Halloween hazards: Homeowners could be liable if trick-or-treaters are injured on their property

Problem Solvers
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DENVER — Halloween is Thursday, and with snow and ice building up on the sidewalks and steps, the Problem Solvers are looking at what type of responsibility homeowners have to keep trick-or-treaters safe.

“It’s dark and it is poorly lit and all the sudden, boom, there’s a big patch of ice. You can get seriously hurt,” said Franklin D. Azar, a personal injury attorney.

If one’s porch light is on, trick-or-treaters are considered invited visitors. Azar says it’s a homeowner’s responsibility to keep their property clear.

The Failyau family, who lives in the Washington Park neighborhood, spent the day doing just that.

“We started shoveling our walk and then the boys went out with their shovels and they started ringing the (door)bell to shovel the neighbors’,” Jennifer Failyau said.

Denver and several other metro-area cities passed an ordinance requiring that once the snow has stopped falling, residents have 24 hours to remove snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent to their property. If they don’t, trick-or-treaters could get injured and homeowners could be sued — something of which not everyone is aware.

“I’m not sure I knew that, but it makes sense,” Scott Brizard said.

So as the sumo wrestler, Harry Potter, Halo Trooper and the giant T-Rex collect their candy, they are all hoping for a fun and safe Halloween.

“We’re going to have to probably throw out some ice-melt to keep it as safe as possible,” Jennifer Failyau said.

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