The holidays present an excellent opportunity to reconnect with friends, family and coworkers to celebrate and enjoy some well-deserved time off. We can all look forward to attending family get togethers, office parties and a variety of other celebrations over the coming weeks. While it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities, people who wish to host these types of events need to be aware of their responsibility to ensure their guests are safe when they arrive, during the event, and on their travels home. The last gift anyone wants to receive is an injury or a lawsuit. These tips will help ensure your guests are safe and that you are protected.

The Occupiers Liability Act imposes a positive duty on homeowners and property owners to take steps to ensure that people entering their property are reasonably safe while there. One thing Canadians should be mindful of throughout the winter is the impact that snow and ice can have on the safety of their property. Slips and falls can lead to serious injuries which could have a long-term impact on your guests. All property owners should make sure that entrances and exits to the property, walkways and sidewalks are cleared of snow and ice to allow guests to enter and exit safely and pedestrians to pass by without obstacles. Salt or sand should be used to provide traction and to help reduce the accumulation of ice. Keep an eye on the weather throughout the day, apply salt or sand and shovel as necessary to make sure your guests are safe when entering and exiting your property.

Snow removal becomes especially important when your property has exterior stairs. Property Owners should consider installing a railing on any exterior staircase. One or two stairs might not seem like much of an obstacle to young able-bodied persons, however the elderly and individuals with mobility issues may have difficulty maintaining their balance on small staircases. Installing a railing today is much more cost effective and pleasant than dealing with an injury tomorrow.

Indulging and having a few beverages is an enjoyable part of the holiday season that can sometimes have unintended consequences. If you plan to have alcohol at your party make sure that water and other non-alcoholic beverages are available for designated drivers and guests who don’t drink. Hosts should avoid becoming intoxicated so they can keep an eye on their guests and ensure everyone is having a fun and safe time.

Make sure that everyone has a safe way home. You can facilitate this by having cab numbers available and cash on hand for payment, or you can take advantage of ridesharing apps which may let you monitor your guests’ trip. If you suspect a guest is intoxicated, you should never let them drive. People can have trouble judging their own sobriety, so you should be prepared to persuade your friends to use alternative methods of transportation or stay over for the night if necessary.

The team at Jasmine Daya & Co. hopes you and your loved ones have a safe and happy holiday season. If anything unfortunate does happen call us at 416-967-9100 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.