Liability If you host a party at your home and serve liquor to a guest who causes an auto collision, you could be sued. If a courier slips, trips and falls while on your property, you could be liable. Risk management tips can help you prevent worst-case scenarios. Keeping Things Safe and Sound At HomeAs a homeowner, you're responsible for keeping your property and areas such as stairs, walkways and driveways reasonably safe for people who use them. You may be held liable for slips, trips and falls if you fail to keep your property free from hazards.Tips for Preventing Slips, Trips and FallsBefore a courier, babysitter, delivery person or repair technician visits or you host an event at your home, address common hazards by:Using salt, shovel and/or sand to keep walking surfaces clear of ice and snow within bylaw timeframes or best practices that dictate when snow clearing should be completedFixing unexpected elevation changes, surface cracks or gaps within your property line and/or report issues on municipally-owned property such as uneven sidewalksPutting a non-slip covering over slippery surfaces such as wet floors or tile flooringRepairing loose handrails on stairs or installing missing handrailsRemoving any debris – such as slippery and wet fall leaves – on walking pathsEnsuring all areas are adequately litHosting a Party and Serving Alcohol?You may be responsible for your guests' actions if you serve people past the point of intoxication on your property. Hosting a backyard wedding with several dozen or more guests increases the possibility of you not being able to monitor all alcohol consumption. Tips for Limiting Alcohol ConsumptionToday, the legal threshold for intoxication is lower and courts now hold people who serve alcohol to their friends and guests on their property more accountable. Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, you may be held responsible for your guests' behaviour – even after they leave your property – if you serve them alcohol. Consider the following before you serve alcohol to guests:Ask people when they arrive if they are a designated driverEnsure many non-alcoholic beverages and food options are availableOne hour before you anticipate guests will leave, stop serving alcohol and start serving coffee, tea or waterHave cash on hand for cabs and/or an extra bedroom made up for last-minute overnight guestsKeep watch and don't hesitate to ask for someone's keys if you have concerns about their ability to drive Related ServicesSlip Trip and FallAs a homeowner or tenant, you may be held liable for slips, trips and falls on your owned or rented property. Know what hazards to look out for, and understand your legal liability and what to do if someone is injured.Liquor Liability (Social Host)Anyone involved in serving alcohol can potentially be held liable for damages or injuries where alcohol is deemed to have been a contributing factor. Know best practices for serving alcohol in your home, what your liability is as well as what to do in the event of a claim. Useful LinksBuying Home InsuranceAs a homeowner, you need to insure your house for replacement costs so that in the event of serious damage or destruction you have adequate coverage. Be sure to keep your home insurance current by reporting material changes or upgrades.Home Inventory ApplicationA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.DisasterAm I covered? When can I start to rebuild? In the wake of a disaster, there are many questions to consider.