Friends at a house party talking in the kitchen

How to throw a safe house party

Tips for hosting your next gathering.

Birthdays, anniversaries, the last day of school, a sporting event, Thanksgiving, the end of a year — the reasons for hosting a party are as varied as the food, drink and entertainment you might provide. But as fun as a party can be, you also have a responsibility to avoid house party dangers. It's important that everyone coming is informed and comfortable with the party details. Use party planning to help keep you and others safe.

Mind the rules and regulations

If you rent or have a homeowner’s association, check your lease or HOA rules about hosting gatherings in your home and/or out on the lawn. Take a look at your rental agreement and confirm that you are allowed to host a party. If you aren’t, and your landlord is made aware of it, you may end up with a fine.

Check your insurance coverage

Even a quiet gathering can sometimes lead to an accident, such as a guest injury or property damage. If you're serving alcohol, your liability can be even greater. Be familiar with the house party laws and regulations in your state, and contact your State Farm® agent for details about liability insurance.

Be a good neighbor

Let your neighbors know in advance about the event and talk about any issues it could cause with parking. Share your number so they can contact you first with any concerns. Try to confine the meet-and-greet to indoors or the backyard. Let guests know where they should park, and quickly clean up any garbage left in your or your neighbors' yards, or public spaces like hallways. Monitor music and the crowd so you stay within the limits of noise level/control laws and ordinances. During winter months, consider checking the weather to see if you might need to clean snow from your driveway before your guests arrive.

Protect your pets

Strangers and loud noises in a usually quiet home may frighten pets. Help reduce their anxiety by crating your pup or putting your cat behind a closed door — especially while guests are arriving and leaving. Let guests know there are pets on the premises and any closed doors should remain closed. Put away any leftover food, so your pet doesn’t get into anything that might be dangerous or will make them sick.

Food safety tips

Take special care with the food you provide: Wash your hands before and during prepping. Keep raw meat away from other foods, cook foods to proper temperatures and keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Care for the kids

Unless it's a family focused soiree, consider hiring someone to keep an eye on any little ones. A babysitter might be able to keep the kids entertained while you dedicate time to your adult guests. And take additional safety precautions if you have a playground, a trampoline or a swimming pool. Consider having healthy kid-friendly food as well as some games or crafts for younger guests to enjoy.

Protect possessions

Play it safe: Lock up prescription medications and any electronics or valuables. Also, safely stash guests' belongings (coats, bags) during the party.

Monitor the drive home

At least one hour before the party wraps up, stop serving alcohol and serve additional snacks, to help prevent incidents of drinking and driving. Organize rides or ride shares, as necessary.

And now that you have read some party safety tips, you may also be interested in reading about a home safety audit or a home safety checklist.

Neither State Farm nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company
State Farm General Insurance Company
Bloomington, IL

State Farm Florida Insurance Company
Tallahassee, FL

State Farm Lloyds
Richardson, TX

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