Party Safe Checklist

Make your party a safe party by following the tips on this page.

Before the Party

  • Let the police know that you are having a party - most state police departments have a Party Registration form you can fill out at your local police station.
  • This form should be lodged at the police station closest to the event/party venue.
  • Determine how the party will be advertised. Don't use SMS, online notice boards (forums, blogs) or social networking sites. If word of the party has already spread, you'll need to take extra precautions. For example; change venue/location, acquire adult supervisors, hire security guards, ask neighbours to notify you of any unusual behaviour.
  • Invitation lists should be kept to a manageable size. If the number of guests are large, ask other adults to assist with supervision or consider hiring security.
  • Consider individual numbering of your invitations. Ask for RSVPs, or for guests to show their invitation at the door.
  • Let your friends know prior to the event that only people who are on the door list will be admitted.
  • Gatecrashers are less likely to go to an invitation only party.
  • Ask your friends to not spread the news about the party.
  • Hand out the invitations personally, and let people know that it is an strictly invitation only party!
  • Ensure your party has a definite start and finish time, and that all guests are clear on what these times are.
  • If you're hiring a public hall or other facility for your party, be sure to contact your local council or community group about the conditions of hire. There may be public liability issues or certain restrictions to be aware of.
  • Inspect the party venue before the event. Familiarise yourself with the entrances and exits - avoid venues with multiple entrances, if you don't want gatecrashers.
  • Find out about local noise restrictions by contacting your Local Council or Police.

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The Venue

  • Analyse the size of the party and the venue. If your home is too small or not suitable, it may be safer to have the party in a more controlled facility like a public hall.
  • Provide adequate lighting and try to eliminate or minimise dark or hidden areas at the venue.
  • Have a plan of action for drunk or sick people, prepare yourself with a first aid kit and emergency contact numbers.
  • Provide adequate toilets so people are not tempted to wander away from the venue.
  • Consider where people will park, and try to ensure sufficient parking.
  • Determine where people will store their valuables at the party, and provide lockable storage for such valuables.
  • Close off and lock any rooms that you do not want people to access.

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Transport to and from the Party

  • Think about how your guests will get to the party and return home.
  • Parents should be encouraged to collect their children after the party, reducing the risk of damage to neighbouring properties as guests walk home.
  • Determine an exit strategy to move people out of the area immediately when the party finishes. For example; more parents, shared taxis, car pools, or courtesy buses.
  • Have details for buses, trains, and taxis readily available.
  • Encourage designated drivers, and ensure alternative transport is available for intoxicated people.

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During the Party

  • Emergency numbers should be kept handy i.e. local police.
  • If gatecrashers arrive, refuse entry and ask them to leave immediately. If they won't leave, inform them that the police will be called.
  • Know that you DO have the right to refuse entry to your property. If they ignore your refusal, they are committing an offence known as trespassing.
  • Be actively present at your party rather than spending your time in the kitchen or with other tasks. Consider hiring caterers, or preparing the food before the party begins. This will allow you to dedicate more time towards your guests and thus help you to identify any problems before they escalate.
  • Provide alternatives to alcoholic drinks, such as mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks. Ensure that food is adequately provided throughout the party.
  • The most likely reason for police being called to a party is due to noise complaints, so ensure that bands and speakers are as far away from neighbours as possible, and restrict noise after midnight.
  • Plan a winding-down time leading up to the finish of the party by turning down the music, etc.

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Supervision and Security

  • Consider the roles of supervision and security for your party. Who will you use and how many?
  • You may choose to utilise other parents and/or hire licensed security personnel.
  • Supervision is not about spying on the people at the party, it's about having help available incase things get out of hand i.e. trouble makers. Overall it helps ensure the party goes as planned, without the dramas.
  • Ensuring that supervision is visible at the party greatly helps to deter gate crashers.

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Drug and Alcohol Issues

  • It is an offence to provide alcohol to persons under 18.
  • Police can charge under age people who possess or are consuming alcohol in a public place. This carries a large fine, in some cases up to $5,500.
  • Confiscate alcohol from under 18's and ensure they do not have access to alcohol.
  • If under 18's are consuming alcohol or drugs, contact their parents and have them collected from the party.
  • Discourage all guests from bringing alcohol to the party, this will help you have more control of the amount of alcohol consumed at the party.
  • Avoid having any type of punch-bowl or open containers that could easily be spiked or otherwise tampered with.
  • Consider setting up a dedicated bar and nominating a responsible adult to supervise and serve the alcohol. This will allow greater monitoring of intoxication, before it goes too far.
  • Provide choices! Ensure there are non-alcoholic drinks and that water is freely available in obvious locations around the venue.

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Crowd Management Techniques

  • Having one entrance or exit to the venue makes it much easier to control who attends the party.
  • Think about supervision on the entrances and exists to the venue.
  • Confine the party to a building, backyard, or enclosed area and don't allow people to hang around the front of the party. People hanging around outside the venue attracts gate crashers and can upset neighbours.
  • Ensure that smokers are allocated an area that is still within the confines of the venue, thus preventing from hanging around outside the party.
  • Ensure that supervision and security is visible.

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Remember, It's Your Party!

  • You have the right to set and maintain the standard of acceptable behaviour.
  • You have the right to refuse entry to your party, and you can ask people to leave.
  • Should trouble occur, contact your local police immediately, or in an emergency call 000

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References:
Safe Party Pack - NSW Police www.mynite.com.au
Party Safe Guide - WA Police www.nhw.wa.gov.au