Malls are a relatively safe place to shop, but they all have their share of dangers. These tips should be understood by every person that steps foot on mall property, especially teenagers.

This past weekend's tragic incident at Crossroads Mall has many people thinking about their safety when they enter the doors of every mall in the US. It's important to understand this isn't common and these tips below don't refer to a mass-stabbing, which is near impossible to be prepared for. There are, however, more common dangers people don't think about that happen frequently at malls. Many dangers that can be prevented by realizing they can happen, and how to protect yourself the best possible from them.


Parking Lot Safety:

Parking lots at a mall can be the most dangerous, especially at night. Most malls have security patrolling the lots, but mall parking lots are massive and generally packed with cars, making visibility between cars near impossible.

Try to park in a well lit area that isn't as busy with cars around, and get into the open as quick as possible if parking close to the mall entrance isn't an option. When leaving the mall, especially at night, quickly put your purchases in the vehicle and close the doors quickly. If you're being followed, this lessens the chance the attacker will be able to gain access to you once your vehicle door is shut and locked.

When exiting the mall, keep your finger on the car panic alarm on your key-fob. If you are confronted you will likely scare them off with the car alarm going off, raising attention to everybody in the near distance. Don't talk on your cell phone while walking to your car, attackers are relying on your being distracted and vulnerable. If you feel you may be in danger, ask a security guard to escort you to your vehicle.


Inside The Mall Safety:

Sadly, there are people that go to the mall specifically planning to steal. Most of the time it's without you even knowing it right away. Shoppers go to the mall to spend money, so thieves go where there's money! Keep your purses and wallets tucked close to you. Wallets are safest in your front pocket. Never, never, never put your purse down as it's able to be quickly taken.

Cell phones are a hot item, and that's not going to change anytime soon. Many adults, and almost ALL kids have their cell phones on their ear and aren't paying attention to what's going on around them. This is the perfect opportunity to swipe your phone out of your hands, or take something else on you while you're attention isn't where it's supposed to be.

Teens are notorious for entering the mall and walking in groups while completely unaware of their surroundings inside. Walk in smaller groups and keep your cell phones put away, and be aware of your surroundings. Go into restrooms with a friend as well.

Know where security stations are. Don't just walk in and start walking around unless you are familiar with the mall you're in. There are mall maps inside most mall entrances. Take a moment to know where you are, and where to run to in case of an emergency.