Safety tips to follow while at the South Carolina State Fair

Safety tips to follow while at the South Carolina State Fair (File photo)

COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) – Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is asking you to follow a few safety tips when visiting the South Carolina State Fair this year.

The fair opens Wednesday, Oct. 11 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 22.

The department recommends leaving home early and planning the route to the fairgrounds beforehand. Parking is available inside and outside the grounds.

The department says to use caution and be aware of your surroundings while also watching for who may be watching you.

Deputies recommend making sure all valuables are out of sight and that your car is locked. Lott recommends that you stay in a group if parking outside the official fairgrounds lot.

Deputies will be patrolling inside the fairgrounds along with other law enforcement agencies working security. A command post will be set up at the Heath building near the rocket for first aid and lost children.

Another post is set up at the backside of grandstand next to the stands for seating. Deputies ask that parents should point out the command posts to their children and tell the children to go there or find a uniformed officer if they become lost.

Deputies are also cautioning that anyone causing problems at the fair will be asked to leave and may be subject to other enforcement action.

Additional State Fair safety tips:

• Try and go to the fair in groups, this should help to prevent and potential predators waiting to commit a crime.

• Take small purses or bags inside with you and try to avoid using large purses and pocketbooks – unfortunately they’re good targets for purse snatchers and can fall off amusement rides.

• Do not flash you cash – this will only attract unwanted attention and make you a target for robbery or pickpockets.

• Parents please check in with your young adults or have them check in with you periodically (cell phones can come in handy for this process) – just make sure if they are calling you that they set an alarm on their phone as a reminder.

Personal Protection

• Stay alert.

• Always be aware of your surroundings, who’s in front of you and who's behind you. Don't get distracted.

• Walk purposefully, stand tall, and make eye contact with people around you.

• TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If you feel uncomfortable in a situation, leave.

• Make yourself a "tough target."

• Don't think that it can't happen to you.

• Should you resist? Everyone and every situation is different.

• If being followed or stalked, call 911 or drive directly to a police station.

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