Tips on how to hold a safe party

“Police don’t want to spoil your fun. We just want you to plan your party well. Get a head start and prevent things getting out of hand.” Most parties that go wrong are poorly planned, disorganised, non-structured, or they become chaotic and/or out of control. This is when the wrong signals are sent out and when the trouble could start.

If you plan to host a party, good planning can reduce the risk of potential problems before the party begins, saving yourself difficulties later on.

The more structured and controlled your party is, the safer and more enjoyable it will be for everyone. For instance, have you thought of invitations, a controlled entry/exit point, non-alcoholic drink alternatives, structured timings throughout for activities (cake cutting, speeches, presents etc), adult/parent supervisors, cleaning up as you go, dedicated finishing time, exit/transport strategy?

There are lots of things to think about, but remember, pre-planning is the best policy to make your party a great success. Using a ‘checklist’ like the one below, can assist you in providing a safe environment for people to party and save yourself the stress of having to deal with a party that has become out of control.

Remember the golden rule – “PLAN BEFOREHAND”:
· How many people do you want coming?
· Think about the party size and venue. Is your home too small? Would a hall or function centre be more appropriate and a more controlled environment?
· Have you spoken to the neighbours?
· What about invitations / RSVP?
· How many entry / exit points are there and how will you control them?
· What about adult supervision / security? Who will you use? How many? Will you use other parents or paid security?
· What about parking and nearby public amenity?
· Where will people put their valuables when they arrive and during the party? Are any rooms off limits?
· What about fire safety and first aid. Have you planned what you are going to do if someone becomes sick or drunk?
· How will people get there and get home?
· Are there sufficient toilets so people don’t go outside?
· What will happen if gate-crashers arrive?
· How will you control Alcohol or Drugs?
· Have you REGISTERED your party with local police? Local police may be able to patrol the vicinity regularly and give priority to any call to attend.

1. Notify Police that you are having a party;
2. Talk to your neighbours. Ask them to tell you if groups gather out the front or nearby
3. Have only one entry/exit point if possible
4. Have that entry/exit point strictly controlled
5. Keep the party contained indoors or out the back. Don’t allow people to wander around or congregate out the front. (This attracts gate-crashers and causes complaints from neighbours)
6. Consider numbering the invites
7. Enforce an RSVP and/or the need to produce their invitation at the door. (Notify guests up front that you will only admit people who comply)
8. Consider how the party will be advertised. Don’t use Internet or SMS;
9. Encourage officially invited party guests not to disseminate information about the party to non-invited guests. (Ask them to abide by the confidentiality up front in the invitation)
10. If you do find out from any source that the party is on the Internet, or has been the subject of SMS messaging, then you will need to take extra preventative measures (i.e. change venue, more parent supervisors, hire a security guard, tell local police, tell neighbours to notify you of any youths/groups congregating nearby)
11. Know the laws on noise (contact your Local Council or Police if in doubt)
12. Have additional parents to provide enough supervision at the party (or consider hiring licensed security if the party is large)
13. Structure the party – have food being served, have dedicated timings throughout for activities (cake cutting, speeches, presents etc), have numerous people supervising, clean up as you go
14. Consider appropriate lighting (particularly any dark hidden-away areas you may have)
15. Ensure that your party has definite start and finish times
16. Act quickly on gate-crashers. Refuse entry and call police if they wont leave
17. Remember, you have the right to refuse entry to your property. It is an offence for people to Trespass if you have refused them entry
18. Don’t spend all night in an area of your house away from the party (i.e. in the kitchen). Consider having food pre-prepared or hiring professional party caterers. This will allow you more time to observe party goers and quickly deal with problems before they get out of hand
19. If under 18’s consume alcohol/drugs, contact their parents and have them collected from the party
20. For over 18’s parties, make sure there is plenty of alternative non-alcoholic drinks and water freely available and in obvious spots. Provide choices
21. Tell other parents if you are serving alcohol
22. Remember secondary supply to minors is an offence
23. Ensure alternative transport for people who have had too much to drink
24. Consider logistics – is there enough garbage bins and toilets?
25. Clean up broken glass or other dangerous items straight away
26. Plan a wind-down time leading up to the finish, turning down music etc
27. Have a dedicated exit/transport strategy to get people out of the area and safely home immediately the party finishes. i.e. additional parents, shared taxi plan, courtesy bus etc
28. Don’t let people congregate out the front at any stage (before/during/after), as this is a major contributing factor to problems

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