Ring in the New Year Safely

by Jill Kitchen

Happy New YearNew Year’s Eve is upon us. It is the time that many of us resolve to lose the five pounds of holiday weight we gained between Thanksgiving and Christmas, to dust off our treadmill and stop using it as a clothes hanger or to strive to be a better person.

However, before our New Year’s resolutions, we need to plan on getting through New Year’s Eve safely.  It comes as no surprise that the number one danger on New Year’s Eve is drinking and driving. Starting the year with a DUI would stink, and think of what it would do to your auto insurance in Sandy Springs rates! So, plan ahead.

•    Be sure to have a designated driver, hire a car service or carry the phone numbers for some local cab companies.
•    Many Police Departments have partnered with the local “club scene” to provide rides to patrons that are unable to drive themselves.
•    Check out the resources available in your community.

Also, if you are going out to a public venue to celebrate, go with a group and stick together. You will likely be around many people that you have never seen before. Be aware of your surroundings, and steer clear of anyone acting in a way that could create a hazardous situation.

If you are like me, you want to avoid the crowds by staying close to home or host a party for your friends. If you are the host of a party where alcohol is being consumed, you are taking on a responsibility for the safety of others. Be sure there are designated drivers, and have non-alcoholic beverages available. Have the numbers for local cab services on hand, and stop serving alcohol an hour before your guests leave. Maybe even be prepared to let guests spend the night. A drunk driver leaving your party that injures a third party creates a liability exposure for your homeowners liability insurance. This is one of the circumstances that would make you glad you had an umbrella policy!

Fireworks are another potential hazard. When buying retail fireworks, make sure you are complying with all the local laws. Just like driving, you need a designated shooter. No one that has consumed ANY alcohol should be lighting, shooting or setting up fireworks. Be sure to have a bucket of water and a charged hose nearby.

Finally, remember your pets! Loud noises, such as fireworks, shouting, sirens and the like, can make our pets anxious. Make sure they are secured somewhere they feel safe and won’t cause harm to themselves or others.

So, plan ahead for a safe New Year’s Eve. And eat your black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Ring out the old, and ring in the new! Here’s to a wonderful 2014.

For all of your insurance needs, contact us at 404-459-5975.

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