The day after Thanksgiving, also known as Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day of the year in America.  When it comes to cashing in on the day’s deals, the motto is “If you snooze, you lose.” For serious bargain-hunters, the day is the ultimate shopping extravaganza that requires a strategic plan, including store maps and item locations, that’s hatched days in advance. For those parents that fit the image of a “mama bear,” the goal is to snag up the must have item on the child’s list at a bargain price.

The combination of too-good-to-be-true deals and shoppers anxious to be first to purchase limited supply items can be dangerous, though. Overzealous and sleep-deprived drivers can make roads and parking lots dangerous. Unfortunately, Black Friday brings out thieves, pickpockets, and others, who are looking to take advantage of unsuspecting shoppers. 

No matter when you leave the house in search of Black Friday deals or saving your holiday shopping for the last minute, use the following safety tips to create your own holiday safety plan.  A carefully thought out holiday safety plan is key to giving yourself the gift of peace during this holiday season. 

In stores: 

  • Purchase a pre-paid card to do your shopping with. Consider purchasing more than one and limit the card to $200, so your entire holiday budget is not on one card. 
  • Limit the number of cards you take into a store and know how much you plan to spend. 
  • Lock the cards in your glove box. 
  • Keep purses zipped, closed, and close to your body in the front. If possible, carry keys, cash, and credit cards all separate from each other.  
  • Have your keys in hand when leaving a store.  
  • Don’t overload yourself with bags when leaving a store, it makes it difficult to defend yourself.  
  • Remember safety in numbers, avoid walking alone, especially in the dark.  

On the road and parking lot: 

  • Lock all doors and roll windows up. 
  • When shopping, keep gifts hidden in the trunk or from view.  
  • Avoid parking next to vans or large trucks. 
  • Always park in a well-lit area.  
  • Check the area around your car for anything suspicious when approaching. 
  • If going to an ATM at night, use the well-lit drive-up ATM at banks only and keep your receipt. 

The firm of Melissa Pearce & Associates wishes everyone a safe and joyous holiday season. 

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