How To - Halloween Safety

Spooky Night 2023: How to Find Out Who Lives in Your Neighborhood Before Halloween 

Many people assume that being familiar with their neighbors is enough to ensure a safe Halloween experience. But how well-acquainted are you, really?

Ask yourself a few questions: Are you familiar with everyone who lives nearby? Probably not. Among those you do know, how many would you feel comfortable leaving your kids with?

It’s important to recognize that gaps exist in our understanding of our local communities. Addressing these gaps before hitting the streets for Trick-or-Treating could be the difference between a fun night and an unsettling experience.

So, for a spook-tacular Halloween, it’s advisable to do some groundwork about your neighbors before you go collecting candy.

Who is living in your neighborhood?

Understanding who resides in your neighborhood is key to ensuring a safe Trick-or-Treating experience. The most pressing concern is the potential presence of sex offenders, who might live in any community, irrespective of its economic standing.

Legal restrictions prohibit sex offenders from participating in Trick-or-Treating activities, but it’s difficult to identify them based on appearances or casual interactions alone. So, it’s in everyone’s best interest to steer clear of their residences altogether.

But don’t stop at just avoiding sex offenders; it’s also prudent to sidestep homes of individuals with any sort of criminal background. Thankfully, a bit of advance research can inform you about the residences that are safe to approach and those best left alone during your Halloween adventures.

Find out who lives in your neighborhood

Every state in the U.S. has its own sex offender registry, which is typically searchable by zip code. To locate your state’s registry, simply search for “{your state} sex offender registry” online. Accessing this information is generally free and straightforward.

However, it’s important to note that these registries are not interconnected between states, and there is no national database. This means that if a sex offender relocates to another state and fails to report the move, they won’t appear in the new state’s registry.

Similarly, criminal records are not always transferable between states. A criminal act in one state may not be reflected in another state’s records. Therefore, to gain a comprehensive understanding of your neighborhood’s safety profile, additional research may be required on your part.  

How To Find Bad Apples of the Neighborhood 

With merely a name and an address at your disposal, you can acquire sufficient information to make informed choices about which houses to visit for Trick-or-Treating.

1. Get names and addresses of your neighbors  

Begin your neighborhood research on After setting up an account, you can easily gather a list of names and addresses within your local area for free. While some profiles may include names, others might not.

For addresses that lack names, you can perform a reverse address lookup. Though reverse lookups generally incur a small fee, the accuracy of the data makes it a worthy investment, akin to buying peace of mind. After gathering the names and addresses, various safety background checks can be performed to ensure a location is suitable for a Halloween visit.

If you find yourself with a plethora of nameless addresses, consider using a bulk append tool. This convenient tool allows you to upload an Excel file filled with addresses and it will automatically add the people’s names living in those addresses. It saves both time and money compared to running them individually using reverse address lookup.

2. Run criminal records check against the names you retrieve from Nextdoor 

Performing a criminal records search is a highly effective way to pinpoint houses that should be off-limits for Trick-or-Treating. Such a search not only identifies sex offenders but also provides details on felonies, misdemeanors, and even traffic violations.

This comprehensive data equips you with the knowledge you need to make sound decisions, whether it’s choosing which houses to visit on Halloween or determining which neighbors to steer clear of in general.

Halloween Safety: do a criminal records search to find the safest places to trick or treat.

Investing a small amount in a quality criminal records check is well worth it for dependable information. While there are free options available, these often feature outdated or inaccurately maintained data, defeating the purpose of your safety research.

Opting for a paid search will provide you with more reliable information, making it a valuable investment for peace of mind and ensuring a safe Trick-or-Treating experience of your kids.

3. Check Arrest Warrants 

If the criminal records check turns up negative findings, you might feel reassured, but it’s still worth considering an additional layer of scrutiny. Not everyone with an arrest warrant has been convicted of a crime. Warrants are sometimes issued when individuals fail to appear in court, whether for minor offenses like unpaid parking tickets or for more serious, pending charges.

Since pending charges may not appear in a criminal records search, running an additional arrest warrants search could offer a fuller picture. This will help you decide whether a particular address is truly safe to approach during Trick-or-Treating.

Halloween Safety: Do an arrest warrants search if you want to be absolutely sure.

While an arrest warrants search does come with a fee, the information you’ll receive is reliable. In the majority of situations, a basic criminal records search should provide sufficient information to guide your Halloween plans safely. Nonetheless, the extra step of an arrest warrants search can offer additional peace of mind if you have any lingering concerns.

Tip: Target your searches  

Given the costs associated with individual address checks, it’s impractical to examine every home in your vicinity. Fortunately, you don’t need to. offers a treat map feature that shows which houses in your neighborhood are offering candy to Trick-or-Treaters. By using this tool to plan your route, you can focus your safety checks only on the homes you intend to visit.

This will make searching for your Trick-or-Treat route more cost and time-efficient, maximizing your kids’ treat per hour or if you’re making a game out of it, treats per step. How many steps, how many treats?

Safety Apps and Technology Tools for an Extra Layer of Security 

To make the Halloween experience even safer, why not take advantage of available technology? Safety apps are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and their use is not just limited to Halloween; you can use them year-round for general safety measures.

1. Life360 

Life360 is a popular family safety app that helps you keep tabs on family members’ locations in real-time. This app comes in handy for keeping track of young Trick-or-Treaters who may be venturing out without parental supervision for the first time.

Moreover, it offers a “check-in” feature that allows family members to confirm they are safe with a single tap, which is reassuring for parents concerned about their children’s whereabouts.

2. Noonlight

Noonlight is another security app that works by connecting your phone to a 24/7 dispatch service. If you find yourself in an unsafe situation, holding down a button within the app alerts the dispatch service. If you release the button without entering your passcode, the police are notified and sent to your location.

3. Ring Neighbors

This is a free app by Ring, the smart doorbell company. It’s essentially a digital neighborhood watch where residents can share and discuss local crime incidents or other safety concerns. Knowing the concerns raised by neighbors can add an additional layer of information to your own safety research.

The Trick-or-Treating Timeline: What to Do and When 

Given that Halloween is just around the corner, it’s essential to schedule your safety checks. Doing so ensures you’re not scrambling at the last minute to confirm which homes are safe for Trick-or-Treating.

 1. Two Weeks Before Halloween: 

  • Gather names and addresses of neighbors

  • Perform initial checks on

  • Identify which homes are participating in Trick-or-Treating through Nextdoor’s treat map feature

 2. One Week Before Halloween: 

  • Run criminal background checks

  • Conduct arrest warrant searches

 3. Three Days Before Halloween: 

  • Finalize your Trick-or-Treat route

  • Share the finalized route with family members and also input it into your family safety app

4. Day of Halloween: 

  • Have your safety apps ready to go

  • Make sure everyone has a charged phone

  • Periodic check-ins through safety apps

Key Takeaway 

As we eagerly await Halloween 2023, remember that safety should never take a backseat. From using modern tech tools to conducting methodical background checks, each step contributes to a more secure and enjoyable Halloween for everyone.

By utilizing online search and performing a few targeted searches using Searchbug’s background check tools, you can mitigate the risks and focus on what Halloween is truly about: having a spooktacular time!

Don’t let safety considerations take away from the Halloween fun. In fact, these precautions enable us to celebrate with greater confidence and peace of mind, letting us focus on the joy, the costumes, and, of course, the candy!

While the Halloween spirit is about thrills and chills, let’s make sure they’re the right kind. Wishing you all a happy and, most importantly, a safe Halloween!