We’re less than two weeks from Christmas and I’ve barely started my Christmas shopping! For those of you, like me, who still have a lot to do, don’t let the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping at the mall distract you from keeping you and yours safe. There are plenty of tips out there for general safety but, as always, I want to focus on your physical well-being. So here are Koller Trial Law’s Three Safety Tips for Christmas Shopping:
TIP ONE: MALL SECURITY
Tip one of the three safety tips for Christmas shopping ought to be avoid the mall! But really, it’s just to keep safety at the top of your mind when going to the mall. Mall owners work hard to make the mall seem like a safe and secure place to be. Yet the very nature of malls means there are a lot of people in an enclosed area with a lot of money and merchandise readily available. At Christmas, the number of people and the amount of opportunity for crime climbs significantly. We are all aware of this at one level, yet while we are juggling umpteen packages, kids, cell phones, and the ever-expanding mental “to do” list, it can be easy to lose track of these facts. Among other safety tips, be aware of your surroundings when parking (watch out for the creep mobile!), don’t catch up on texts or facetime while sitting in your car at the mall, make sure to lock everything up and leave temptation out of sight.
Mall owners are legally responsible for being reasonable safe. They know that this is especially true this time of year. If you are injured or attacked on mall property, find out what your legal rights are.
TIP TWO: PEEPING TOMS?!
Used to be that we talked about “peeping toms” as the guy hiding in the bushes looking in a bedroom window. Modern technology has expanded this creepy practice to all sorts of public areas. There seems to have been a rash of peeping tom incidents in Oklahoma mall stores recently. This ranges from men “upskirting” – taking photos under a woman’s skirt or dress – to hiding physical cameras in dressing rooms, bathrooms and locker rooms. This is a crime, but can also give rise to a civil lawsuit against the peeper or potentially the store. To keep yourself safe, check out the spaces you get undressed and keep an eye on your surroundings.
TIP THREE: KIDS AND SHOPPING
You need all the courage and stamina you can muster if you are going to take kids out Christmas shopping. But save a little of that to help keep kids safe. Increase your supervision this time of year even for the kids who may have become more independent. Have a plan in place if kids get lost, but if separation happens quickly notify store or mall security. And while you are shopping for the kiddos, make sure to check out toy safety. From the country that brought you lawn darts, toxic petrochemical “bubbles,” and other gifts that could earn a youngster a quick trip to the ER, remember that just because it’s on the shelf does not mean it is safe!
These and other safety tips for Christmas shopping can help prevent you or your family becoming a victim of crime. But if you or someone you know has experienced crime or injury at this time of year, find out what your rights are with a free consultation from Koller Trial Law.