The holidays are right around the corner and with the holiday season come planning fun, festive parties for family and friends. Although parties are one of the best parts of the holiday season, planning one takes a lot of preparation. From house cleaning to menu and beverage preparation to decorations and music, thinking about the safety of your guests may be the last thing on your mind. It is, however, a good idea to consider these safety tips to ensure you and your guests have a great time without incident.

Holiday Party Safety Checklist

  1. Shovel the walk. Make sure your driveway and walkways are free of snow and ice for your guests. Put down de-icer on pathways and highly travelled areas.
  2. Good lighting. Be sure good lighting is in place on your property so guests can see where they are walking including both your entryway and your backyard if guests will be celebrating there.
  3. Festive holiday lighting. If you decide to burn candles, make sure they are far away from any flammable material. Never leave a candle burning unattended. Consider using flameless candles as a safer alternative.
  4. Food Options. If you are serving alcohol, make sure your guests have plenty of food options so they are not drinking on an empty stomach.
  5. Beverage Choices. Have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages on hand such as waters and seltzers for your guests. Consider serving “mocktails” or alcohol free punch.
  6. Professional Bartender. You may consider hiring a professional bartender for a larger bash. Bartenders are trained in recognizing signs of inebriation.
  7. Stop serving. Stop serving alcohol an hour before the party ends. Brew some fresh coffee and offer it to your guests along with some snacks.
  8. Uber or Taxi Services. Keep an eye out for any of your guests have had too much to holiday cheer, and have alternative ways to get home readily available to them.
  9. Invite your guests to stay. Have blankets and pillows on hand so that a guest can stay the night if they have had too much to drink are unable to find a way home.
  10. Social Host Liability. You as the host serving alcohol have a responsibility to keep your guests safe. It’s important to stay sober yourself during the party. The laws vary by state, so if you are hosting a holiday party, familiarize yourself with your state’s laws beforehand.
  11. Intervene if necessary. If a guest who is clearly inebriated attempts to drive, take away the keys and call a cab or even the police, if necessary.

The holidays are a joyous time of year filled with parties and celebration. Taking the time to prepare ahead of time will allow you to now only throw a fabulous holiday party, but to ensure the safety of yourself and your guests as well.

As always, we are here to help!  Call (877) 462-9732 for a free consultation or simply if you’re seeking advice on what to do about any legal situation regarding a holiday party or gathering.

Hinman and Peck, P.C. wishes you and yours a happy holiday season!

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