Before you head out for that first big holiday shopping trip, here are a few tips to keep yourself, your loved ones and your purchases safe and secure:
- Don’t leave a purse unattended in a shopping cart. The best practice– carry a smaller purse with a strap across the shoulder.
- When in a public facility, always supervise your children, and always accompany young children to the restroom.
- If older children become separated from you while holiday shopping have them meet you in a predetermined spot such as the sales counter of the store you were in or the mall’s information booth.
- Teach younger children to look for people who can help within the store or mall, such as a uniformed security officer or a salesperson with a name tag. They should never leave the store/mall or go to the parking lot to look for you or your car.
Vehicle, parking lot safety
- Always park in well-lit areas. Most important- if you are in a large parking garage- remember where you parked the car! There’s nothing worse than searching for your vehicle in a gigantic, unfamiliar parking structure!
- Keep your keys in your hand and pay attention to your surroundings while walking to your vehicle. Remember, potential perpetrators do not like eye contact.
- Check the backseat and underneath the vehicle before entering.
- Don’t clip any identification to rearview mirrors or other plain-view locations.
- Lock your doors and close all windows.
- Don’t hide keys anywhere on your vehicle.
- Never leave your engine running, even if you will be gone for just a minute.
- Conceal all valuables.