3 Steps to safe holiday parties

The festive season is upon us. When celebrating the holidays with friends and family, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season compromise your safety. With preparation and planning, you can maximize your enjoyment while preventing risks to your guests and home. Read on for practical steps you can take to keep the season joyous!

1. Travel safely

With the streets and sidewalks busy with folks rushing through their holiday to-do lists, it’s important to keep road safety top of mind. Here are some tips to ensure trouble-free holiday travel.

  • Clear snow and ice from your windshield, windows and roof! Limited visibility can impair your ability to navigate the road, and chunks of snow and ice blowing off your car is a hazard for other drivers.
  • Slow down. Speeding is not only dangerous, it could earn you a ticket. Police presence is greater on the roads both day and night throughout the season.
  • Don’t talk (or text) and drive. Calling mom for gift ideas is a dangerous distraction, and in most Canadian provinces you could receive a fine.
  • Watch for emergency vehicles. When you hear a siren, be sure to pull off to the side of the road to allow the ambulance, police car or fire truck to pass.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your trunk. Include blankets, a shovel, salt, an ice scraper, a flashlight and flares. Extra windshield washer fluid is also a good idea.

2. Prepare your home

Be sure your festivities aren’t interrupted by mishaps. Preparing your home before your guests arrive will help make your holiday party merry – and safe.

  • Prevent falls. Keep your driveway, walkway and the front stairs clear of snow and ice. Use sand and salt as needed. Inside, keep hallways and stairs well-lit and free of clutter.
  • Mind the kids. Remove small objects and choking hazards. Lock away medications and cleaning products. Tape down loose electrical cords, and child-proof sharp edges and electrical sockets. Most importantly, make sure someone is supervising children at all times.
  • Prevent fires. Keep all fresh trees and plants watered. This will prevent drying, which, can be a fire hazard. Don’t leave food unattended on the stove and keep cooking surfaces clutter-free. Ensure your fireplace is well maintained and the chimney is clean, and don’t hang stockings in front of a roaring fire.
  • Test alarms and security. Maintain your smoke and CO detectors as well as home security systems.

3. Socialize responsibly

Holiday celebrations usually involve raising a glass or two, but nobody wants their guests to drive away in an impaired state. If you or your guests drink, don’t drive. To prevent any problems, prepare in advance:

  • Have a good selection of non-alcoholic beverages on hand
  • Make sure everyone has a safe way home: designated driver, public transit, or taxi
  • If needed, invite guests to stay the night and sleep it off

While the holidays are an exciting time, no one wants to have their festivities ruined by accident or injury. Taking these safety measures into consideration when planning your party will ensure a memorable, fun and joy-filled celebration.

The information in this article has been adapted from the following web sites. For more on this topic, visit:

IBC's Home Safety Tips for the Holiday Season
Canada Safety Council: Safety Tips for a Happy Holiday
Precautions to prevent fires at home


Other topics of interest:

The information and advice are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.