Tools to keep yourself safe while holiday shopping

Stay safe while shopping

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Only 10 shopping days left till Christmas and while you’re checking off your list, make sure your safety is the top priority.

You want to work hard to not look like a target, but also be ready if you become one.

Women tend to have purses with long straps and crooks may see them as easy targets, to just grab off your shoulder and run. That’s why officials suggest wearing it across the bodies and put the purses in front of you. That way if your arms are full, you don’t have to worry about where your purse is or if it’s exposed to crooks.

If you do become a victim, remember self-defense isn’t just physical, it’s also mental and emotional.

“You have to tell yourself you’re going to do what you have to do to go home to your family at the end of the day,” says Jon Newland.

We should all be aware of our surroundings if a threat is near. If you do feel threatened, there are lots of ways to arm yourself; from pepper spray, to a pocket knife, you can also carry around a retractable baton, which is a little bulky, but you can keep it in your car.

Jon Newland, a Homewood police officer and self-defense instructor, prefers a knife over other tools because there are so many ways to use it.

“And if I want to use it as a blunt instrument to strike, I’m going to have it in my fist this way. If the threat level is even higher than that and I need to have the blade out because I am intending probably to use it, then I’m going to open it up. Maybe I need to have it somewhat concealed. If it’s concealed, it’s going to be down here by my leg. If I need to use it pretty quickly, so I think, I’m going to have it in a much more combat-ready stance," says Newland.

The whole idea is to make thieves believe you will use deadly force if you have to. He also recommends a heavy-duty flashlight, which can blind your attacker.

“And if you have to fight, you can actually fight with these things. You can strike with them because they’re very robust.”

The main thing, always be aware of your surroundings even after the holidays are over.

Copyright 2019 WBRC. All rights reserved.