In a few days, the world will be bidding goodbye to what have been a treacherous year. The past year will likely go down in history as one of the worst ever. We’ve seen disaster after disaster since 2020 started and, fingers crossed, it all ends as the year ends. But let’s not lower our guard while waiting for the count down. Brush up on your knowledge of New Year’s safety tips so you’ll celebrate 2021 in one piece.
Don’t Go Out
The threat of the coronavirus is reason enough for you to stay at home during New Year’ Eve festivities. Don’t brave the crowd that may gather in public places to watch fireworks displays. While most have shelved their plans for the traditional fireworks display this year, you can’t be too sure. There’ll always be someone out there with a reckless disregard for the safety of others. Obviously, the best of all New Year’s Eve safety tips is to just stay at home and celebrate with your loved ones.
Avoid Inviting People Over
There’s no sense in not going out if you will be welcoming people other than the ones in your household to celebrate with you. Yes, it’s nice to be with other relatives and even friends. It’s also heart-warming to sponsor a family that’s a bit down on their luck.
This year is different, though. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 12 months, you probably don’t know what coronavirus is. Well, the thing is, there’s a pandemic and the best way to avoid getting sick is to avoid people.
That said, stay at home and don’t invite people over. For this year, at least. Hopefully, we can all go back to the way things were before the pandemic.
New Year’s Eve Safety Tips for Small Gatherings
Okay. So you managed to disregard one important rule and decided to have people over. The least you can do now is to check and comply with local regulations regarding gatherings.
Limit your guest list. Remember, the Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) insists that there should be at least 6 feet of space between each person in a gathering. In case this cannot be practiced, everyone should wear a face mask.
Tell your guests about the precautions you are taking. Remind those you invited that they can’t come if they are sick or have had contact with someone who exhibited symptoms of coronavirus. It’s for everyone’s sake so they shouldn’t take it the wrong way if they can’t go.
Hold your gathering in open space. The risk of contamination is higher in enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces. Arrange chairs and tables in a manner that people will not be too close with each other. Place hygiene stations in strategic spots, too.
Since no celebration is complete without food, make sure to provide each person with their own plate and eating utensils. Avoid sharing at all cost. Better yet, ask them to bring their own. They’ll probably feel more secure using their own stuff. This will also keep you from handling and washing dishes other people used.
Watch New Year’s Eve Celebrations Online
The popular New York City Ball Drop will still push through. But don’t go planning a trip to the Big Apple just yet. The Times Square Ball Drop will be without spectators this time, a first since the tradition began in 1907.
You can still count down to the new year without sacrificing your health by watching the Ball Drop online. The virtual Ball Drop will be televised in probably all major news networks, as has been the case for years. You can also catch the live coverage through 10 vantage points via the Times Square Ball and other websites and social media platforms. The show is free and you can stream it on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
The 2021 Ball Drop will feature performances by numerous artists and celebrities. There will be plenty of specials to choose from. One is CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live will be hosted by Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen. Another show to look forward to is Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special, hosted by Ryan Seacrest, Lucy Hale and Billy Porter, will have Jennifer Lopez as one of its performers.
Watch out for the out-of-this world greetings from the crew of the International Space Station. You can also create an avatar, which you can use to play games and take a virtual tour of Times Square including an amazing art exhibit.
This year’s Ball Drop and other virtual New Year’s Eve celebrations will not be without excitement. Make sure to gather everyone in front of the screen as we all bid 2020 goodbye.
Control Your Alcohol Intake
Some people like to party their hearts out during the New Year countdown. This time, however, you’re better off not partying with other revelers. If you insist on enjoying your favorite brew even if you’re celebrating at home, you should still control your intake. This is especially true if you have a history of doing stupid things when drunk.
Fire-Proof Your Home
Incidents of fire are quite common during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there was an average of 770 home fire structures annually from 2014 to 2018. Christmas decorations were involved in many of these fires.
Christmas lights and decors with faulty electrical wiring were one of the causes. Flammable decors placed too close to cooking equipment or candles were another. As New Year’s Eve approaches, you also have to deal with fireworks. These accounted for 10 percent of fires from December 30 to January 3.
Based on the increase in sales and use of fireworks last Fourth of July, it’s highly likely that a lot of people will still be welcoming the new year with a bang. That means the likelihood of fire and injuries from firecrackers is still something to watch out for.
Install A Fire Alarm System
Picture this. You and the gang are all in the yard watching the fireworks display when the neighbor lights a firecracker. Unfortunately, it inadvertently enters your home through an open window and lands on something flammable.
You’re too preoccupied to notice the fire inside getting larger. It may be too late before anyone notices the fire or smells the smoke. If you have a smoke detector installed, you’d have a better chance of extinguishing the fire before it got worse.
Don’t wait for such a horrific scenario to happen before you act. Do your research on the best fire alarm systems in the market and have one installed immediately.
Aside from having a fire alarm system, you should take extra precautions to prepare for New Year’s Eve celebrations. In the situation above, the fire started and spread fast because of the flammable materials in your home. Avoid this by always cleaning up.
Don’t leave paper and other flammable materials lying around. Clean your yard regularly to get rid of dried leaves and grass. Check your roof for dried leaves, too. Be careful when handling wooden stoves, grills, fire pits, or candles. Keep them away from anything flammable.
Of course, kerosene and other kind of fuel should be stored in the right containers and kept away from flame. The same goes with firewood. Make sure you have the right storage space for your combustibles.
Invest On Fire Extinguishers
Fire could easily engulf your home if you’re not careful. The quickest way to fight fire is to use a fire extinguisher. Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher. It would be a lot better if you have one in every level of your home.
Place the fire extinguishers in strategic places. By that, we mean they should be easily accessible. Also, you must keep one in the kitchen since you’re always dealing with fire in there.
Make sure everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher. You also need to check it regularly and make sure it’s functional when you need it. In case you have to use your fire extinguisher, don’t forget to have it refilled later on. Don’t dilly-dally on this one as fires break out when you least expect them.
Avoid Using Firecrackers
Ideally, you shouldn’t be lighting firecrackers or anything that explodes this year or any other year, for that matter. Firecrackers can be deadly if handled wrong. Plus the pollution they create is not good for you and the environment.
If you insist on lighting something to drive out the bad juju and welcome the coming year, go with sparklers instead. However, you should avoid holding them as they burn. Sparklers actually produce a high level of heat, which can burn your hand.
Handle Fireworks Properly
In case you forgot the New Year’s Eve safety tip above and insist on holding the sparklers, you should still practice caution. One important unwritten rule when handling sparklers and similar firecrackers is to never point or throw it at someone else. You shouldn’t stand too close to the next person. And please, keep the young ones at a safe distance.
Another safety tip is light one sparkler at a time. You’ve probably seen other people hold more than one sparkler in each hand and run around after lighting all. That certainly looks like fun but is pretty dangerous.
Prepare a bucket of water. Once you’re done with the sparkler, drop it in the water. The water will also come in handy in case something catches fire. That said, you should have plenty of filled buckets on standby. You should also prepare the garden hose. Attach it to the faucet so it’s ready to go if you need to douse a fire. Keep a fire extinguisher or aerosol fire spray nearby, too. It’s better to have everything you may need on hand than to rush inside to look for them. You need to act quickly to prevent fire from spreading.
Don’t Fire Guns
It goes without saying that guns are deadly and should not be fired indiscriminately. Sad to say, these things actually happen year in and year out. As Americans welcomed 2020, a spate of gun violence occurred across the country. According to Newsweek, a total of 177 people died from gun violence on at the start of last year. If you own a gun, keep it locked in a safe for Chrissake.
Have A First Aid Kit Ready
Despite all the New Year’s Eve safety tips you follow, accidents can still happen, prepare your first aid kit in case someone gets hurt. Make sure you have supplies for treating burns. You should also know how to administer basic first aid.
Prepare for Evacuation
Let’s say that everything goes from bad to worse at an unbelievable speed. It’s actually quite possible if your home is filled with highly combustible objects. If this happens, you need to evacuate your home as fast as possible.
Invest on fire blankets and fire escape ladders. Fire blankets are made of high density fire resistant fiberglass cloth. Wool blankets also offer some protection against fire. Cover yourself with these blankets while you try to escape.
If you’re stuck on the second floor when fire breaks out, you’ll be forced to escape through the window or balcony. An escape ladder will help you get down to safety.
You also need to pack your bug out bag. This is an emergency kit that you grab when you have to evacuate your home. We’re not just talking about fire here. You need a bug out bag for any kind of disaster or emergency.
Aside from the usual items you need to sustain you after evacuating, you should also have all your important documents. When a fire burns down your house, everything in it also turns to ashes. Make sure you pack your documents in a waterproof and fireproof container. It should be with your bug out bag so you can grab it when you go.
Obviously, everyone is hoping for a better 2021. That’s perhaps the understatement of the year. Make sure you end the year right by following the New Year’s Eve safety tips we have listed down for you. If you think we missed out on some important safety tips, please share it with everyone else in the comment section. Follow Gentleman Pirate Club, as well. There are more survival and safety tips that you can use in different emergency situations.