Fall is almost here, and the change of the season brings cooler temperatures, turning leaves, and church Fall Festivals. If your church is hosting a trick-or-treat event for kids – or something similar – here are a few tips that can help your Fall Festival become a fun and safe annual event.
Use Pre-Packaged Candy
Make sure all candy given to children is pre-packed and in its original packaging. Remind parents to toss out any candy that looks like it’s been tampered with.
Have Traffic Control
Many times Fall Festivals will last until it’s dark outside. Make sure your parking lot has proper lighting and traffic control to protect kids going to and from cars.
Avoid Tripping Hazards
A top reason for insurance claims during fall harvest parties comes from slips and falls. Make sure walking paths are clear of tripping hazards. If your church is having a costume event, post costume guidelines for parents to follow in advance of the event. Parents should make sure their child’s mask allows full visibility and avoid costumes that are overly loose or have fabric dragging to the floor.
Use Flameless Candles
Having open flames at a Harvest party is an unnecessary threat. We recommend swapping traditional candles for nonflammable LED candles to avoid fire hazards.
Review Third-Party Vendor Contracts
As you use third-party vendors, make sure vendors sign a contract with your church, and always require a certificate of insurance (preferably naming the church as an additional insured). This is especially important for vendors for inflatables/bounce houses.
When reviewing the contract, look for a section that says you will hold the company harmless and indemnify them from anything that happens. “It’s imperative to remove this section from the contract,” says Jerry Sparks, President of AG Financial Insurance. “Many vendors will remove this section for a small up charge. Failure to remove this section could result in the church being liable to the vendor even if the vendor is negligent."
Hosting a Hayride?
If your church is hosting a hayride, there are a variety of safety tips you should implement to maximize safety. We have a video on this topic that will help you keep your church members safe on your next hayride.
While this list is not exhaustive, it does provide a good starting point in helping to create a safe Fall Festival. For more information about reducing church risk, call 866.621.1787 or email Jerry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This information is not legal advice. Information is from sources deemed reliable. Information is subject to error, omission, withdrawal, or change. Contact your own legal advisor before taking any action that would have a legal consequence.