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8 Tips for Hosting Safe Holiday Parties

It can become even more frantic, when you’re the one hosting the party. There are plenty of tasks to be done such as finding the most festive decorations, baking desserts, to what music should be playing. Another important aspect of party planning is safety. Here are some hosting holiday party safety tips to consider:

1. Clear any snow and ice

Make a good first impression by clearing off any snow and ice from your front steps and driveway. Shovel any fresh snowfall away and sprinkle some salt on slippery ice patches. Turn on any porch lights to welcome your guests, and make sure the pathway to your home is well lit. You don’t want any guests to slip and fall on your property.

2. Drink responsibly

As part of your hosting duties, you have an obligation to make certain no one drinks and drives. You can ask your guests who will be drinking and who will be a designated driver. Have a selection of “mocktails” to give non-drinking guests options. Keep an eye on those who may be drinking too much. Have cab numbers or access to an Uber available. During this time of year, there are plenty of rideshare and public transportation services available for these types of situations, especially on New Year’s Eve. If necessary, provide a place for an intoxicated guest(s) to sleep at your home or take their car keys away.

3. Food, food and more food

The more food the better. This is especially important if there will be alcohol at the holiday party. Serving food encourages guests to pace their drinking and indulge in snacks instead. Eating is known to slow alcohol absorption. Have plenty of crowd-pleasing appetizers available at different tables, so guests can mingle while being near food as well. Keep in mind there may be guests who have certain food allergies and sensitivities. Include a small written label or flag by the food stating whether they contain allergic ingredients, such as nuts and shellfish.

4. Crackling fires

With winter in full effect, many of us love to use our fireplaces. A roaring fire not only looks festive, but it warms guests and creates conversation. Just be sure to keep any fireplace screens closed and have a perimeter around the area to prevent any children and pets from getting too close.

Holiday candles help create a joyful atmosphere. Be sure to keep them in hard-to-reach areas in case there are children or pets at the party. Or place flameless candles or tea lights around your home instead to avoid potential fire hazards. As a host and home owner, be aware of where the fire extinguishers are and that they are in good working condition.

5. Keep valuables hidden

Not that your guests can’t be trusted, but keep any fragile valuables or family heirlooms out of sight. You don’t want to worry about any guests accidentally breaking any cherished objects. Close bedroom doors for extra caution.

6. Child-proof your home

If you are allowing guests to be bringing young children to the holiday party, it’s best to child-proof your home. Look around your house for any small objects or decorations which could pose as a choking hazard. Make sure no medications or cleaning products are left out.

7. Furry friends

If your pet is not used to so many guests in your home, they may become anxious and overwhelmed. Provide a comfortable and safe space filled with their favourite toys for your pet in a room where they can retreat to. It also might be a good night to call for a pet-sitter. For more pet safety tips read our How to Prepare your Pet for the Holidays blog post.

8. Shoes and boots

With winter comes boots, with boots comes slush and snow. Have a designated shoe and boot area where guests can wipe off their boots on a mat. Provide a basket or box of fuzzy socks and slippers near the door in case a barefoot guest gets cold.

Have a happy and safe holiday!

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