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