Shopping malls are traditionally safe places visited by millions of people each year, however we do occasionally hear reports of violence – big and small – so it is helpful for shoppers to stay alert to their surroundings. Here are a few tips to keep you and our family safe during your next visit to the mall.
- Safety starts and ends with parking. Park in a well-lit area, and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Take extra care when returning to your car. If needed, you can draw attention by pushing the panic button on your car fob or your car horn.
- Leave your purse or pocketbook at home. Put cash in your front pocket which is less of a target. If you must carry a purse, wear one that crosses your body making it difficult to grab.
- Keep your hands free. Thieves are on the lookout for people who are overloaded with bags and cannot easily defend themselves.
- Stay alert and trust your instincts. Malls can be busy places with a lot of noise and distractions. Be mindful of your surroundings when you’re shopping. If you notice anything that doesn’t feel safe, for you or others, ask a retailer to call mall security.
- Know where your nearest exits are in case of an emergency. They will be clearly marked on the mall map found at most entrances. In case of a fire or other emergency, remember to avoid using elevators.
- Keep children with you at all times. Small children should be in a stroller so they don’t get separated. It is also safest for adults to accompany minors into restrooms.
- Agree on a meeting place in advance. Should children get separated from you, it is helpful for all parties to know where to meet.
- Choose to do your shopping at malls that take security seriously. Look for malls with regular security patrols and visible surveillance cameras which are effective in deterring criminals.