By Sgt. Mark Buschena
The day after Thanksgiving traditionally is one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and kicks off the start of the official Christmas Shopping Season. Here are some tips for a safer and more enjoyable shopping experience.
When shopping this year, take only enough cash to pay for your purchases. Better than cash are checks and credit cards, in case they are lost or stolen.
PURSES – Stores will be crowded this time of year. That means opportunities for thieves. Pay attention to where your purse is at all times. Don’t set it down to look at something. It might not be there when you turn back to it. Be especially careful of your purse in restrooms and fitting rooms.
Why not consider a fanny pack instead of a purse? Only wear it with the pack in front, like a belly pack. They are much safer and more convenient than a purse, and it will allow you to have both hands free to check out those bargains.
CHILDREN – If you have to take small children shopping with you, remind them of a few safety tips before you leave home. Tell them that if you get separated, to stay in whatever store you are in. Tell them not to leave the store or the mall, and especially don’t go out in to the parking lot to wait for you. They are too vulnerable out there to cold and traffic. Make a plan that if you get separated, you’ll meet at a certain place. Make it something simple, like by the ice-cream counter – they should be able to remember that!
PACKAGES – Be careful where you set your packages down when shopping. When you get an armload of packages, take them out to your car. Even though you may be in a rush, lock them securely in the trunk, not in the front or back seat. They’re too easily ripped off there. Or take them home, and come back for another load. Don’t give a thief the opportunity to go “dashing through the snow” with your gifts.
TRAFFIC – Streets will be jammed with drivers hustling around for those great buys. Remember that streets get icy this time of year, and stopping distances increase. Allow yourself a little extra time to get where ever you’re going, and slow down. Also remember, that the mall lots will be busy with drivers racing to get that parking spot. Keep an eye out for the other guy. That parking spot isn’t worth wrecking your car over. Happy Holidays!
To learn more go to www.defendyourselfnow.com.