Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Last year, more than 150 million people were out shopping, and even more are expected this year. Stores will be promoting hot deals on the latest fashions, sports equipment, and the most popular tech gadgets of the year.
It's also a time to be watchful and careful. The excitement of Black Friday weekend combined with increased traffic in stores and on the roads can lead to an injury or crime.
There will inevitably be a story that comes out about a shopper getting injured in a stampede trying to save an extra 70% on jeans. Be smart, consider others while you are out, and be aware of your surroundings at all times while driving and walking through stores.
We're giving you a few safety tips to make sure your family is safe while shopping on Black Friday weekend.
Keep purchases in the trunk of your car or covered up.
If you plan on driving to multiple stores, keep all of your purchases in the trunk of your car or covered up in the very back of your vehicle (hatchbacks, SUVs etc.). Keeping bags in plain sight, especially tech-oriented bags like Best Buy, can encourage break-ins and theft in parking lots.
TIP: Consider putting together a shopping survival kit including granola bars, water, fruit, a first aid kit, $50 in cash, etc. You never know what will happen. If you get stranded on the side of the road or if a theft occurs and you are left with no money, you will have your survival kit to hold you over until help arrives.
Keep your cash and credit cards close to you.
Carry a small bag with the basics instead of your whole purse. People tend to carry more cash than usual on Black Friday. Be sure to keep cash and any credit cards close to your body to discourage theft. Consider taking pictures of your cards as well as have the phone number handy in case your bag gets stolen. You'll want to call and cancel the stolen cards immediately.
Designate a meeting place.
Shopping with friends is a blast! But, it's easy to get separated in crowded stores, especially when each person is looking for different items. Designate a meeting place, whether it's at the car or at the front of the store, for everyone to meet at a certain time.
TIP: Make a note of where you parked the car. A picture may be a great reminder to help you find it among the sea of cars!
Watch your step.
It's easy to get tripped in a crowded store or parking lot. Be sure to watch where you are walking, and if you do trip and fall, don't put off medical treatment. Most stores will have police officers to help and a first aid kit that can treat minor injuries until you can get to a doctor or hospital.
Keep your cool.
Lastly, keep your cool while shopping. Remember to be respectful of both the employees at the stores and other shoppers. Expect long lines, and wait patiently.
Holiday shopping should be a fun experience, but can often be a bust if you are the victim of a theft or an accident. Do your part to stay safe while shopping on Black Friday weekend.