7 tips to stay safe while holiday shopping

Derrek Hofrichter (submitted photo)

The holidays are an exciting, busy time of year. When everyone is bustling to and from the mall, grocery store and holiday parties, it can be easy to get so wrapped up in the festivities that we forget about our personal safety.

Everything from purse snatching, gift stealing and vehicle break-ins increase once holiday shopping begins so it becomes more important than ever to be aware of ones’ surroundings.

Below are seven tips that can help keep you safe this holiday season:

  1. Lay low on social media. The less you give away about your Black Friday shopping spree or upcoming holiday getaway plans, the less likely someone will be to follow you to the mall, or even break into your house while you’re gone.
  2. Choose your purse wisely. A cross-body purse will actually pull you toward a potential burglar, putting you in an even more vulnerable situation. Wear a one-shoulder bag so that you can easily let go of the purse (your safety is more important) or lean in to assailant (rather than pulling the purse back) and put forth a good punch – this is one of the many skills we teach at East Valley Krav Maga, along with the steps you should take to follow it.
  3. Stay off your cell phone when walking to and from the car. Criminals are more apt to go after those who seem distracted and not paying attention.
  4. Have your keys ready when walking to the car. This will ensure a quick and easy departure, without leaving a few fumbling moments when someone could stop you. Keys can also even act as a weapon, in worst-case scenarios.
  5. Park smart. Even if a parking spot is further away, if it’s well-lit, take it. Avoid darker spaces, where a criminal could easily get away with something sight unseen. Also steer clear of parking next to larger vehicles, trees or anything else that may block your car’s line of sight. It is important to keep your car, and yourself, as visible to as many people as possible.
  6. Never shop solo. Day or night, there is safety in numbers. If you must go it alone, don’t be afraid to ask a security guard to escort you to your car; that’s what they’re there for.
  7. Have a plan. Be prepared. Always let someone else know where you’re going and make sure your cell phone is fully charged in case of emergency.

For more information on personal safety and ways to defend yourself, visit East Valley Krav Maga in Tempe.

Editor’s Note: Derrek Hofrichter is the owner and chief instructor of East Valley Krav Mag.

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