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Tips for a safe Black Friday

Black Friday has become something of a safety risk for quite a few of the people who venture out in search of good deals. Not only do crowded parking lots increase the risk of pedestrians being hit and cars hitting each other, shoppers are packed into stores and tempers may flare.

For example, there have been fights among Black Friday shoppers over items such as towels and TVs. Here are a few ways to stay safe this Black Friday.

For your car

You could be dealing with frustrated or aggressive drivers galore. Patience is your best friend, especially when searching for a parking spot. Try to find a well-lit area, and if you are shopping throughout the day, keep your purchases in the trunk where others cannot see them. When you back out, do so slowly and watch for pedestrians and other vehicles. Always have your seatbelt on, no matter how slowly you are traveling. Low speeds can still result in bad injuries. Also, avoid parking in illegal spots.

For your store experience

First things first: Avoid getting into a dispute over an item, no matter what it is; your safety is just not worth it. If children are with you, pick a preset place where you all can meet in case of separation. Instruct your children on how to approach security or store personnel if they need help.

To deter would-be thieves, bring only one credit card to the store with you, and keep your cash and credit cards stowed until it comes time to pay. Speaking of cash, you should have only minimal amounts on hand.

For pre-planning

It may help to be selective with the retailers you visit. For example, you could opt to visit those that have time-specific entry passes so there is not a huge rush of customers to get in the store at any given time. Similarly, you could frequent retailers known to have good security personnel, perhaps even those that escort customers to their cars upon request on Black Friday.

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