August 2022 - Recipe for a Safe End-of-Summer Party
Planning an end of summer get-together? As host you want your guests to have a good time, but you have a responsibility to keep them safe. So, before cranking up the grill, take a few moments to:
- Check your surroundings - Clear your house or yard, any place your guests can access, of all debris–hoses, extension cords, rugs–anything that can cause a tripping hazard. Provide adequate lighting, especially on walkways and stairs. Clearly mark areas of disrepair – loose steps, holes or protrusions in walkways or floors, etc. If you knowingly avoid repairing or marking these areas, you could be liable for any injuries to your guests.
- Assign pool supervision - If you have a pool, make sure there’s a responsible adult available to supervise whenever anyone–child or adult–is in the water. Consider rotating shifts to keep the supervising adult alert and free from distraction.
- Plan a safe menu - It doesn’t take long for food to spoil in the summer heat. Adequate refrigeration is necessary. Be sure to cook meats to safe temperatures and put food away between courses. Be aware of any allergies your guests have and mark foods accordingly. Lastly, pay particular attention to the beverages being consumed.
When serving alcohol, have food and non-alcoholic options available as well. Keep all alcohol off limits to underage guests and do not continue to serve a visibly impaired guest.
Under New Jersey’s Social Host laws, you have a potential liability for any injuries an intoxicated guest causes to a third party. This law applies not only to property owners but to all adults over the age of 18 who have the authority to provide access to the property. And it doesn’t matter if you provide the alcohol or if a guest brings it; you only need to be aware that alcohol is being consumed at your party.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and stay safe!