When you begin to plan your Christmas party, you're likely to focus on the theme, music, and the menu. But, keeping your family and guests safe is an equally significant part of the planning. Here's a checklist to be sure your party is fun, festive, and safe.
Christmas Party Host Checklist
- Clear walkways of any items guests may trip over. Be sure that your sidewalks and driveway are clear of snow and ice so that guests can walk safely from vehicles to your front door. Remove all potential tripping hazards inside your home. Your hallway should have a safety mat to prevent slipping and sliding on a wet floor. Have a fire extinguisher handy for potential kitchen crises. Make sure the area is well lit.
- Put any pets in a separate area.
- Avoid Food Poisoning. Even if you outsource your holiday prep to a caterer or restaurant- as three-quarters of homeowners have- you may still be responsible if a guest contracts salmonella or other food poisonings from a tainted dish. Order food from a trusted source and don't serve anything you are suspicious of being undercooked or spoiled.
- Close the bar. 90 mins before the end of the party, close down the bar, and serve coffee or soft drinks.
- Don't let intoxicated guests drive. Arrange an Uber or Taxi to take them home. In many states, hosts can be liable for third-party injuries if an intoxicated guest is involved in a roadside accident after leaving the party, including medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost-work-time, or claims from wrongful death.
- Ask your independent insurance agent about adding an Umbrella Policy.
Remember, as the host, you are subject to various types of liability
- Server's liability. Anyone who has served a guest to the point of intoxication should take note here. You are responsible for cutting your guests off as they near this state.
- Liability for Sponsoring Potentially Dangerous Activities. You are responsible for stopping your guest from participating in any drunken, destructive behavior, whether that means driving or defacing property.
- Premises liability. If you're the owner or renter of the premises, you are responsible for whatever happens on the property, whether it's physical damage or accidents and injuries. It's up to you to make sure there are no hazards that could cause injury.
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