When you host a party, remember there’ll be many distractions. While you’re busy visiting, organizing, cooking, and serving guests, many potential hazards could be brewing.

Think about it
You may have left food to cook unattended on the stove, hot embers could have jumped from the fireplace, candles may have burned down or been tipped over, and ashes from cigarettes might be smoldering.

So while you’re mingling with guests, take a second to scan your home for any potential problems.

Track ’em
Try to keep the number of guests to a reasonable limit. If fire were to strike during your party, it would be difficult for everyone to evacuate safely if your home became overcrowded.

If you’re burning candles, place them where they won’t be tipped over, where they’re free from decorations, paper, drapes, or any other combustible material, and where an adult is always around to keep an eye on them.

Ideally a non-smoking party is the safest, but since that isn’t always possible, designate smoking areas, and have deep ashtrays available for guests to use. Check them every once in a while, and even dampen the ashes so that you don’t have a fire smoldering in your house.

When the Party wraps up…
Be sure to dampen ashes, and empty all ashtrays into metal containers. You should also do a quick check behind cushions and furniture, and even trashcans for smouldering ashes. If people were smoking outside, check your deck and surrounding area as well.

If you have children, be sure to clean up any unfinished glasses or bottles of liquor, left over foods, matches, lighters, or any other possible hazards. Remember, they’ll probably be getting up earlier than you will the next morning, and they could get into some serious trouble.

You’ve heard it said before. Friends don’t let friends, drive home drunk. As the host you’re responsible for your guests. Call them a cab, get them a ride with a designated driver, or have them stay overnight instead.