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Sunday, 27 May 2012

Party On! A Host’s Guide to Celebrating Safely during the Summer Months (Part 2 of 2)


Last day, we paid tribute to the summer season as both a time for fun and relaxation and a reminder of the importance of remaining ever-vigilant no matter how fun or relaxing the occasion. Wonderful though it can often be, the summertime comes saddled with its own host of risks and dangers. Thus, while it is important not to let a constant fear of these risks ruin even the safest of good times, it is nevertheless wise to be as mindful of safety as possible when soaking up the warm weather with friends and family during the coming months. As we move into Part 2 of this update on safe and claim-free (remember – insurance doesn’t go on holiday during the summer any more than accidents do!) fun during the summer season, we’ll explore a few more of the safety essentials that will best equip you to have fun at minimal risk to you, your family and your houseguests when you throw that first great party of the summer. Enjoy!

1. Candles and electric lights should be monitored closely. Planning to light up a patio or garden path with string lights, candles or some other light source? Elegant though candles or their alternatives can be, they can also quickly become a fire hazard – particularly when not monitored carefully. Beyond checking them regularly, any candles or electric lights on display should be placed out of reach of children, flammable curtains or upholstery, and loose-fitting clothing that might be worn by houseguests. Candles should also be placed in holders which catch their wax before it drips onto floors or walkways, where it could then become a slipping hazard.

2. Know when your guests have had enough. Alcoholic drinks are often regarded as being a staple of patio season, but it should nevertheless be understood that overconsumption can cause as many problems in this setting as it can in any other. Having a few too many puts both you and your guests at a greater risk of suffering accidents and injuries, which, in a setting such as a backyard patio party, could easily put non-drinking or more responsible guests in harm’s way as well. While it likely wouldn’t be effective to micromanage partygoers’ drinking habits at events like these, it’s still important not to be shy about pointing out when you think somebody has had enough; doing so might well steer the party clear of harm’s way, saving you a colossal headache in the process.

3. Drinking and driving simply do not mix. As history has repeatedly taught us, driving and consumption of alcohol are a deadly combination indeed. As though this were not problematic enough, as the host of a party at which people drink and drive you yourself might be held responsible were the unthinkable to happen. In light of these concerns, it is often best to implement a strict designated driver (“DD”) policy at get-togethers to make sure that only those who are completely sober do any driving at the end of the night. It might also be wise to have the number for a local cab service on hand to assist with any last-minute ride arrangements; providing space for people to spend the night if they absolutely need to should also be considered as an option, though this likely won’t be necessary if cabs and DDs are close at hand.  

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