It is almost time for Thanksgiving, which means the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday – will soon be upon us. Every year, people are injured in the throngs of shoppers who are pushing and fighting their way to the “best” toys or gifts for sale. The stores are responsible for maintaining a safe place for shoppers, but the vast amount of people can make it difficult to stay safe.
If you plan on shopping this year on Black Friday, make sure you:
- Drink plenty of water (not soda or coffee) to stay hydrated
- Be aware of wet or icy floors
- Avoid entering into revolving doors or sliding doors with large groups of people, and do not linger once you are in the doorway
- Park in well-lit lots and avoid shopping alone or after dark
- Keep your money and your credit cards in a safe location
- Leave your young children at home, as they as more susceptible to the flu, and more likely to become seriously ill if they contract it
- Make a note about where the security offices are located, in case you need help
- Make multiple trips to your car with packages to avoid straining your back, shoulder and arms
- Be aware of other drivers in parking lots; you can get into a serious accident if you block your mirrors or windows with packages, and you may risk be hit by a driver who is focused on getting a “good spot” near the entrance to the store
Most shopping malls and retail outlets hire seasonal employees to work in their stores, and to make sure that the walkways are clear from obstructions. With so many shoppers, however, it can be hard to keep floors dry and free from debris; extra vigilance is needed on your behalf. If you do fall on an icy sidewalk or trip inside a store, makes sure to see your doctor as soon as you can, as your injuries may not be apparent right away.
You should also be extra careful of people who may be looking to steal your gifts or your money. Make sure you lock all of your packages up tight in your trunk, and report any suspicious activity to security or police. Put all of your credit cards in a secure location, and consider paying only with cards if possible: most companies offer theft protection that you cannot get if you pay in cash.
From all of us at the office of Kevin W. Shepherd, Attorney at Law, we wish you a very safe and happy holiday!