You've all day Thursday to recover from your Thanksgiving feast, but Friday, many folks will be hitting the ground running, ready to shop for Black Friday deals.
While you're out and about, taking advantage of what stores have to offer, Huntsville Police want to make sure you stay safe, so here are a few safety tips for you to remember when you're running around on the busiest shopping day of the year.
Be alert and aware of your surroundings. Knowing who and what's around you, especially in packed parking lots or parking garages, can keep you from getting surprised and gives you time to react to anything suspicious.
Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe or like something's wrong, react quickly to prevent yourself from being a victim.
Carry what you need. Any extra jewelry, cash or credit cards, should all be left at home, not in your car, where people can see it. Also, if you carry a purse or wallet, keep it in front of you or in your front pocket so you know where it is at all times.
Display confidence. Criminals tend to choose easy targets, so walk with confidence, make sure you know what's going on around you and maybe even make casual eye contact with people around you.
Don't overburden yourself with packages or shopping bags. This can make you look vulnerable too, so put stuff in your trunk or have a store hold some of your bags while you shop.
Shop with others. There's safety in numbers and thieves are less likely to attack a group of people.
Be prepared. Plan out your shopping trip, like what you need and where you're going, and when you get there, make sure you have your keys in your hand when you're walking to and from your car. If anything goes wrong, you can use an alarm or panic button to signal police.
Plan ahead. Especially when you're shopping really early in the morning or at night, it'll be dark, so choose well-lit parking lots, make sure your doors are locked and check out your surroundings when you leave your car.
Get help if you need it. If you feel uncomfortable at all, before, after or while you're shopping, most malls will provide security to walk you back to your car so that you stay safe.
Huntsville Police Officers will also be scouting shopping centers in big numbers Friday. They'll be walking, driving, even biking around shopping areas to keep you protected. The holidays are a fun time of year, but they're also a time where some folks prey on holiday shoppers, so be careful out there and remember these helpful tips!