New Year’s Eve is tomorrow and many people have been making plans on how to ring in the New Year. While safety on our roadways must be a high priority, it is not the only safety concern we must consider. Whether going to a big party or staying home with friends and family, taking some safety tips to heart will ensure we all can have a happy, healthy, and safe celebration.
Hosting a party?
•Have guests turn their keys in to you upon arrival and put them in a secure place. That way you can ensure that everyone has a safe ride home.
•Plan ahead by naming a “designated driver.”
•Contact a local cab company to provide rides for your guests.
•Have phone numbers handy for a cab company, emergency contacts and poison control if something unexpected occurs.
•Serve non-alcoholic beverages as an option and plenty of water.
•Have food and snacks available so your guests aren’t drinking on an empty stomach.
•Make sure all smoke alarms are in proper working order especially if you are burning candles or have smokers in the house.
•Stop serving alcohol several hours before the party ends.
•Provide your guests the option to stay overnight.
Attending a Party or Public Event?
•If you drink, don’t drive.
•Plan ahead and always designate a sober driver.
•If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit, or get a sober friend or family member pick you up.
•Save the phone number to a local licensed cab service in your cell phone
•Never leave your drink unattended where someone could put something in it.
•Don’t forget to eat, and drink water or non-alcoholic beverages in between alcoholic ones.
•If you drink, pace yourself and pay attention to how much you are consuming. Drinking too much alcohol can make you sick and can lead to alcohol poisoning.
•Be aware of your surroundings.
•Do not go alone, bring a friend
•Bring only what you need in your handbag or wallet, such as your driver’s license, money and one credit card.
•While it may seem fun to share the events of the evening on social media sites, beware that doing so publicly announces that you are not home.
•Don’t drink and drive! Even if you’ve had only a couple of drinks, have a designated driver to drive you around.
•Be alert behind the wheel.
•Park in a well-lit area that’s populated. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
•Check that your windows are rolled up, doors are locked and valuables are out of sight.
•Watch out for intoxicated walkers who pay no attention to lights or crosswalks.
•Use seatbelts and prepare an emergency safety kit for your vehicle.
•Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are highest between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. Avoid being on the road at those times.
Popping the bubbly?
When popping the champagne cork, remember 45 to avoid injuries!
•Chill the champagne to at least 45°F, as this will make the cork less likely to pop out unexpectedly.
•Hold the bottle at a 45° angle, pointing it away from yourself and others.
•Remove the wire hood.
•Place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
•With the bottle in one hand, slowly twist the cork, applying gentle upward pressure. When you feel the cork about to pop out, reverse pressure to a slight downward tilt.
It is best to leave the fireworks up to the professionals, but if you choose to shoot them off:
•Do so in an open area where homes and power lines are out of the way.
•Keep children and pets away from where you are igniting them.
•Never re-light a firework that did not go off the first time.
Have a pet?
Nothing frightens pet’s more than sudden loud noises.
•Keep your pets inside, in a comfortable room.
•If your pet must be outside, secure all gates and fences.
•Throw away unattended drinks. Pets might be curious to consume them.
New Year’s Eve is a time to enjoy family and friends. By having a good sense of awareness and taking these New Year’s Eve safety tips to heart, we can make sure that everyone has a happy, safe, and healthy 2015!
What tips or suggestions do you have to safely ring in 2015?
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.