New Year’s Eve is a wonderful time to celebrate with your loved ones. However, it is also a time fraught with risks for which you should prepare. Use these tips to help keep yourself and your family, friends, and guests safe whenever and wherever you memorably ring in the 2019 New Year!
General Drinking Safety
- Never leave your drink unattended, especially at an unfamiliar public event. If you must use the restroom, take your drink with you or give it to a close friend.
- It’s almost impossible to avoid alcohol on New Year’s Eve. Drink while keeping your limits in mind. Pace yourself. A tip: Alternate between alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
- When popping champagne bottles, make sure to aim the corks away from other people or anything of value. The 45 degree rule of thumb works for both the angle at which to uncork the bottle and also the temperature the wine should be at initially.
- Eat a wholesome dinner! Doing this will help absorb some of the alcohol and also help you avoid snacking excessively on unhealthy bar items.
General Driving & Car Safety
- Do not drink and drive. In all states but Utah (which has the stricter BAC limit of 0.05%), it is against the law to drive with a BAC that is 0.08% or higher. Do not let your drinking friends drive, either. If you have a designated driver, make sure that your driver goes alcohol-free for the night.
- Driving accidents rise during the holidays and most frequently occur between the hours of 8 pm and 2 am. It is crucial to make sure that on such a busy night, you will have a safe ride. Don’t assume that you’ll be able to hail a cab on the spot. Know what your transportation options are and decide in advance which one you will be taking.
- New Year’s Day is the second most active holiday during which car thefts occur. If you must leave your car somewhere, make sure that it is locked and pick it up as soon as possible on the following day.
- If you happen to be hosting a party, always make sure that your guests have a safe option to get home or a place to stay. You should be prepared to hire a driver, take away guest keys, offer them a place to stay, or think of other options to ensure that their night ends safely.
General Public Event and Party Safety
- You should be aware of your surroundings at all times. This goes for anybody, and it is especially crucial if you plan to attend an event at a place and with people with whom you are unfamiliar.
- Make sure that you are equipped with a fully charged communication device such as a cell phone or laptop in case of an emergency. If possible, pack a spare portable charger because you may not be able to find an outlet.
- Do not attend events alone. Bring your friends with you, and always stay in groups!
- Make plans to arrive and leave as a group. A lot can happen on New Years Eve. Ensure that your friends and family will remain safe by sharing your plans and communicating with each other if any of those plans change. If you do get separated from the group, let others know where you are, where you’re going, and where you’re spending the night.
- Most places with large crowds require professional security. If you feel that anything is wrong, please alert the authorities and speak up about it.
Fireworks and Guns Safety
- Leave the fireworks to the professionals. If caught with fireworks, you might be fined or even have to serve jail time. If you need special effects, stick with noise makers and sparklers. In the hands of an inexperienced handler, fireworks could kill or injure someone, or break local noise ordinances and other laws.
- Do not engage in the practice of firing a gun into the air, otherwise known as celebratory gunfire. A bullet comes down at approximately the same velocity at which it was fired. Celebratory gunfire has been known to cause fatalities and injuries and endangers property as well as life. If you see or hear gunfire, please report it to the police immediately. If you are tempted to ring in the new year by firing a gun, consider that you might receive a citation or be charged for injuring or killing another person.
Family and Child Safety
- If your kids are going somewhere for New Year’s Eve, set a reasonable curfew for them, and make sure that you educate them on the dangers of drunk driving and of driving during the holidays. Encourage them to stay at one place the whole time rather than party hop.
General Pet Safety
- Pets are frightened by sudden, loud noises; take care to pay enough attention to them so that they don’t panic and run away.
- Make sure that your pet has their ID or license. If they have a microchip, make sure that it’s current.
- Keep your pets inside in a comfortable room with comforting music playing to drown out any noises that may scare them.
- You may want to ask your veterinarian for tranquilizers if your pet typically displays extreme uneasiness during loud celebrations.