Holiday Home Security and Safety Series: Black Friday Shopping Safety

After the turkey and pies have been eaten, and the football games are over, many americans turn their thoughts to another contact sport known as “Black Friday Shopping”. The Friday after Thanksgiving is called Black Friday because retailers have traditionally seen it as the day their profitability moves from the red to the black.

CBS has also nicknamed the day “the Super Bowl of shopping,” while Time magazine calls it “a full-contact sport,” and the New York Times refers to it as “a carnival of capitalism.”

Black Friday has also earned the reputation as one of the craziest, most violent shopping days, with reports of people being trampled, attacked, or involved in other insane activities that top the day’s headlines each year.

While these stories make the headlines, undoubtedly most people will return from Black Friday unscathed. But it’s still wise to prepare for the event.

The National Crime Prevention Council and IT World offer these tips:

  1. Be aware of your surroundings when you’re waiting outside a store and once you’re inside. You never know when something might happen. Staying aware could be the key to escaping a dangerous situation.
  2. If you notice a mob forming, or any type of mob behavior, leave. It’s not worth staying and risking the chance of something happening to you, your friends or family.
  3. Stick closely to your friends or family. If something does happen, you’ll have strength in numbers to defend yourself.
  4. When walking back to your car with your merchandise, scan the area around you to ensure no one is following you. Have your keys in hand so you can get inside your vehicle quickly. Then check the back seat and around the car to be sure no one is hiding in or around your vehicle.
  5. Do not purchase more than you’re able to carry. Bring a friend to help you carry your merchandise.
  6. Keep your purse close to your body or keep your wallet in an inside coat pocket to deter pickpockets.
  7. Do not leave merchandise in plain sight inside your vehicle when it’s parked. Instead, lock the goods in the trunk.
  8. Report any unattended bags to store security.
  9. Keep your cell phone on you at all times in case of an emergency.
  10. If you’re shopping with children, make a plan in case you get separated. Choose a central location to meet up, and encourage your children to find store/mall security employees if they get lost or need help.
  11. Shop online! It’s safer and you can avoid the crowds and the driving.

Remember a mob mentality causes people to lose their compassion and concern for others’ safety.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!

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