As the new year approaches, there are plenty of ways to celebrate. You can watch the ball drop with your family, host a gathering with friends, or even count down to midnight at a public party. But whether you’re ringing in the new year at home or spending a night out on the town, safety should always be your top priority.
Check out these eight tips to help you celebrate responsibly:
- Consider your liquor liability: Many people enjoy ringing the new year with a glass of champagne. But if you plan to serve alcohol, be a responsible host by making sure nobody gets behind the wheel of a car. In many states, you could be held liable for damage caused by a driver who leaves your party.
- Plan your activities: To keep your party running smoothly, have a list of games or activities that don’t involve alcohol. Playing games can be a great way to break the ice and can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.
- Serve plenty of food: If you’re staying up until midnight, expect lots of snacking to take place throughout the evening. A good selection of food and non-alcoholic beverages will not only keep your guests happy and help counter the effects of alcohol.
- Keep your guest list tight: When hosting a party in your home, it’s always a good idea to limit guests to people you know well. Strangers may be less likely to respect your property, and it will be more difficult to confront them if they overindulge.
- Designate a driver: Encourage your guests to choose a designated driver before they arrive. Whether a friend is driving, or they decide to use a ridesharing service, advanced planning will ensure a safer ride home for all of your guests.
- Shelve the fireworks: Avoid the temptation to start the new year off with a “bang.” Fireworks can lead to house fires and injuries – and they never mix well with alcohol.
- Don’t leave your car overnight: If you’re not driving home, it’s probably wise to leave your car in the driveway – and don’t forget to lock the doors. Unfortunately, criminals don’t take a holiday.
- Charge your phone: Before you head out for a night on the town, make sure your phone is fully charged. Getting stuck with a dead battery will make it difficult to reconnect with friends or order a ride home if needed.
No matter how you celebrate, the new year is a time to reflect on your successes and your hopes for the future.