Safety tips for women during the holiday shopping season

By: Kate Sherrer

The smell of pumpkin spiced lattes, cinnamon scented pine cones and holiday treats are in the air!

With the holiday shopping season in full-swing, it is important to remember not everyone at or around the shopping centers are there in good holiday spirit. Some people have bad intentions to take advantage of shoppers who are caught up in the busyness of the holiday activities.

It doesn’t matter where you live or shop or pump your gas, crime happens. We are often most vulnerable when we are comfortable in our local neighborhood grocery stores or shopping malls.

For most of us, these are great reminders, but some of the expert safety tips might be new to you:

  • Be aware of your surroundings inside and outside of the stores – which means put your senses on alert – be able to hear and see what is going on around you.
  • Secure your belonging and purse. Use the kid shopping cart safety straps to ‘lock’ your purse to the cart. Make sure the pockets on your purse are closed or zipped up. If your attention is distracted and your purse is open, someone could easily grab your wallet without you noticing until you check-out.
  • Watch out for suspicious people that might be watching you. We have all had that gut-feeling of being watched at some point in our lives. Don’t ignore that sense, look around, if you aren’t feeling safe then ask a security guard to walk you to your car.
  • Park in a well-lit area and remember where you parked. Use store buildings or signs or parking spot numbers to help you remember exactly where you parked.
  • Have your keys ready to unlock the car prior to leaving the store. You can also lace your keys through your fingers as a potential weapon if you are approached in a parking lot and need to defend yourself.
  • Once inside your car, lock the car doors immediately.
  • At gas stations, lock the doors of the vehicle while pumping gas. Too many times, victims have been fumbling with their payment and gas pump at the station, while a criminal easily opens the passenger door to grab your purse. Putting your purse on the floor on the driver’s side (or gas tank side) and locking the door will help prevent this from happening to you.Here are some articles with more quick tips on keeping you safe this holiday season:The Personal Safety Training group: Holiday Shopping. Some Personal Safety Tips http://powertochange.com/life/personalsafetytips/WKYT – Lexington, KY news website http://www.kevincoffey.com/mall/mall_safety_tips_for_the_holiday_season.htm
  • Corporate Travel Safety: Mall Safety During the Holidays
  • http://www.wkyt.com/content/news/Holiday-shopping-safety-tips-from-Lexington-Police-402477965.html
  • Top 10 Safety Tips for Women
  • http://www.personalsafetygroup.com/2010/11/holiday-shopping-personal-safety-tips/