Safety tips for the holiday shopping season

Avoid leaving newly purchased items in visible areas in your vehicle.

Black Friday generally marks the start of the busy holiday shopping season. Malls and shopping centres will be busier than usual, and for this reason it is important to remember one’s personal safety.

“It is very easy to lose focus, especially on Black Friday. However, there are basic safety rules that people should definitely not forget tomorrow and for the rest of the festive season as they go to the shops,” said Charnel Hattingh, national marketing and communications manager at Fidelity ADT.

Hattingh warns:

* When a deal sounds too good to be true, chance are that it is. Be aware of any scams that there might be during the Black Friday weekend.

* Be aware of your surroundings when doing your shopping. Criminals might be on the lookout for vulnerable members of the public caught up in the excitement of it all. This could lead to easy pickings for pick-pockets.

* Avoid taking your children to busy malls where possible. If you can’t leave them at home ensure they are with you and in sight at all times.

* Teach your children what to do when getting lost in a busy mall, such as find the nearest security guard as soon as possible and ask them to phone their parent.

* Ensure your vehicle is locked and secured before leaving a busy mall’s parking area. Again, the frantically busy weekend is ideal for opportunistic criminal activity such as remote jamming.

* Avoid leaving newly purchased items in visible areas in your vehicle.

* Ensure that you refrain from leaving electronic item boxes in visible areas in your yard as this will draw unwanted attention.

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