- Be aware of open flames around highly flammable paper decor and aerosol streamers.
- Designate one place for your guests to smoke, preferably outside, on either the porch or in the yard.
- Don't hang decorations where they may come loose and block an entryway or exit, like hide-and-seek-friendly closets.
- Remember decorations can pose a choking threat for children and adults alike. A good rule of thumb is, if an object can be passed through an empty toilet paper roll, it can be a choking hazard. Brush up on CPR and first aid before hosting the party of the year.
- Metal noisemakers with bells and whistles may be dropped and damaged. If they do, they could have sharp edges or cause someone to trip or choke.
- Double check your Red Cross Ready Kit and replenish it for the New Year.
- Don't overlook the little ones! Prevent unwanted tumbles and wandering into unsafe areas by keeping stairways and dangerous areas closed off.
- Keep kid-friendly punch in different cups and in different color than the adult version.
- Curious fingers like to touch all the cool new stuff all over the house. Remember to keep in mind kids when buying party favors.
- Pets love decorations as much as you do. Pick them up if they fall or break to keep them from becoming a danger to man's best friend.
- If people will be coming and going, keep your pets out of areas where they may get loose and wander outside.
- Keep the pets and kids safe by watching their interactions. Many accidents between the two can be avoided by separation.
- Don't put your pet in a situation of confusion and loud noises. Keep them in a safe, quiet place for the majority of the party and bring them out when things are more quiet and less chaotic.
- Fido needs his party clothes on too. Make sure your pet has his shots and his collar has an identification tag on it so if your pet goes missing, you can get him or her back.
Firearms and Fireworks
- Some people celebrate New Year's Eve with fireworks and firearms. Remember they are unstable and unpredictable and only as good as the person who makes them.
- Explosives are safest in no hands - in other words, leave the fireworks and explosives to the professionals.
- Children are very curious and will take the chance to get their hands on a firearm if possible.
- Adults who have been drinking and firearms don't mix well either. Keep the unattainable during a party and be aware of your surroundings.
- If you'll be on a boat, wear your lifevest... consider it your New Year's bling. It's safe and fashion-forward.
- Don't drink and drive - period.
- The coast guard can request a safety inspection of your boat at any time. Don't go places you aren't familiar with and keep land in sight at all times.
- Turn your lights on if you'll be on the water after dark.
- No explosives. A sunk boat cannot get you safely back to land.
- Know the laws and rules of the water to keep your family and friends safe.
Out on the town
- Don't drink and drive - it bears repeating here. A designated driver or cab costs much less than a DWI, jail time or possible loss of life.
- If you are the designated driver, get a headcount before party-hopping.
- Don't leave a party with someone you don't know. It's better to go out with friends than to go alone.
- Don't leave your food or beverages unattended. It's easy for someone to slip something into your drink while it's in your hand, so imagine how much easier it is if you aren't paying attention.
- Don't accept drinks from a stranger. If someone wants to buy you a drink, get it directly from the bartender or waitress.
- Watch your exits! If you need to get out of there quickly, you'll need to know where to go.
So, brush up on the the words of Auld Lang Syne and have a happy (and safe) New Year's Eve! What are your New Year's plans?