Black Friday tip: Keep safety in the forefront of your mind!

By Chief Sam DiGiovanna

In last week’s CSFA Connection we shared tips to teach your community about Thanksgiving safety This weekend let’s teach them about another dangerous day, the day after Thanksgiving!

Enjoy the music while you read 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. 

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 increased by 6.0% in 2020 to 2021. 

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, malls and 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!

Sam DiGiovanna is a 40-year fire service veteran. He started with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, served as Fire Chief at the Monrovia Fire Department, and currently serves as Chief at the Verdugo Fire Academy in Glendale. He also is a consultant for &