New Year’s Eve can be a wonderful night, a time to look back on the old year, take time to remember those we have lost and to toast the new year. Unfortunately it’s also one of the busiest nights of the year for our emergency services. From about 9pm on New Year’s Eve to 3am on New Year’s morning they will receive almost half a day’s calls in just six hours with a peak of up to 9,000 calls per hour. With a bit of thought beforehand it’s possible to celebrate New Year’s Eve and to keep safe:
Don’t Drink and Drive
A recent report from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) found that alcohol is a contributory factor in 38% of fatal crashes around Christmas and New Year. People are still drink driving. Before you go out plan how you will get home- you could order a mini bus, book a taxi, stay near the venue or share a lift with no drinking friends. Remember any amount of alcohol can affect your ability top drive safely so it’s not worth the risk (to your life and others). If you have a lot to drink New Year’s Eve it’s best to keep your car on the drive New Year’s Day too as alcohol will still be in your system.
Remember Firework and Sparkler Safety
Many people associate fireworks and sparklers with New Year’s Eve. It’s always recommended that you go to a safe, professional display but during the Christmas and New Year period, private firework displays are on the increase. In addition to the usual firework safety advice which I will list below it’s also important to have a sober member (or members) of the party in charge of lighting the display.
- Plan your firework display to make it safe and enjoyable.
- Keep fireworks in a closed box and use them one at a time.
- Read and follow the instructions on each firework, using a torch if necessary.
- Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and stand well back.
- Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks.
- Never return to a firework once it has been lit.
- Don’t put fireworks in pockets and never throw them.
- Direct any rocket fireworks well away from spectators.
- Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire.
- Make sure that the fire is out and surroundings are made safe before leaving
Another popular activity on New Years Eve is using Chinese lanterns. Also known as wish or flying lanterns, they carry a significant risk of fire or injury if not used wisely. The lanterns are generally made from paper, supported by a wire frame that incorporates a holder at the base for a solid fuel heat source. Remember there is no guarantee that these will extinguished or cooled before they land so they should be avoided.
When it comes to sparklers always hold them at arm’s length in a gloved hand – you may even prefer to stick it in a potato or carrot and hold that instead. Keep well away from other people and remember the sparkler will stay hot for some time after the sparks stop. Again make sure there is at least one non drinking adult available to oversee this activity.
Drink Aware This New Year’s Eve
I’m not being a killjoy and saying you shouldn’t drink this New Year’s Eve but try to stay accountable of what and how much you are drinking. I honestly believe that you have the best night when your drink enough to be merry but not so much that you have no control and feel awful the next day. In between alcohol drinks you could sip a water or a non alcoholic version of your tipple. Forget your drink and get up and have a dance or catch up with an old friend. I also find food at the end of the night is a must for me to soak up some of the alcohol and prevent a hangover the next day. One tip is to have something nice planned for the next day so you want to stay fresh for that!
Staying Safe in the Pub This New Year’s Eve
New Year’s Eve can be one of the most “friendly” nights of the years where you may find you hug and kiss more friends (and strangers) than on a night out as you all sing and dance to Auld Langs Syne. Whether you’ve met someone on your night out or you’re out with a date from free dating websites always remember dating etiquette and safety. Make sure someone at home knows your plan of the evening. If events change keep texting them an update so they know where you are. Is someone is making you feel uncomfortable and you need help to get away from them go to the bar and “Ask for Angela”.
Ask for Angela is an initiative that began in Lincolnshire and has spread worldwide. If you’re in a pub with these posters displayed in the toilet then you can access help by ashttps://www.met.police.uk/AskforAngelaking for Angela at the bar. Bar staff will discretely help you get home safely.
(For my readers in Australia who may be looking for love there are also plenty of dating sites in Australia.)
I hope with a bit of planning you all manage to celebrate the new year in with style and manage to keep yourself and others around you safe. Look out for each other- Happy New Year!