Top Tips for Hosting a Safe Holiday Party

If you haven’t already been to or hosted your fair share of holiday parties, they’re bound to be happening over the next few weeks. This is a fun time of year with lots going on, and there’s definitely no shortage of social gatherings and events to attend in the Vancouver area. Whether you’re planning a party for your staff, hosting a gala, or own a venue or restaurant, it’s important to consider security and safety. Here are some questions to ask yourself as your holiday gatherings approach:

What food and drinks will be served?

If it’s a holiday party, chances are that most people will be consuming alcohol. When serving alcohol, you’re obligated to serve food as well. To avoid excessive or dangerous levels of drinking, try the following: avoid serving foods that are too salty as this encourages more drinking; serve plenty of non-alcoholic beverages so that people have other options; stop serving alcohol about an hour before you expect the party to end and instead serve coffee, tea and snacks. Most of all, make sure there is enough food! If people are drinking, they need to be eating as well.

Who is staying sober?

When hosting, coordinating or managing a party, it’s important to be alert and available in case any issues arise. There should always be someone onsite that can diffuse any situations that come up, whether it be assessing how much alcohol someone has had, managing staff and event flow or responding in the case of an emergency. The only way to properly handle these things is to be fully aware and alert, so make sure someone is designated to oversee.

How will guests get home?

It’s no surprise that if anyone has a party, specifically a holiday party, there will be alcohol consumed. The holidays see an unfortunate increase in incidences of driving under the influence, so it’s important to be extra cautious. Make sure that transportation options are readily available and phone numbers are on hand so that guests can contact a taxi with ease. As a responsible host you, a security officer or whoever has been appointed in charge should ensure that if someone has been drinking too much they do not attempt to drive home, regardless of whether or not they have a vehicle with them.

Do you have safety plans in place?

It’s likely that if you’ve planned well, your party will go off without a hitch. But it’s best to be prepared for the worst case scenarios, just in case. Have plans in place to deal with issues that may arise whether it be a kitchen fire, a dispute between guests or a medical emergency. Make sure to have anything you might need on hand and ready to go. Before the event takes place check that you have fire extinguishers, functioning fire alarms, security alarms and a first aid kit in working order. Go over your safety procedures as well, and ensure that any event staff are fully aware.

How will you respond to bad weather?

It doesn’t happen often, but on occasion the Vancouver area can experience bad weather this time of year. If you’re located in an area that might experience some bad weather, then make sure that snow removal equipment is on hand if needed, as well as salt or sand for icy conditions. It’s also a good idea to make sure that outdoor areas are well lit to avoid anyone falling or slipping on ice and snow.

Keep fun at the forefront this holiday season, but don’t neglect safety and security! Carry out your holiday events with a good security plan in place. If you need help creating a security plan, implementing security procedures or with actual on-site event security, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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