As the temperature drops, we inevitably start to dream of cozy evenings by the fireplace surrounded by family and friends. The changing weather, holidays and end of the year are perfect reasons to celebrate. Your mailbox is no doubt filling up with holiday party invitations as we speak!
If you’re hosting a party this year, you want everything to go off without a hitch. Not only do you want guests to have tons of fun, but you also want everyone to stay safe while celebrating. And, of course, your home has to survive the party intact. An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure when it comes to planning social events.
Having the best homeowners insurance for your needs will grant extra peace of mind if anything unexpected happens at your party. After all, when you get a large group together, you have to be ready for anything. A guest could slip on your wooden staircase. A glass bowl could shatter underfoot in the kitchen. An errant candle could light a window drapery on fire.
As you’re preparing your home to accommodate guests, consider these guidelines.
Make Your Entryway Safe
Winter conditions can get slippery. Make sure you decrease the chances of a guest falling by shoveling and applying salt or sand to your outdoor walkways. Make sure there’s plenty of light so partygoers can see where they’re stepping. Once inside, guests should encounter a slip-resistant rug and a clutter-free foyer so they can proceed safely.
If someone falls on your property, your homeowners insurance policy covers their medical bills and potential liability claims. Of course, it’s better to prevent an unfortunate accident in the first place.
Food Preparation and Safety
Feeding a group can be tricky. Sometimes it feels like you need eight extra hands and a second kitchen to accomplish it all. However, even under rushed or special circumstances, food preparation safety is key. For example, avoid letting food sit at room temperature for more than two hours before and during the party. You’ll need to keep hot food above 140 degrees Fahrenheit, cold food below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and room temperature food circulating. Otherwise, guests could get ill.
Serving Alcohol? Keep the Car Keys
Unfortunately, holiday season usually means an uptick in drunk driving incidents. If you’ll be serving alcoholic libations at your gathering, devise a method beforehand for keeping guests safe. Make sure guests have one of these alternatives before you start serving drinks:
- A pre-arranged, sober designated driver
- A cab, rideshare or other form of public transportation
- A space to stay overnight
Some states even have “social host liability” laws, meaning you may be held accountable for injuries guests cause after leaving intoxicated. As a host, it’s up to you to do the right thing: Hold on to people’s keys until they’re legally sober to drive home.
Childproofing Your Home
If you’ll have young guests at your party, make sure to childproof the public areas of your home. Then lock the doors to all off-limits rooms. Keep candles, medication, hot surfaces, chemicals and delicate glassware out of children’s reach. You’ll also want to reinforce any tipping hazards—including holiday trees, stacks of firewood and heavy coat racks.
The best homeowners insurance is a financial safety net in case the unexpected occurs. Find coverage that fits your budget with CoverHound!