Nextdoor app improving trick-or-treating safety with “Treat Map”

MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - With Halloween right around the corner, costumes and candy are coming soon and trick-or-treating just got better with the "Nextdoor" app.

It has a feature that makes going to door-to-door a little safer and more convenient for homeowners.

Nextdoor is a social networking app for neighborhoods all over the country so people can talk with their neighbors about what's going on in their community. The app rolled out its Halloween "Treat Map" in 2016 and it's back again this year.

"You may be hosting a Halloween party and you can just put that out there like you normally would. The people that are going to be giving out candy, whether it's allergy-free or it's regular candy, you can notate that and put it on the app and it shows it on the map," said Lieutenant Donny Shaw, spokesperson for the Madison County Sheriff's Office.

The Halloween feature is simple; all you do is go to the Nextdoor app, click in the bottom right corner and then "Treat Map" is right there. The map will load at whatever location you designate as your home and show you the surrounding areas. You can see different symbols for what your neighbors are doing, like a candy corn for giving out candy or blue pumpkin for homes that will have allergy-free goodies for trick-or-treaters.

The feature helps show you who is participating but also who's not.

"There's some people that don't care to participate and don't want to be bothered, so it's good for them that they can put that information out that they would just rather not have any visitors," Shaw said.

Shaw says this feature is a great way for neighbors to communicate and keep everyone safe on such a spooky day.

Shaw also recommends that parents download a "sex offender" check app and also check Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's sex offender list before you send your kids trick-or-treating. You can find that list here.