The New Year is almost upon us, and this is a great time of your to make resolutions! It’s a well-known fact that almost no one actually keeps their New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, the odds are that you’ve broken such a resolution before in the past! The real problem comes from figuring out why people break their resolutions. One reason is that people choose things that are too unreasonable or difficult. If you haven’t run a mile since the fifth grade, resolving to run a marathon might be too much! But there are some helpful resolutions that anyone can make and maintain, like the 9 P.M. Routine. 

If you haven’t heard of the 9 P.M. Routine, don’t worry – it’s nothing as difficult as a workout routine! The 9 P.M. Routine is an initiative started by a Sheriff’s Department in Florida that aims to prevent property theft by reminding people to lock their homes and cars at 9 P.M.. The social media campaign has been a huge success, with the hashtag #9PMRoutine picking up traction all around the nation.

The basic idea is simple – at 9 P.M., once your family is all at home and preparing for a night in, make sure to look all the doors to your home, as well as your car doors. Taking this simple step drastically reduces the chance of someone breaking into your home, because most thieves are looking for the easiest targets to rob. Leaving your car unlocked, especially if there’s a garage door opener remote inside it, makes you the easiest target around – but locking up only takes a second, and can keep you and your family safe. 

There are a few other safety tips to keep in mind around New Year’s. For example, try to eat a large meal before going our partying, as having a full stomach will help you enjoy more of your night once the drinking begins. Also, if you’re planning on going to a party, travel with a group and try to avoid hopping between several parties. Even if you have a designated driver or are sober yourself, moving around too much on New Year’s Eve puts you into contact with drunk drivers, and staying at one party can keep you safer. 

Furthermore, make sure that you can stay in contact with your friends by bringing a phone charger with you. There’s nothing worse than being intoxicated in an unfamiliar place and realizing you can’t even contact someone for help or call an Uber! Even if you know most of the people at a party, it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on your drink and never leave it unattended. And if you want to make it all through the night, try alternating non-alcoholic beverages with your alcoholic drinks. 

On the subject of fireworks – know the local laws! For those of us in North Carolina, there are certain kinds of fireworks that can be legally used by anyone, like poppers, snake and glow worms, smokers, snappers, string poppers, and sparklers. In general, anything that doesn’t explode, spin, leave the ground, or fly through the air. On the other hand, in North Carolina, firecrackers, fireworks that spin on the ground, roman candles, bottle rockets, and any arial firework is illegal and can carry a heavy fine. Use common sense when working with Fireworks. Set them off on flat, solid ground, away from flammables. Light them one at a time, and if one fails to trigger, do not attempt to light it further. Do not modify or tamper with firecrackers. Although they are fun, fireworks are essentially tiny bombs, and people are seriously injured every year through misuse. 

The most important tip is also the most obvious and most repeated, but it bears repeating again – don’t drink and drive! Even if you’re just buzzed, it is always safer and better to have a completely sober designated driver or ride like Uber, Lyft or a Taxi, or make sure that you have a place to stay at your current location. If you’re hosting a party, make sure that any guests who are leaving are doing so safely, and possibly offer to let anyone who can’t safely get home can crash on your sofa. Just avoiding drunk driving can go a long way to preserving everyone’s safety, and it isn’t hard to coordinate! 

So, remember the 9 P.M. Routine whenever you’re preparing for bed, and keep your car and home safe! And this New Year’s Eve, take the necessary precautions to keep you and your friends safe as well.

Happy New Year, from all of us at A Plus Garage Doors!

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