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New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for a Healthy, Hazard-free Holiday

Updated Dec 26, 2022

Updated Dec 26, 2022

Home > Home Insurance > New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for a Healthy, Hazard-free Holiday

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate the past year and welcome in the new one with champagne toasts, sparklers, and the iconic ball drop. As exciting as the big countdown is, New Year’s celebrations can pose dangers to travelers and partygoers. 

Fortunately, with proactive planning and smart practices, you and your loved ones can take proper precautions to ring in the New Year safely.

4 New Year’s Safety Tips

The sections below cover health and safety tips for a hazard-free New Year’s Eve so you can start your year on the right foot. We’ll discuss travel safety, home security, and safe celebration tactics.

illustration showing New Year’s Eve safety tips
Image Source: Elisabeth Beauchamp / House Method Team

Get Around Safely

If you have big plans for New Year’s Eve, get from A to B safely.

Eliminate Opportunities for Drunk Driving

According to a 2022 Money Geek report, drunk driving-related deaths skyrocketed 116% above average on New Year’s Day, making it the most dangerous holiday for drunk driving incidents. Don’t let yourself or your loved ones become a statistic this season – arrange safe transportation to and from NYE celebrations ahead of time.

If you plan to consume alcoholic beverages on New Year’s Eve, use a ride-share service like Uber or Lyft to arrive safely at your destination. If you live in an area with public transportation services, consider taking the bus, shuttle, or train. Some public transportation services have limited operations on holidays, so check local websites for details and plan accordingly.

Keep tabs on your friends throughout the night. It’s crucial to ensure no one drives home after drinking. We recommend discussing travel plans ahead of time with your party group. Before the festivities begin, decide upon a designated driver or book a hotel within walking distance of your destination.

Avoid Driving in Hazardous Conditions

The threat of drunk drivers aside, winter weather can also render the road unfit for travel. If your area’s forecast involves heavy precipitation, black ice, or poor visibility, consider staying in for the evening.

If you must drive during less-than-ideal conditions, use these precaution and preparation tips for safely navigating winter weather on the road:

  • Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and those around you.
  • Have your vehicle inspected before winter settles in; ensure your car’s battery, wipers, coolant, and tires are ready to tackle the cold weather.
  • Check that all passengers wear seat belts.
  • Ensure that all minors are in size-appropriate car seats during each car ride.
  • Stock your car with emergency tools like blankets, flashlights, and jumper cables.

Don’t Be Afraid To Stay Home

Partaking in New Year’s Eve celebrations from the comfort of home doesn’t have to make the holiday any less exciting. Throw a small gathering with nearby friends or neighbors so that no one has to travel far in dangerous conditions. Stock up on tasty snacks, cocktails, and warm beverages ahead of time to fuel the festivities all night long.

If your home is the designated party spot, ensure that no one leaves after drinking. Keep everyone safe by:

  • Collecting guests’ car keys as they arrive
  • Hiring a driver for the evening or funding guests’ Uber rides
  • Allowing everyone to stay the night

Celebrate Safely

You can take a few simple precautions to save your New Year’s Eve party from disaster.

Choose Safer Celebration Tactics 

Forego fireworks and firearms when the clock strikes midnight. Though some traditions involve starting the new year with a bang, it’s much safer to use celebratory tools like sparklers, confetti poppers, and noisemakers that are less likely to cause fire or injury.

Popping bottles of champagne is another beloved New Year’s tradition. If you indulge, be careful when removing the bottle’s cork. Projectile champagne corks are responsible for many eye injuries during the holidays, as a cork can shoot out of a bottle at up to 50 miles per hour – fast enough to shatter glass.

Follow these steps from the Florida Society of Ophthalmology to make a toast safely:

  • Never use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne or bubbly wine.
  • Chill champagne to at least 45°F before opening it; warm champagne bottles are more likely to pop open unexpectedly, sending the cork flying.
  • Open the bottle by holding down the cork with one hand and unscrewing the wire seal with the other.
  • Place a towel over the top of the bottle.
  • Slowly twist the cork to break the seal, keeping the bottle pointed away from yourself and any bystanders at a 45° angle. 
  • Hold the bottle tightly to counter the force of the cork breaking free. Then, twist carefully and firmly until the cork comes out.

Practice Careful Alcohol Consumption

Whether you plan to enjoy a few glasses of champagne or sip your favorite cocktail all night long, remember to counter your alcohol intake with water and food. With some nutrition and hydration, you’ll be less likely to suffer alcohol poisoning and more likely to feel less hungover on New Year’s Day. 

If you’re hosting the New Year’s Eve celebration at your home, we recommend keeping snacks and fresh water on hand for your guests. These can contribute toward the festive atmosphere and fuel everyone as the night progresses.

Lock Up Before You Head Out

Don’t forget to monitor the safety of your property as you go about festivities. A few simple steps can ensure you head into the New Year with all your personal belongings.

Prevent Car Theft

The National Insurance Crime Bureau ranks New Year’s Day as one of the highest holidays for car theft. If you plan to be out and about on January 1, follow these rules to keep your vehicle safe:

  • Always lock your car doors and close your windows. This is the first and easiest way to deter a thief.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your car, especially in plain view.
  • Remove your keys from the vehicle and never leave it running. Leaving your car on – even just for a couple of minutes while you run into a store – makes it an effortless steal.
  • Never leave a spare key sitting around your car or outside your home. Thieves are creative and know where to look for hidden keys.
  • Park in well-lit areas to improve your and your car’s safety. Thieves are more likely to strike in areas where they can’t be easily spotted.
  • Consider installing a car alarm, vehicle immobilizer system, or tracking system to enhance your vehicle’s safety.

Protect Your Property With Home Security Best Practices

If you plan to be away for New Year’s, keep your property and belongings safe by investing in a home security system. Smart security systems like this one from Vivint include locks and cameras you can control from your smartphone. So, if you realize you left a door unlocked, you can still ensure your home is locked and secure.

Another way to deter thieves during the holiday season is to save social media posts until after the fun. Ill-intentioned viewers might use your travel posts and party pictures as proof that you aren’t home. Keep criminals from knowing your whereabouts – and your home’s vacancy – by preserving your privacy on social networks.

Finally, safeguard your property by having a solid homeowners insurance policy. Most policies cover damages from theft and break-ins, which can be crucial for high-crime periods like the holidays.

Wishing You a Safe and Unforgettable New Year

We hope this guide helps you ring in the New Year safely. With these tips in mind, you’ll undoubtedly have an unforgettable – and hazard-free – start to the brand-new year. 

Looking for more ways to stay safe during the holiday season? Read our holiday home safety guide for tips on preventing electrical hazards, fire risks, and home security breaches. 

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