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Seven Tips for Safely Surviving Black Friday
When the Thanksgiving turkey and all the fixings are gone and the football game is over, for millions of Americans, it's time to hit the sales. Black Friday is the single biggest shopping day of the year and more and more retailers are swinging open the doors and offering once-a-year late night deals. But as with any big event, there inevitably are those who take things to the extreme, posing a safety risk to themselves and their fellow shoppers.
We've all seen the media headlines with photos or video of crowds violently crashing through doorways, yanking products out of one another's hands and fist-fighting in the aisles. If you plan to participate in Black Friday shopping, Todd E. Copeland offers these safety tips:
- Visit the store you'll shop early and make a mental note of the layout, paying particular attention to where the exits are. Ask an employee how the product and display layout may change for Black Friday, and plan your route according to where the big ticket items you're aiming for will be located.
- On Black Friday evening, wear comfortable, well-fitting shoes and make sure shoe laces are tied tightly and tucked in so as not to prove a tripping hazard.
- Leave purses and bags at home, instead carrying money or cards in a way that won't be easy for thieves or pick-pockets to grab - in a pocket inside your jacket, for instance. Keep it hidden away until your cashier asks for payment.
- Never shop alone. Bring along someone you trust and have a plan for reconnecting should you get separated. If a stranger near you begins to behave angrily or violently, leave the area immediately.
- Do not buy more than you can easily carry to your vehicle. Ask a store employee to help you carry heavy packages to your car if needed. Also, note that many stores will allow customers to drive up to their loading docks to pick up larger or heavier products.
- When headed to your vehicle, have your keys in your hand and look around often to assure no one is following you. Don't hesitate to ask a store employee, security guard or police officer to accompany you.
- When driving home, be aware that drunken driving accidents spike during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. If possible, plan to shop close to your home, wear your seatbelt and be extra wary of other drivers.
Of course, the safest way to take advantage of all the great deals is to shop online from the comfort of your home. But we understand the thrill of the Black Friday game, so to speak. Just know that premises liability law requires the stores where you shop to make the experience as safe as possible by arranging displays with plenty of room to walk without tripping and having adequate sales and security staff on hand. Also, understand that while stores may have all the right safety precautions in place, an overzealous fellow shopper can quickly prove a danger.
If you're injured in a Black Friday shopping incident caused by someone else's negligent or deliberate act, or a store's failure to provide a safe shopping experience, get medical attention immediately, even if your injury seems minor. Then, contact Orlando's Todd E. Copeland & Associates. One of our highly experienced and dedicated attorneys can help determine if you have a solid personal injury or premises liability legal case.