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Entertaining in the home is a fun and meaningful part of our culture. From the backyard BBQ to the elegant affair and everything in between, anytime you invite guests to your home, you also invite a potential lawsuit. So if you like to entertain, make sure you take some precautions. Before sending out that Evite, it’s important to understand what dangers may exist in your home and how to protect yourself and others from potential hazards.
First, correct any dangerous conditions that may be present in your home or on your property, such as a loose railing or missing walkway stone. While you may be familiar with these issues and know to avoid them, a guest won’t be. Nothing puts a damper on your festivities like a trip to the ER!
If you have a dog, or other pet, it’s best to keep it separated from your guests. Even the gentlest of pets will sometimes react unexpectedly during a party. Animals may not be used to all the people and noise and may act territorially. Further, a dog that is completely fine with adults may get nervous around children if not used to them, and vice versa. Some children, and even adults, do not know how to interact with pets and can spook your beloved animal, causing a bite. For the safety of all involved, it’s best to keep animals out of the mix.
Bounce houses can be a great way to entertain the kiddies, but should be used cautiously. If you rent a bounce house for your child’s party, make sure it is properly secured to the ground and always supervised during use. Stick to the vendor or manufacturer’s guidelines for the number of children allowed on it at a time. It may also be wise to separate larger children from smaller ones during use as well, in order to prevent the little ones from being trampled. Finally, before renting the equipment, make sure the vendor has insurance.
Likewise, trampolines can present a danger of injury. Children should always be supervised. Never allow multiple children on the equipment at once, as this is a significant hazard.
Pool parties are always a blast, but to give you peace of mind, it’s good idea to hire a certified lifeguard to watch the pool at all times. During the hustle and bustle of a party, a child can drown in seconds. It’s best to always have someone you can count on paying attention to the pool. And if you have a waterslide, have someone there to regulate that children take turns and use the equipment safely.
Lastly, it you’re serving alcohol at your party, please be aware of how much your guests are drinking. You may not know that in many jurisdictions, serving excessive amounts of alcohol to a guest may make you liable for their actions even after they leave your property. If you see someone consuming too much alcohol, make sure you cut them off.
Even if one takes every precaution before inviting people into their home, understand that there is always a risk that someone may get injured at your party. It is important to protect your interests by having the proper insurance. And if someone does get hurt, even if it is due to no fault of your own, notify your insurance carrier immediately. Many policies require notice as soon as possible or the insurance contract is void.