By Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when holiday gift buying begins. Sales offering big discounts lure customers into stores, often beginning in the early hours of the morning and into the weekend.
Why is it called Black Friday? Many retailers report some of their highest profits on Black Friday. The black portion of the name, “Black Friday” relates to businesses recording their losses in red ink and gains in black. This tradition lives on in modern accounting software, hence the name.
Unfortunately, Black Friday is also a day when shoppers may become victims of crimes and injuries. Crime is on the rise. California’s violent crime rate significantly increased in 2022 to 2023. We should all be alert and aware of people and the surroundings around them, and their vehicles.
Situational awareness means (but is not limited to):
- Park in a location that is closest to the store or mall if shopping when it is dark. Park near light.
- Be careful of other motorists as they may be distracted by a variety of things.
- Purses should be worn in a way that it is close to the body and difficult to snatch. If carrying a wallet, it should be kept in the front pocket or the inside pocket of a coat or jacket.
- Carrying too many bags may also prove dangerous in many ways.
- If possible, leave children at home during Black Friday. The crowds of people can easily overwhelm a child who may get hurt or become lost. If you must bring a child, it is important to hold onto small children to avoid separation.
- Identify and know where fire and emergency exits are in stores, mallsand dining establishments.
- If you’re sick, do us all a favor and stay home! Bring hand sanitizers to help combat germs.
- Put away that cell phone so you are completely aware of your surroundings, be cognizant and courteous of others.
Most importantly, be patient and be kind.
Now that’s a bargain!