Safety Tips In Crowded Areas (“Black Friday”)
The most popular shopping event of the year is almost upon us. Black Friday is fast approaching with its unbeatable deals that bargain hunters have waited for all year. Read on for five essential tips to ensure you stay safe in crowded areas while you shop up a storm.
Be Prepared and Stay Aware
Black Friday specials attract a lot of consumers and criminals alike. You should always be prepared and stay safe in your surroundings. Being proactive can help you focus on preventative ways to avoid injuries or being a mugging victim
Your priority should be shopping from retailers that have a strong security presence. Most importantly, try to remain cashless by using digital methods of payment. If you must use cash, ensure you withdraw it from a safe ATM or inside the bank to limit your chances of being mugged or robbed.
Mind the Slips, Trips and Falls
Did you know that slips, trips, and falls are common emergency accidents? Crowded spaces can increase the risk of accidental falls, leading to moderate to severe injuries. The nature of Black Friday leaves room for more slippery floors and items falling from shelves.
You should be mindful of your chances of tripping and potential life-threatening falls. For example, consider wearing safe and sturdy shoes. It’s crucial to watch where you are going and try your best to avoid rushing anywhere with large crowds.
Be Careful of Crowd Crush Injuries
In recent years, you might have noticed a flood of shoppers queuing in the wee hours of the morning, waiting for stores to open their doors for Black Friday specials. When the time approaches and the doors swing open, large crowds push to get their hands on the deals before everyone else. The consequences of rushing crowds can be devastating.
Knowing how to survive in crowds is essential to avoid severe injuries. In worst-case scenarios, this can lead to stampedes and being blocked from escaping. If you feel unsafe, try to maintain composure, and avoid panicking.
Possible Pepper Spray Injuries
There are various methods that retail security resorts to for enforcing effective crowd control. Pepper spray can disperse large crowds when it becomes increasingly overwhelming and dangerous for other shoppers. In some cases, it can be practical for perpetrators who target unsuspecting shoppers.
Exposure to pepper spray can be dangerous for your health. You may experience irritation such as itchiness, redness, swelling and a burning sensation on the affected area. However, severe reactions like difficulty breathing and wheezing are possible if you have a chronic condition like asthma.
Here’s what you can do if you come into contact with pepper spray:
- Try to stay calm and don’t rub the affected area.
- Don’t touch your eyes.
- Splash water on the affected area.
- Wait for about 30 minutes for the effects of the reaction to improve.
Know How to Find Help
You should always know where to find help in a shopping centre. When exposed to large crowds, you should ensure you are aware of emergency exits in case you need to evacuate the building. Constantly monitor uniformed security across the building and know where to find the information desk support.
If you have your kids with you, finding help in a shopping centre can be a practical way to ensure their safety. Use the iER App to access emergency responders if you are a victim of any contact crime while shopping. It’s crucial to have an emergency backup when you are doing your shopping on Black Friday.
In summary, on Black Friday, you are likely to see millions of South Africans getting ready for numerous unmissable discounts. With Christmas approaching, it can be an ideal time to shop. However, you should remain vigilant of the safety risks associated with large crowds.
From potential stampedes to criminals robbing stores, there are various safety measures you should be mindful of. Use the iER App to reduce the risk of being a victim. Shop with ease, knowing you have access to over 14 000 emergency response service providers.