New Year's Eve Safety | The Emergency Center

Common Sense Safety Tips for New Year’s Eve

Kick off the new year with a bang—not a trip to the emergency room.

New Year’s Eve is a night to celebrate the past and set goals for the future. However, your celebrations can also involve large crowds, alcohol, and other risky behaviors. Employ these common sense safety tips this New Year’s Eve so your night ends at home, instead of at the ER.

Be Alcohol Aware

  • Know how much you’re drinking. A standard drink is defined as one shot of distilled spirits, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer. However, if you are free-pouring spirits, drinking from large glasses, or enjoying high-gravity beers, it can be easy to consume more alcohol than you realize. For example, a 16-ounce glass (pint) of a high-gravity, 7 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV) beer is the equivalent of almost two 12-ounce, 4–6 percent ABV beers. If you can, pour your own drinks, or drink from a can or bottle labeled with the amount and ABV. Also, alternate between water and alcohol, and don’t leave drinks unattended.
  • Do not drink and drive. By law, drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent and above are alcohol-impaired. However, certain factors, such as your sex and weight or any medications you take, can cause alcohol to affect you differently. If you plan on drinking somewhere other than home on New Year’s Eve, have a designated driver, arrange for a taxi or rideshare, or take public transportation.

Safety Out on the Town

  • Charge your phone. Your phone should be fully charged before heading out. Bring a spare cell phone battery or power pack, if needed, so you can stay connected to your group or call for a taxi or rideshare.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. You don’t have to go into a full-on stakeout mode, but do take notice of potential exits in case of an emergency. Also, pay attention to crowd dynamics and leave a bar or area if the crowd is getting out of control.

Fireworks at Midnight

Fireworks can be fun any time of year, but a New Year’s Eve combination of pyrotechnics and alcohol and/or sleep deprivation from staying up late can be risky.

  • Know the law. Be aware of local laws before purchasing or using fireworks.
  • Stay outdoors. Only use fireworks outside and away from buildings, people, and vehicles.
  • Dispose safely. Once the show is over, douse firework remnants thoroughly with water. Dispose of them in a garbage can that is free of combustible materials.
  • Remember your pets. Loud noises can scare your furry buddies. Keep them inside while you’re celebrating, and secure any potential exits. Additionally, make sure your pets are microchipped and have collars with identification in case they slip out.

The Emergency Center is open 24/7, including New Year’s Eve, even when urgent care clinics are not—and we’re located where you are. Visit us in ArlingtonFort Worth, and San Antonio.

Sources: rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov, drinkinganddriving.org, mass.gov, fireworkssafety.org