Monday, December 30, 2019

20 New Year's Eve Safety Tips

If you plan to be out and about tomorrow evening, consider these tips to keep you and yours safe when you celebrate the new year...

  1. If you will be in a crowd, keep your wallet and phone in either your front pockets or a fanny pack worn in the front (picking pockets is ridiculously easy in a jostling crowd).
  2. Don't drink and drive.  If you are going to drink, leave your vehicle at home and Uber/Lyft/bus/taxi/etc to your destination.  It's easier to force yourself to seek alternate transportation home after you have been drinking when you don't have your vehicle available.
  3. If you will be in a crowd, specifically look for, #1 all available exits, #2 location of fire alarms, #3 items that could be used as a weapon, #4 places that could be used for cover, #5 places that could be used for concealment.
  4. Also if you are in a big crowd and notice anything unusual, report it.  Unattended bags, a pressure cooker on the side of the road, people in the crowd behaving oddly, etc.
  5. Stay to the edges of crowds; it's easier to make an escape in an emergency if you aren't in the middle of a crowd.
  6. Consider throwing a new year's party at home and having everyone stay over (this prevents both drinking and driving as well as being in a crowd of strangers).
  7. Don't shoot off guns to celebrate the new year (the bullets have to land somewhere which can be dangerous).
  8. Be careful where you shoot off fireworks so you don't start a wildfire or catch the neighbor's house on fire.
  9. Have a plan for your kids and pets.  Pets can get freaked out and run off when there is loud noise or fireworks and kids can get into trouble when not being properly supervised.
  10. Be careful if you decide to go to a big house party.  When you don't know all of the people, you don't know if any of the people are targets for things like domestic violence/drug and gang violence/random home invasions/etc.
  11. Beware of cold-related injuries.  In many parts of the country, there will be snow and ice so make sure everyone stays warm/doesn't succumb to cold-related injuries like hypothermia or frostbite.
  12. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged and, if you will be out for many hours, you have a back-up charger for your phone.  Being stranded somewhere with a dead phone is not good.
  13. If you will be out partying into the new year, go with friends.  There is safety in numbers and it is a good idea to have someone watch your back--and vice versa.
  14. If you are partying at home, have plenty of food on hand.  If you are going out to party, eat before you leave.  Food can help counter the effects of alcohol.
  15. Fun fact, if you roll in drunk at 2am, go to sleep, then get up for work at 6am, you can still get a DUI when driving to work as it takes alcohol a while to metabolize so even if you "sleep it off" for a few hours, you can still be over the legal limit several hours after you stop drinking.
  16. Plan your exit if you will be counting down to the new year with a crowd.  Generally 15 minutes after the new year, much of the crowd starts heading for the same exits and a bit of pushing and shoving to get through the crowd can turn into a stampede.
  17. Determine if you should carry concealed while you are out celebrating.  Yesterday's church shooting is an excellent example of the necessity of being able to protect yourself no matter where you are.  On the other hand, mixing guns with copious amounts of alcohol, weapon retention in a crowd, and having to shoot while there are hundreds or thousands of panicking people in the background are issues to consider.
  18. Consider your liability if you are serving alcohol at a home party.  Serving alcohol then having someone drive off drunk can make you liable, ditto serving alcohol to minors then having something bad happen to them.
  19. If you bring your vehicle with you then decide to leave it overnight and get a ride home, take the garage remote home with you.  Vehicles that are left behind are an open invitation to car burglars, also there are people who break into cars, get the garage remote and the vehicle owner's address from the registration, then head over and rob the house while the owner is still out partying.
  20. Always always be aware of your surroundings.  People are often so busy paying attention to the crowd/fireworks/entertainers who are performing that they don't pay attention to what is happening around them.  Don't be caught unaware!

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