The patio lanterns are strung and the barbecue's set to sizzle - but are you really ready for that summer shindig? As host, it's your job to make sure guests have a good time, but you're also responsible for their well-being. Here are some tips on how to prepare for safer alfresco entertaining this summer:
Each spring, take a hard look at the condition of your patio. Fix cracks and uneven areas, and make sure railings and gates are securely fastened. Wooden deck boards are susceptible to water damage and splintering. If you need major repairs, hire a contractor well in advance of festivities.
Tidy Walkways and Entertaining Areas
Remove tripping hazards such as loose cords and toys, trips are a leading cause of liability claims against property owners. Tuck away valuables and breakable items behind locked doors, and mark off-limits areas with signs.
Secure Heat Sources
Set up barbecues, firepits and other heat sources where nobody will bump into them - or singe something. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. If you're allowing guests to smoke, provide ashtrays and dispose of butts safely.
Offer Ample Seating and Shade
Set up covered nooks, with comfortable chairs and chaises, where people can relax - especially elderly guests and others who need extra rest.
Light the Night
Create overlapping pools of illumination so guests can see where they're going, especially on stairs. Add ground-level lighting along paths and other walking areas.
Feed With Care
Find out about guests' allergies and dietary issues in advance, and try to serve dishes without these items. If you're serving food, you need to ensure that it's cooked properly. Label communal food with ingredients as a courtesy. If possible, have someone on hand with first aid training.
Whether you own or rent, if a guest at your home happens to get injured, you could be held responsible. One of the most important features of home insurance is the coverage for liability. The liability portion of your insurance policy pays for accidents that take place on your property or as a result of your personal actions. To understand more you can talk to your BCAA insurance advisor and they can help you ensure you have the appropriate amount of liability coverage. Everyone is welcome, plus BCAA Members save up to 20% on BCAA Home Insurance.