For a lot of early shoppers, the holiday shopping season has already started, and malls are gearing up their sales to capture those early holiday dollars.
If you’re a woman who usually doesn’t brave the mall except around this time of year, it pays to review a few simple safety reminders:
1. Watch what you wear.
If you don’t usually go to the mall, the early shopping season can feel like a special occasion. However, be cautious about what you wear — particularly if you’re going by yourself.
- Diamonds and real gold attract thieves. Costume jewelry can still make you feel dressed up without tempting a thief to follow you to the parking lot.
- A cross-body pocketbook or messenger bag is safer from purse snatchers. You’re also less likely to accidentally set it down somewhere and walk off.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good traction. Indoor malls have notoriously slick floors. It’s easy to take a bad fall if someone bumps into you while you’re wearing heels or someone spills a soda outside a store.
2. Watch for common dangers.
If you’re not a regular at the mall, you may forget some of the common dangers that malls have.
- Skip the escalator if possible. Escalator accidents can be horrific, and escalators are often poorly-designed and poorly-maintained. Make the trek to the elevators hidden in the mall instead of risking a tumble down one of those death traps.
- Bring along a couple large shopping bags with handles. Consolidate all of your other bags from your purchases into those to make them easy to manage and harder to pilfer.
- Park your car near a light, as close to the entrance way as possible. Watch for potholes and other signs that the parking lot is treacherous, especially at night so that you know where it’s safe to walk.
Finally, remember this: If you don’t feel safe, ask for mall security. Someone inside a shop can call a security officer if you feel threatened, are followed or need one to walk you to your car.
While you should always do what you can to protect yourself from injury, mall owners have a responsibility to keep the malls safe for shoppers — and they don’t always live up to that obligation. If you do get hurt while shopping in a slip-and-fall accident or by assault, consider contacting a personal injury attorney.
Source: Money Basics U, “Safety Reminders: Holiday Shopping at the Mall,” Melissa Newton, accessed Oct. 13, 2017