Potential liabilities when hosting a Super Bowl party

The countdown to Super Bowl Sunday has begun. If you’re hosting a party for the big game, here are some tips to prevent homeowner liabilities.

  1. Look out for inebriated guests. Depending on the location, social host liability laws, or the criminal and civil responsibility of a person who furnishes liquor to guests, are applicable to events such as in-home Super Bowl parties. Hosts can be liable for guests who drink too much and then drive home while intoxicated. For those who over-drink, ensure they don’t drive; consider asking another guest(a sober one) to give the person a rise or order a ride from a local taxi or ride-sharing service.
  2. Make sure your driveways and sidewalks are free and clear of ice and snow. Anyone hosting a Super Bowl party could be liable should a guest slip and fall on their steps, driveway or sidewalk.
  3. Ward off foodborne illness. Popular party foods containing dairy, such as dips or potato salad, can quickly sour once they come to room temperature and Super Bowl hosts could be liable if a guest becomes sick from something served at the event. It is vital to keep foods out of the “danger zone,” which is the temperature range between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F. When foods are left in the “danger zone,” bacteria can multiply rapidly. Additionally, avoid serving Super Bowl favorites, such as pizza and chicken wings, at room temperature for the entire game. If warm takeout foods are to be served immediately, keep them at 140 degrees F or above by placing them in chafing dishes, preheated warming trays or slow cookers. Cold foods should be kept at 40 degrees F or below, which can be done by nesting serving dishes in bowls of ice. Avoid storing food outside, where the sun can quickly warm foods in plastic storage containers and animals can get into them.
  4. Consider supplemental coverage. Homeowners policies generally cover a limited amount of liability for injuries that occur at the home. So homeowners may want to consider a personal liability umbrella policy as a supplement.