On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Premises Liability on Sunday, December 23, 2012.
Earlier today, we began a discussion about safety hazards that could potentially ruin your holiday celebrations and make you vulnerable to claims of premises liability. In order to keep your houseguests safe over the next week or so of celebrating, we mentioned that you must prioritize safety first when it comes to decorating and hosting.
As we previously mentioned, any special needs of your guests must be considered thoughtfully. For example, young and healthy guests might not have difficulty navigating your somewhat-slick sidewalk and steps. But elderly, very young, disabled and ill guests will need you to make sure that the path to your home is de-iced and free of any obstacles. This includes freeing your guardrails from any decorations, as these individuals will need them clear in order to use them effectively.
Next, consider "guest-proofing" the house in the way that you might baby-proof it. If any decorations, obstacles or objects pose unique safety hazards for any young, old or vulnerable guests, rethink them. This includes removing or otherwise placing bowls of candy that could be choking hazards out of the reach of kids.
Finally, make sure that mats are down in any entryways so that people don't slip on your flooring. It is not a bad idea to leave out warm socks for your guests and asking that they remove their wet shoes.
We hope you can enjoy your celebrations and remain safe at the same time. It can be challenging to prepare for houseguests, but your efforts will almost certainly be worth it in the end.
We at Smiley & Smiley wish you a safe and joyous remainder to your holiday season.
Source: New York Times, "Safety First, Then Mistletoe, Is Byword for the Holidays," Alina Tugend, Dec. 14, 2012
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