More Black Friday

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Last year was a deadly year for shopping. Shoppers trampled a man to death in New Jersey when the doors opened to a big box retailer. This year retailers are taking more precautions to make sure you can stay safe while you shop. But don't leave your safety up to the realtors, here are some steps you can take to stay safe.

Leave your purse at home -- Take your cash, ID, and any credit cards you might use and put them in zipped front pockets in your clothes. Place your driver's license and credit cards in one pocket. Put your cash in another. If you must have lipstick put it in your shopping bag. No purse = not a target.

Shop with a friend - Black Friday is not fun at all by yourself. And for safety's sake, shopping in a group or at least with one friend makes sense. Even if you separate in the store to grab those sales, text or call each other when you are ready to go. Leave the store together. Thieves are less likely to rob two women than one.

Avoid the ATM - Early Friday morning is no time to be visiting the ATM for your Black Friday cash. Go a day or two ahead. Every criminal worth his or her salt knows that tons of cash will come flying out of the local ATM the morning of the sales. If you have to wait on getting cash, at least use a well lit, monitored machine inside a department store.

Shine a light - If you are one of those early morning, up with the sun, Black Friday shoppers than for goodness sake be safe about it. Park under the lights and with the group. Keep your doors locked while waiting for the store to open. Keep a flashlight in your car in case you need it.

Avoid mob mentality - The recession has made us all penny conscious, and black Friday deals are very attractive, however, it's not worth your life. If a large group forms in front of the doors of a store, be aware. Back out of the crowd and stand in the back. If a fight breaks out over an item in a store, walk out of the store until the situation is handled. Better to forsake the deal and live to shop another day.

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