On December 31, people all over the world celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. This festive occasion often means parties, food, and celebrations from late at night to the wee hours of the morning.
Most of us will be ringing in the New Year with a party or get-together. That’s why we’ve rounded up the top new year tips to ensure your New Year’s celebration is safe, whether you’re home and away.
Why do we celebrate the New Year, anyway?
New Year’s Day celebrations actually began back in 46 B.C, when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian calendar to more closely align with the sun. He also declared January 1 to be the beginning of the calendar year. The Romans celebrated the beginning of the year by exchanging gifts, decorating their homes, and attending parties.
This tradition of celebrating the new year has lived on, and today, New Year’s celebrations are very similar all over the world. In the United States, festivities often begin on December 31 and continue into the early hours of the morning.
During these New Year’s Eve parties, people often eat, drink, play games, launch fireworks, and ring in the New Year at midnight with a toast to the New Year. People often celebrate the beginning of a new year by creating New Year’s Resolutions, which are goals you’d like to accomplish or things you want to improve in the coming year.
Let’s be neighbors.
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Make safety for the New Year a priority
As fun as New Year’s celebrations are, they’re also a prime time for accidents and other safety hazards around the house. Whether you’re celebrating at home, out of town, or with friends, follow these tips to ring in the new year safely.
New Year’s Eve safety tips at home
If you’re planning on hosting a celebration at home, these tips will help ensure your celebration is safe for everyone:
Make your home a safe environment for visitors
If you’ll have children attending your parties, make sure anything hazardous, such as medications, lighters, or weapons, are locked away. You can also designate an off-limits area, like a room or closet, to store your guest’s belongings in a safe space.
Serve alcohol responsibly
If you plan on serving alcohol at your New Year’s Eve party, you can do so safely and responsibly with these tips:
Use different colored cups for alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks to help avoid mix-ups
Keep all alcoholic beverages away from minors, and monitor where bottles are being stored
Make a plan for guests to get home safely
You should also take steps to ensure your guests can get home safely if they end up drinking too much. Having a number for taxis handy, ordering guests a ride share, assigning a designated driver, or even allowing them to spend the night are all ways to keep them safe.
Practice firework safety
If you plan to ring in the New Year with fireworks, make sure you do so legally and safely. Check your local city or town ordinances to ensure fireworks are allowed, and review basic firework safety.
If you have pets, remember that the sudden and loud noises from fireworks can frighten pets and cause them to run away. Keep your pets indoors, preferably in a crate or quiet place, if you plan on setting off fireworks.
New Year’s safety tips away from home
Planning on heading out for a New Year’s celebration? Keep your home safe and sound while you’re away with these tips:
Don’t make it obvious you’re away
A dark home may not look inviting to you, but it’s exactly what a burglar looks for when casing properties to rob. Burglars want to get in and out as quickly as possible without being see, so make sure to lock your doors and turn your porch lights on to discourage potential break-ins.
Smart door locks and smart lighting make it easy to keep your home locked up and well-lit when you’re not home.
Check safety alarms
It’s always a good idea to make sure your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order and the batteries are fresh, especially if you’re going to be away. This is especially true in the winter months; more house fires occur in December and January than any other time, and January is the deadliest month for carbon monoxide poisonings.
A monitored security system can provide an extra layer of protection for your home while you’re home or away. If an alarm does go off, the monitoring center will contact emergency responders on your behalf, whether you’re home or away. If you’re home when an alarm goes off or an emergency occurs, you can speak to the monitoring center or get help from your smart hub.
Use security cameras to check on your home
Security cameras let you keep an eye on your home while you’re away while also providing an effective deterrent to prowlers or potential burglars. Doorbell cameras provide a clear view of anyone who comes to your front door, whether they ring the bell or not. Outdoor cameras let you see who’s on your property and can even deter lurkers by playing a warning tone and letting them know they’ve been spotted.
If you plan on ringing in the new year with a few drinks, make sure you have transportation arrangements ahead of time. This could be assigning a designated driver, ensuring ride share apps are updated on your phone, and checking to make sure public transportation is available where you will be celebrating.
Make arrangements for your vehicle
If you drive to your party and end up drinking more than you planned, there’s a chance you’ll need to leave your vehicle parked overnight. More car thefts happen on New Year’s Day than any other day, so plan ahead by making sure you park in a safe, well-lit area. Be sure to lock all doors and keep valuables out of sight, and pick up your vehicle as soon as possible the next day.
Consider a vehicle monitoring device to keep tabs on your car. That way, if the unfortunate happens and your car is stolen, you’ll be notified immediately and can provide the information to authorities.
Driving home from parties when there are drunk drivers on the road is hazardous for everyone. The most dangerous hours of the entire year to be on the road are between 6 PM on December 31 and 6 AM January 1, when people are celebrating the New Year holiday. If you plan on being out during these hours, take extra precaution to drive defensively and call 911 if you see a suspected drunk driver.
New Year’s Day is also the most hazardous day of the year for pedestrians. As you make your way home from parties, be on the lookout for pedestrians who may also be potentially impaired and not paying attention to traffic lights and signs.
Make your New Year great
The beginning of a new year is both fun and inspiring, a time to celebrate, set goals, and look forward to new beginnings and opportunities. And with these safety tips, you can keep your celebrations as safe as possible.
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