Personal Insurance Blog

25-Sep-2013 Marge Libby Halloween

Jack-O-Lantern Tips and Tricks

As October 31st draws ever nearer, nothing helps get a home or workplace into the autumnal spirit quite like a well-carved pumpkin.

Keep it Fresh!


Like all other fruits and vegetables, pumpkins will rot as time passes. Rotting organic matter, especially in such a large form as a pumpkin, can produce noxious odors and attract unwanted pests to your porch or lawn. Luckily, a few simple tricks using common kitchen materials may help to extend the life of your jack-o-lantern and keep the fall spirit strong even after Halloween has ended. When you have finished hollowing and carving your pumpkin, submerge it completely in a large container of water with one teaspoon of bleach per gallon. The bleach can help to kill bacteria inside and on the surface of the pumpkin and help to keep it fresh longer. After about 8 hours have passed, flip the pumpkin over to let the bleach drain out. Once completely dry, add 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to a quart of water. Brushing this solution onto your pumpkin at regular intervals can help maintain the color and strength of the pumpkin skin for weeks!

Safe Carving

According to Consumer Reports, the best way to enjoy pumpkin carving is to be safe and follow a few simple rules: 

  • Use the right tools. Consumer Reports tested pumpkin-carving kits a few years ago and observed that one advantage of the specialty tools—readily found online and in convenience stores—was that they can saw through rinds, poke holes, and scoop out innards without being razor-sharp. The instruments were also generally small, which made them easier to control than knives and easier to use when making intricate cuts. 
  • Carve before taking off the top of the pumpkin. If you carve first, you won't be tempted to put your hand inside the pumpkin, which is when many accidents occur.
  • Take precautions. That means carving in a clean, dry, and well-lit area, keeping your hands and tools clean and dry, and taking your time.
  • Don’t let kids carve. The Pediatrics study found that most Halloween accidents happen to kids ages 10 to 14. So don’t let children 14 and younger do the actual carving. Instead, have them draw the pattern with a marker and clean out the pulp and seeds with their hands or a spoon—but make sure an adult does the actual cutting. It’s important to supervise older teens, too.

Did you know?

Halloween or Hallowe'en (a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening") is also known as All Hallows' Eve.  It is a yearly celebration observed in a number of countries on October 31.

The difficulties associated with maintaining the quality of a jack-o-lantern are examples of manageable risks, which by careful planning can be avoided to some degree. Likewise, the risks involved with pumpkin carving safety are also manageable, by taking certain precautions at all times. To learn more about managing the risks in your life, give us a call, or contact us online. Learn about personal insurance here.

Read another blog on Pumpkin Carving Safety.

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Marge Libby

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