The best way to keep your New Year's Eve a happy one is to ensure that you, your family, and friends are safe! Taking a few simple precautions, whether you are entertaining at home or facing the crowds in the city, will guarantee a more enjoyable holiday for everyone.
A major danger for those heading out on New Year's Eve is drunk driving. The roads are always busy and with the amount of celebrating going on, it is an extremely unfortunate guarantee that there will be intoxicated individuals behind the wheel. Protect yourself and others; don't be part of the problem. The first piece of advice in an Army article on safety for the holiday is: "Designate a Driver...don't drink and drive. If you have a friend who does not prefer to drink, make sure they take the wheel."
The piece goes on to say that if you can manage it, avoid driving entirely. "...Avoid a potentially dangerous accident by staying off the road. Otherwise, be alert and drive defensively." Wear a seatbelt and if it's possible, take advantage of public transportation, a cab, or stay at a friend's house.
Another helpful list of safety measures can be found here. If you are attending a crowded event or party, "be on guard and aware of your surroundings...travel with a group or in pairs...and make sure everyone has a 'buddy' who can confirm they got home safely at the end of the night." No matter where you are, don't leave your drink unattended.
The Army article reminds us to be safe at home as well. "Be careful with open flames: If you're burning candles, incense or oil burners, remember to extinguish them before you turn in or before you leave the room they are burning in. Pay extra attention to pets and children around open flames."
Finally, if you are holding an event at your home, be a responsible host. Serve alcohol in moderation and provide alternative beverages. Make sure guests have enough to eat and if possible, that they don't overindulge. Taking guests' keys at the beginning of the night will help avoid an awkward situation if they have had too much to drink. Help arrange safe rides home or insist that friends stay with you.
By being smart and conscientious, you can make sure that the holiday will be a successful and safe one for you, your family, and friends.