The holiday season is the perfect time for many to open up their homes for parties. However, as a property owner, it is important to be aware that you can be held responsible for the safety of your guests. If you are planning a holiday party, keep these tips in mind to protect yourself from liability exposure:
- Make sure your homeowner's insurance is up to date and that your policy’s limits are enough to cover a potential injury or accident.
- Limit alcoholic beverages. Drunk driving crashes increase around the holidays. According to BACtrack, DUI arrests are highest during Thanksgiving and New Years. The U.S. National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism states 40 percent of traffic fatalities involve drunk drivers during the holiday period between Christmas and New Year. If you are serving alcohol at your party, do it responsibly. Set a limit to help prevent your guests from drinking too much. If guests want to leave after the party and they have had too much to drink, call a cab, or have a sober guest drive them home. No matter what, make sure they do not drive home intoxicated.
- Pay attention to potential dangers on your property. If you are aware of a dangerous condition, make sure to get the hazard fixed before guests arrive. If you are not able to fix the hazard before the party, make sure it is appropriately marked and guests have been warned to stay away from the area.
- Consider restraining your dog. Homeowners may be held liable if their pet bites a guest.
The holiday season is a time for fun holiday parties and making memories, by implementing these safety tips you can help make sure those memories are good ones.