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New Year’s Eve Safety

Safety Tips for All New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Whether you are hosting the celebration, attending a party, or going out with friends, start 2024 with a fun, safe night.

We’ve compiled a list of New Year’s Eve safety tips, including topics such as safety when driving, in crowds, with alcohol, and when hosting. Keep reading to learn more!


hands on steering wheel driving safely at night

Driving Safety

Between the late night, the weather conditions, and the increase in intoxicated drivers on the road, driving on New Year’s Eve is particularly dangerous. If you or party guests plan to drive at the end of the night, make sure you are sober, go slowly, and do not feel drowsy.

For more on New Year’s Eve driving safety, read our blog: How to Avoid Dangerous Driving on New Year’s Eve.


champagne toast on New Year's Eve

Alcohol Safety

Intoxicated drivers aren’t the only problem alcohol can cause. Alcohol causes an increased risk of injuries, poor decision making, slower reaction times, impaired judgment, violent behaviors, and alcohol poisoning.

Whether you are hosting the festivities or simply attending, know the dangers of alcohol and plan ahead to ensure everyone stays safe.

If you are hosting the party, here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • How will guests get home?
    • Talk to your guests about their plans. Will they take a rideshare service? Do they have a designated driver? Do they plan to stay at your home?
  • Am I comfortable taking a friend’s keys if they have been drinking? Am I prepared to cut a friend off from drinking when necessary?
    • Listen to your gut. If you’ve noticed your friend has been drinking and then wants to drive home, offer a solution, such as ordering a rideshare or giving them a space to spend the night. If they don’t plan on driving home but have still overindulged, make sure they are safe and help them hydrate with plenty of water.
  • Where can friends stay if they need to, and how can I prepare the space?
    • Offer a couch, air mattress, or guest bedroom to guests who do not have a safe ride home.
  • Do I have non-alcoholic drink options for designated drivers and other guests who do not wish to drink alcohol?
    • Make sure you have plenty of other drink options to offer guests, such as fun “mocktails” and plenty of water!
If you are leaving home to celebrate, here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • How will I get home?
    • Will I use a ride-share service, and can I reserve one ahead of time? Do I have a designated driver? Do I plan to stay at my host’s home?
    • Am I the designated driver? Do I have a plan in case I feel drowsy or unfit to drive?
    • Have I had enough to eat today and plenty of water?
    • Are there non-alcoholic drink options at this celebration that I can enjoy, or should I bring some?


    Crowd of friends celebrating New Year's Eve

    Crowd Safety

    If you and your group are headed out, make sure you follow these basic crowd safety tips.

    • Stay together, and if anyone needs to venture off, go in pairs or groups.
    • Charge your phone and consider bringing a portable charger.
    • Keep track of any belongings you bring with you such as your phone and wallet.
    • Never leave a drink unattended.
    • Always be aware of your surroundings.
    • Know where at least two exits are.


    Hosting? Prepare your home for the safety of your guests.

    If you’re hosting the party at your home or business, make sure you consider the safety of your guests!

    Winter is a particularly dangerous time in the home. Each year, the season brings an increase in fires, carbon monoxide poisonings, and other injuries due to weather conditions. Prevent disaster from happening and keep guests (and yourself!) out of harm’s way by knowing the signs of these dangers.

    Consider the following to prepare for the holiday celebration:


    Christmas candle in lantern

    Fire Safety

    Candles and holiday decorations (such as Christmas trees!) can increase the risk of fires. Follow basic fire safety best practices to keep your guests safe, such as:

    • Keep candles at least one foot away from anything that can burn, and do not leave candles unattended.
    • If your Christmas tree is dry, it’s time to get rid of it.
    • Make sure decorations are not blocking doorways.

    For more winter fire safety information, read our recent blog: Holiday Fire Safety Reminders.


    carbon monoxide detector

    Carbon Monoxide Prevention

    Have you tested your carbon monoxide detectors this month? When we turn on furnaces and heaters in the colder months, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases.

    Know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, and take necessary precautions to keep your guests, your family, and yourself safe; read our recent blog, Protect Yourself & Others from Deadly Carbon Monoxide This Winter.


    Clear Sidewalks and Walkways

    Make sure your sidewalks and walkways are clear for your guests! Clear pathways for your guests to safely enter and exit your home or business. When shoveling, remember to pace yourself and to try to push snow when possible rather than lifting. Shoveling is a strenuous activity and can be incredibly dangerous.

    Read more on keeping sidewalks, driveways, and walkways clear: Rock Salt vs Ice Melt and How to Use Them Correctly.


    Happy New Year from Merchants Insurance Group!


    This blog was adapted from an earlier version originally published by Merchants on December 13, 2021. It was last updated on December 26, 2023.

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