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10 things a good summer party host should never say

Nothing beats bringing family and friends together. Without a doubt, we know BBQs and patio parties will be in full swing at many homes this summer (that’s right, bring out those potato salad recipes!). If you want to be known for having thrown the ultimate outdoor soiree, there are a few things you shouldn’t ignore. Here are tips on how to slay your summer house party.

1. “It’s sunny, who needs lights?”

Sure, we get a good amount of daylight during the summer, but the sun does eventually set, and your party could still be going. Inadequate lighting can increase the risk of injury to your guests. Create overlapping pools of illumination throughout your outdoor areas, including your deck and on stairs. Add ground-level lighting along paths and walking areas.

2. “Ah, no one will trip on that cord over there or bump into anything.”

Using lighting or other electrical equipment on your deck means cords will likely be strewn about which are easy to trip on. Move cords off to the sides of footpaths and secure them down with tape or other fastening tools. While you’re at it, clear walkways and entertaining areas from tripping hazards like toys or potted plants. Tuck away valuables or breakable items so there’s more room for your guests to walk around (and it keeps your belongings protected). Mark any off-limit areas with signs.

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3. “Sure, the deck needs some repairs, but everyone will be ok, let’s just leave it.”

To ensure everyone’s safe, decks should be in top shape. Check your deck as soon as possible to allow time for repairs. Fix any loose planks, rotting wood, wobbly railings, cracks and uneven areas. Check for any nails jutting out or splintering on wooden deck boards. If you need major repairs, hire a professional contractor.

4. “I’ve never had a fire at home, so I’m not worried about it.”

Fire should always be of concern when hosting a party, particularly when there are open flames from a grill or tealight candles for example. 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 designated areas for smoking that’s a good distance away from other guests and supply proper ashtrays to ensure guest dispose used cigarettes safely.

5. “There’s no such thing as too much alcohol or cannabis.”

Party hosts are responsible for guests’ safety. That means, creating a safe environment which includes providing enough space for the amount of guests, food to offset alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks. If cannabis will be consumed, ensure it’s done in an appropriate area where it doesn’t infringe on others who don’t want to be exposed. Be sure to monitor the alcohol or cannabis consumption of your guests and don’t hesitate to cut someone off if they’re consuming too much.


6. “They’ve only had a few cocktails and a bit of weed, they’re fine to get home.”

A party host could be found responsible for the well-being and actions of their guests both during the event and even after guests have left. Help your guests plan safe rides home. In the invite and before your party, encourage everyone to plan ahead so they’re not driving impaired. Create a group chat or event page where guests can connect directly with one another to arrange designated drivers or split costs of a taxi. And, be prepared for unexpected overnight stays for those who didn’t plan to consume cannabis or alcohol and end up doing it. Never, ever let guests drive home impaired.

7. “Tons of sunlight is good for you!”

Yes, we beg for more rays during colder months but there is such a thing as too much sun. Too much exposure to sunlight can cause sunburns or lead to overheating or dehydration for many people—it can also be uncomfortable. Make sure to provide plenty of shade for your guests to cool down. A well-secured canopy or umbrella is a great way to keep everyone out of the sun. This is especially important if you’re hosting elderly guests or young children who can only spend minimal time in the heat.

8. “We’re grilling up whatever *I* want to eat”

Hot dogs. Burgers. Potato salad. You can’t beat delicious barbecue food fresh off the grill. But keep in mind that your guests might have allergies or dietary restrictions that can be harmful to them if they consume certain foods. Reach out to your guests to find out about any allergies, restrictions or preferences, and try to serve dishes without these items. As a courtesy, label communal food with a list of their ingredients. Find out if any of your guests knows first aid and arrange for them to be on hand if necessary.

9. “Who needs to sit down? It’s a party!”

Between a few alcoholic drinks and the heat, guests can get tired quickly. Provide ample seating for everyone, especially if you're partying on a hot summer night to ensure everyone’s comfortable. Some of us need a break from dancing or playing frisbee in the yard.

10. “I’m not responsible for my guests, they can take care of themselves…”

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 personal liability portion of your insurance policy provides some protection if you’re held responsible for injury or damage caused to or by your guests, but there are gaps (such as exclusions for the operation of motor vehicles). To understand more, speak to BCAA Insurance Advisor about your policy.

Have questions about host liability?

Speak to one of our expert advisors about BCAA home insurance to help ensure you have the appropriate amount of liability coverage. Everyone is welcome, plus BCAA Members save up to 20% on BCAA Home Insurance. To learn more, call us at 1.888.268.2222