New Year’s Eve is a time of huge celebration, and while many people opt to go out for parties and celebratory events, there is a growing number of people who are choosing to have gatherings and parties in their own homes. While this can be a more relaxing and safer alternative to venturing out, there are still risks associated with New Year’s Eve parties at home. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your New Year’s Eve party and avoid problems for you as a Homeowner.
- It’s a good idea to help guests arrange cab rides or designated drivers, if necessary, to get home safely. If an accident does occur after a guest leaves your home, you could be held liable as the homeowner where alcohol was served. If necessary, provide blankets and air mattresses and invite your guests to stay the night at in your home. Be sure to offer plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and water to your guests.
- Never serve alcohol to a minor, even if their parents are present. It’s against the law to serve alcohol to any person under 19 years of age, regardless of parental consent. You as the host, providing alcohol can be held legally responsible.
- Be aware of all guests in attendance. If you are expecting a large number of people or perhaps guests who are unfamiliar to you, it’s a good idea to place valuables in a safe or other locked location during the party.
- Before having a party, check that all your home’s alarm systems and locks are functioning properly. It’s also important to ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors working properly.
- Homeowners should also use their security system after going to bed on New Year’s Eve. Many criminals believe New Year’s Eve is a good time to strike because so many people are out for the evening or distracted by the party and alcohol.
- If you are expecting a lot of guests or there will be a lot of alcohol consumed, perhaps avoid the use of open flame candles. It’s a huge fire hazard to have alcohol and intoxicated guests around lit candles. Choose flameless candles or festive strings of lights to spruce up your party. If you need to have candles, place them in secure locations, check on them periodically and remember to extinguish all candles at the end of the party.
- If you have house pets keep them inside tonight, as the roads and your neighbourhood could be unsafe for them. Ensure that your pet has a dog license on the collar, so that if something happens and they manage to exit your home, they can be easily returned to you. Loud noises can scare pets, consider keeping them in a closed room with a comfortable bed, treats and maybe some music to drown out the sounds of strangers arriving, noisemakers and champagne bottles etc.
- Remember that all your neighbours may not enjoy being disturbed late into the night by loud music and raucous party guests. Try to maintain the volume, intensity and ripple effect of your party under control and it won’t cause you interpersonal issues with your neighbours.
- Ensure that you keep your party and the guests under control at all times. Altercations and injuries incurred while in your home can be a liability to you as the homeowner. Also, damage to your personal property that occurs during a party with alcohol involved, may not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. It’s best to be careful and not risk any person being injured or property being damaged during a party in your home….because that’s no way to start the New Year!
- Have Fun! You will be surrounded by friends and family, living in the best country in the world and you are blessed to be rolling in another NEW YEAR! There is so much to celebrate, take a few minutes amidst the party, to reflect on the last 365 days and look forward to everything that 2014 will hold for you!
This evening as you and your family ring in the New Year, you want to have a celebration that is memorable for all the right reasons. Make sure you are prepared to offer a party environment that is festive and fun but also safe and secure for your family, your guests, your home and property and your neighbourhood. Happy New Year!