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Stay Safe While Shopping for the Holidays

shutterstock_126762269For some people, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, the family and the football. For others, it is merely a day that precludes one of the best days of the year: Black Friday. Millions of people will be heading out to local malls and shops the day after Thanksgiving to kick off the hottest shopping season of the year. It’s not only shoppers who know about the great deals, but thieves as well.

Bad guys know that people will be out shopping and will be concentrating on finding good deals, not on their own safety. If you and your loved ones will be shopping with the masses this season, keep these safety tips in mind.

1. Try to stick to shopping during the day. If you have no choice but to shop at night, don’t do so alone. Use the buddy system when you must go to the stores after dusk. A thief or other criminal is less likely to strike pairs or groups of people than those walking alone.

2. Avoid being flashy. Keep your clothes casual and your accessories to a minimum. Don’t be so eye-catching that you make yourself a target. Wear comfortable shoes to avoid slips and falls. As an added benefit, sneakers will help you run more steadily should you find yourself in danger of becoming a victim.

3. Do not carry large amounts of cash. It is far easier to cancel your credit and debit cards than it is to retrieve money that is stolen from you. If you must carry cash, don’t put it in your wallet but in your front pants pocket or inside jacket pocket. If someone does lift your wallet, your money will remain safely with you.

4. Don’t overload yourself with packages. Make several trips to your vehicle if you need to, securing your packages out of sight. Carrying heavy bags for long periods of time can lead to muscle strain. Carrying a large number of packages can also make it difficult for you to run if you need to.

5. Keep an eye open to your surroundings. It’s not uncommon for shoppers who are concentrating on other things to run into doors, trip over cords or slip on wet floors. Know what is going on around you at all times. If you feel yourself getting distracted by all that is happening, take a moment to pause and gather your thoughts.

Shopping for the holidays is a joyful event. We spend our time thinking about what we will be giving and maybe even what we will be receiving.  Go ahead and have a great time, but remember to keep your safety in mind.

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