2012 New Years Eve Safety Guide
For some individuals, when New Year's Eve falls during the week, the party may start at the office or during happy hour in a local pub, therefore it is imperative that drivers be on high alert when driving home from work. As well, after that midnight celebration, designated drivers should pay close attention to their rear view mirror and take extra precaution at intersections. Just being sober on New Year's Eve, doesn't guarantee that the other driver is.
Many cities have red light cameras and photo radar but these systems will not slow down a drunk driver. If erratic driving is observed, contacting local authorities may prevent someone from becoming a statistic. According to the Alcohol Alert website, a couple years ago there were over 434 fatalities in Illinois related to drunk driving. Don't be a statistic. Have a plan and a designated driver.
Have a Plan for New Year's Eve Safety
Before the New Year's Eve party starts, it is everyone's responsibility to plan how they will get home safely.
- Assign a designated driver
- Travel to and from the party via cab
- Crash at the home of the party host
- Ask a sober family member to drop off and pick up
- Travel with a party bus that drives right to the front door
If someone doesn't have a plan and indulges in alcohol, please call a cab or a safe ride home afterwards.
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Every party host is used to planning an attractive display of their party's food and beverage. In addition to creating an inviting food spread, the hostess of a New Year's Eve party owes it to their guests to be sure that the food they serve is safe. According to WebMD, over 250 different diseases can cause food poisoning. Their "Food Poisoning and Safe food Handling - Prevention" section outlines food safety guidelines. To avoid illness, they recommend:
- Wash hands before, during and after food prep
- Don't handle or pet animals during cooking
- Cook meats and eggs thoroughly to avoid E-coli and salmonella
- Thoroughly clean utensils and cutting boards after cutting raw meats before using again
- Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before serving.
- Keep hot foods hot [140F or above] and cold foods cold [40F or below].
Be Smart About Flames and Fireworks
Flames and alcohol is dangerous. When planning for a party, consider the fact that after a few hours, a portion of their guests will be feeling invincible, full of alcohol-inspired energy, and moving clumsily. Plan accordingly by:
- Nixing the real candles. Instead of burning real candles at a New Year's Eve party, use battery operated candles for safe, ambient lighting.
- Keeping fireplace, heaters and fire pit flames under control. Use safety screens at all times and make sure seating is at a safe distance from the flame.
- If fireworks are part of the plan, ensuring that the individuals shooting off the fireworks are sober and observe safe handling. As well, make sure the inebriated guests aren't too close to the show. It's recommend to always check with the local authority regarding the prevailing laws before using fireworks.
Cash and Credit Cards
Those who choose to celebrate New Year's Eve at a public place, should exercise caution with their cash and credit cards during the evening. Alcohol tends to alter rational thinking and wallets can be easily lifted or dropped. There are criminals who wait all year for this evening when it is guaranteed that there will be a large selection of theft targets.
When celebrating out, it is wise to consider using cash cards that have a limited value or have a "no loss" guarantee from the bank issuing it. Never leave wallets or purses unattended. A tab can be set up with a credit card and the credit card locked in the car, handed to a designated driving friend, or kept in a money belt or body wallet. If the establishment holding the New Year's celebration accepts pre-payment over the phone for the night, that might eliminate the need to bring money entirely!
By using these five tips, this New Year's Eve celebration just might start off the new decade for everyone in the right direction: Safely, in good health and without incident! Here's wishing everyone a safe and prosperous 2011!
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