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Safety Tips to start your New Year.
With 2010 coming to a close and 2011 just around the corner, now is the time to begin thinking about your New Year's resolutions. Every year the New Year's bashes are becoming bigger and bigger. Organizers are innovating to the hilt to pull in the crowds. Amongst all the fun and noise it is important to ensure that the proceedings are engulfed in a net of safety. New Year’s Eve is a night that is ripe for the occurrence of any untoward event. It should not only be left to the law to take care that nothing bad happens. There are a host of safety measures that people can take for their own good on the big night. You can protect yourself from some of the more common New Year's risks. Follow the tips below, and your biggest challenge on New Year's Eve may be remembering all the words to "Auld Lang Sine." Common sense will keep you safe and healthy, as long as you use it correctly.

The common sense tactics include, buckle up before you turn that ignition key, don't drink and drive, and don't attempt to drive too far without proper rest and nourishment. A driver has to be designated before having that first drink. Use a cab or public transportation as a safe option. If traveling in the back of a cab sounds unappealing then spend the night at the friends place. If you are the host of the party please ensure that non alcoholic drinks are also served. A pet at home could be a problem because pets can easily get scared with the fireworks and large crowds. If enough planning is done the pet can be desensitized to sound but if that is not possible the pet can be reassured by the tone of the owner’s voice time and again. Make sure your pet has ID tags with current information on them and they are safely secured both before and through the holiday period. Candles, kids and pets don’t mix. Keep them away from each other.

Other common sense tactics include those flying corks. Champagne Corks can cause serious eye injuries. If you follow the advice of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and remember the number 45. That is, you should chill your champagne to at least 45°F, as this will make the cork less likely to pop out unexpectedly, and you should hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle, pointing it away from yourself and others. Then, after removing the wire hood, place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork. With the bottle in one hand, slowly twist the cork, applying gentle upward pressure. When you feel the cork about to pop out, reverse pressure to a slight downward tilt. If all goes well, you'll have a cork in one hand, a full bottle in the other, and no eye injuries in sight.

Lighting fireworks can create the desired visual and psychological effect but water or fire extinguisher must be kept at hand at all times. There is a temptation to ignore this because it may be snowing and a snowball can douse a firework gone awry. Snow is not the same thing as water! Fireplace ashes should be disposed of in a metal container with a tight fitting lid not in paper sacks, cardboard boxes or plastic trashcans. Seventy percent of all home fire fatalities occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms. Nearly one quarter of all home smoke alarms are not working nor have a battery installed. There are special smoke alarms for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Develop an exit plan with the whole family, party attendees and guest. Just follow a few of these simple common sense tactics and you will ring in the New Year safe and sound. Remember, Safety never takes a holiday.

Food Safety, Every party host is used to planning an attractive display of their party's food and beverage. In addition to creating an inviting food spread, the hostess of a New Year's Eve party owes it to their guests to be sure that the food they serve is safe. According to WebMD, over 250 different diseases can cause food poisoning. Their "Food Poisoning and Safe food Handling - Prevention" section outlines food safety guidelines. To avoid illness, they recommend:
• Wash hands before, during and after food prep
• Don't handle or pet animals during cooking
• Cook meats and eggs thoroughly to avoid E-coli and salmonella
• Thoroughly clean utensils and cutting boards after cutting raw meats before using again
• Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before serving.
• Keep hot foods hot [140F or above] and cold foods cold [40F or below].

Lastly, start your New Year off having fun, enjoying life, sharing it with family or friends and most of all please use some common sense safety tactics to insure all your New Year’s resolutions come true. You are a truly valuable member of any team, they need you . Have a healthy and safe 2011.

Information from National Safety Council and WebMd

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