been given to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or how many refer to it as seasonal depression; but what is it exactly?

SAD Explained:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the name given to a mood disorder that seems to affect people, who are otherwise fine the rest of the year, with symptoms of depression during the same time each year, typically in the winter months.  It is thought that the colder temperatures, which forces people to stay indoors longer, coupled with the lack of sunlight in the winter months, causes people to feel depression.  Symptoms include lack of energy, decreased motivation, withdrawal from friends and family, overeating (which can lead to weight gain), and difficulty concentrating.  It is estimated that this disorder affects up to 6% of the American population, mainly concentrated in northern climates where winter is most pronounced.

Fact or Faked?

However, even though SAD is now an official clinical diagnosis, the question remains “Is SAD a legitimate disorder?”  A number of recent studies seem to suggest otherwise.  One major study published in January of 2016 examined a major cross-section of the American public (over 34,000 participants) and concluded that there was no conclusive evidence to suggest that SAD is real, or that factors such as amount sunlight or temperature have any long-term effect on a person’s mental health. The results of the study suggest that SAD is an idea that might be  more rooted in folk psychology and old wives’ tales than actual science. In another clinical study in Norway — a location known for its long and severe winters — also examined a large subset of the population and concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that these symptoms were more prevalent in the winter. 

The debate about Seasonal Affective Disorder will likely go on for years to come.  Even though many individuals continue to report having symptoms, evidence is mounting that SAD, in fact, might not be scientifically validated as the actual “disorder” as it was once suggested. As a result, many medical professionals are starting to question the prevailing school of thought.

Regardless, when there’s a chill in the air and the nighttime falls earlier, try not to let it get you down! Grab a nice book and bundle up by a warm, crackling fire or go outside and build a snowman with your family.  Continue to find ways to enjoy the unique activities that fall and winter can offer you in New England!

One particular activity that Connecticut and its surrounding states specialize in during the winter months is snowmobiling. Do you or someone in your family own a snowmobile and need to get it insured? No problem! Contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency to get coverage on all of your winter and recreational vehicles.