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Guidelines for Safe Parties at Homeowners Property

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Nov 02, 2013

globes-205x300Partying is fun for people of all ages. Some people host parties for Birthdays, the Super Bowl, Thanksgiving, and so on. As a homeowner, you can be held liable for any harm that may come to guests on your property.  Your role as a responsible party host is to keep your friends and loved ones safe. There’s a reason they call it ‘throwing a party’ – a host has to be ready to show a great time to their guests as well as make sure everyone is safe. We have compiled a list of tips about throwing a party in your home and some guidelines to follow when you do. Please keep in mind that these are just a few guidelines and nothing substitutes for common sense, following all laws and guidelines that are applicable at all times. 

  • Alcohol Precautions - Never serve alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age. Don’t rely on coffee as a way to sober up guests. Time is the only way someone can get sober. Plan activities like party games to keep people engaged making them less active in engaging in the consumption of alcohol.  Make sure those that are drinking have a designated driver. Be prepared to have the number of a taxi service available for those that need a ride. If you can, offer those who have had too much to drink the sofa for the evening. Close the bar 90 minutes before the party ends and serve a great dessert treat with coffee. If you choose to provide alcohol, make sure you have plenty of food and non alcoholic drinks available. 

  • Party Tips - Having a theme gives a party instant energy, to insure everyone gets involved put the special dress code on the invitation or offer a special prize for the best dressed guest. Of critical importance: Be careful who you invite. If you invite good friends who are mature social drinkers, you shouldn’t have a problem throwing a safe and fun party. If you invite strangers or people who are not responsible around alcohol, you are opening the door for trouble. Noise complaints are a common reason why police are called to private parties, find out what the city noise ordinances are and follow the rules. Have a designated place for valuables such as jackets.

  • Food Precautions - Make sure you don’t leave food out that needs to be refrigerated. Use ice bowls to keep foods cold if you want to have them out.

  • Cords - When fun lighting and sound equipment are brought into a party, cords are inevitably an issue. When possible, tuck cords into the crevice between the carpet and the baseboards. This is safer (and aesthetically more pleasing) option than having cords sprawled across the floor. If this isn’t possible, cover the cables with brightly covered tape (“Hey! Step over me!”) or create a smooth walking surface using area rugs or runners. When cords come from overhead, conceal them along doorframes and the ceiling using electrical tape. 

  • Candles, Bonfires, and Pyrotechnics - Fire is a versatile light source that can be soothing or exhilarating. A few candles or a bonfire in the back of your property can be plenty of fun as long as you play it safe. Adhere to state regulations during droughts. Keep flames away from flammable objects such as overhanging tree limbs, curtains, and alcohol.

  • Be a Vigilant Host - Keep an eye out for spills and clean them up immediately to prevent slipping. Clear broken glass from surfaces immediately. Provide a welcome mat for guests to wipe and dry their feet on a rainy day and be sure that all floor coverings remain flush to the ground during your event.

The information in this article is not a complete list of every loss control measure.  This information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions by a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. People’s Trust makes no guarantee of the results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.


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People’s Trust Insurance Company