CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Concerts. Festivals. Amusement parks. All staples of a Carolina summer. But are you paying attention while you're having fun?
Safety experts say when you're in a large crowd, it's important to stay on alert.
Police say fun activities in crowded public spaces like Carowinds are common ground for criminals, especially while most adults are at ease.
"I love to come to the city and I feel very safe here."
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Parents enjoying the weekly concert at Romare Bearden Park say their kids are their first concern.
"Making sure we're in good communication so if something does happen were on the same page," one parent said.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Crime Prevention Officer, Jonathan Friske, says fights are a common problem at crowded events where alcohol is served.
"The more alcohol flow there is and more people hitting into you, you're going to get very frustrated," Friske says. "One of the best recommendations is to stay all the way in the back where there's not going to be a lot of people around you."
Safety experts suggest other ways to stay safe in a crowd:
- Before leaving the house, take a photo of everyone in your group with your phone
- Pick a meeting place in case you become separated from your group
- Leave the event early or late to avoid a big rush when the event is over
Someone like Terry Lee knows to be aware of their surroundings. "Even though its peaceful out here I know that something can happen, so I'm very observant of who's around me, what people are doing," Lee said.
Fred Shropshire showed Terry a trick safety experts recommend to prevent pick pockets from nabbing your wallet.
Something as simple as a rubber band.
The band provides just enough friction to keep your wallet from sliding easily out of your pants pockets.
"If we would check on our purse or our wallet as many times as we would check on our phone, you know, we could make sure it's there," said Lee.
If you go to a crowded event in Charlotte, chances are nothing will go wrong. But, what if the unthinkable happens?
Would you know what to do?
An explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in England was a deadly reminder of what can happen when violence breaks out in a crowd.
Friske said, "Realistically, a lot of people, they don't prepare and they don't train themselves for any type of violent situation."
Officer Friske says it's important to note the exits as soon as you arrive.
Gunshots, explosions, even loud noises can send a crowd into chaos.
"Think about what you're going to do before you just start running with crowd."
Otherwise, you might be running straight for trouble.
Experts suggest to not wear loose clothing or accessories that could become tangled or pulled.
Plus, when navigating a rushing crowd, keep your hands up by your chest like a boxer. It creates a little space for you, gives you movement and protects your chest.