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Tips for preventing accidents during upcoming Black Friday

Hallow's Eve has yet to hit, but it's right around the corner, and you know what that means. Thanksgiving and the infamous Black Friday shopping extravaganza are nearly here. That means it's time for responsible retailers in Pomona and the rest of California to begin their safety preparations to ensure that customers don't get hurt. Here are some tips to avoid liability concerns and to keep customers safe:

-- Coordinate with local law enforcement: Retailers who want to prevent accidents at their stores can contact local police and fire departments for advice about preventing conflicts between customers and other accidents.

-- Make crowd management preparations: The largest retailers will see the biggest influx of customers. These stores -- like Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other big department stores -- need to be ready for the large crowds. This means that employees should be trained on how to deal with crowds, and the best way to open up for business to prevent stampedes.

-- Understand how crowds can get out of control: Crowd mentality can quickly turn violent if not handled properly. Therefore, retailers should be ready to address conflict quickly, as soon as it rears its head. Talk to police and local authorities about peaceful crowd conflict resolution.

-- Use signs to warn and keep customers safe: Critical safety information and rules for customers can be posted through signs. Information about sales and proper procedure for shopping to avoid conflict and promote peaceful interaction should be included in signs.

-- Keep the risks of "crushing" to a minimum: Many retailers can prevent crushing risks by creating an orderly process for entering the store that includes time-specific entry passes, and orderly, cordoned off lines for customers.

California retailers that offer sales to customers need to take reasonable precautions to avoid injury to those who enter their premises. Customers who are seriously hurt due to a retailer's negligence to take such precautions will probably have strong claims for seeking financial restitution for those injuries.

Source: Franklin Hills Residents Association, "Los Angeles Police Department Black Friday Safety Tips for Shoppers," accessed Oct. 27, 2016

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