Stay safe on Black Friday

It’s been a tough few years for everybody, and retailers may have had it harder than most. They hope to turn that trend around Friday, when the Christmas shopping season begins. For many retailers, Christmas sales represent 40 percent or more of their annual revenue, so lots is riding on kicking the season off with a huge sales effort.

Consumers, too, look to Black Friday for tremendous savings on many purchases for themselves and their families.

The Hoover Police Department offered these tips for enjoying a safe holiday shopping season.

-Always lock your car and close your windows. Place purchases in the trunk of your car, out of sight.

-When you can, shop with someone. Stay alert to your surroundings. Look inside your car and around it as you approach.

-Be careful with wallets and purses; carry purses under an arm and carry wallets in an inside pocket.

-Don’t carry large amounts of cash.

-Shop at “non-peak” times. This reduces the size of shopping crowds. It also makes it easier to get through traffic.

We would add another item to this list, which is shop locally whenever possible.

Dollars you spend at home supports local businesses and jobs in our community. Tax dollars spent at home support local services, like police, fire and rescue, and support local schools.

Do some planning now to make sure your holiday shopping is a pleasant and safe experience.