Washington mall shooting raises security concerns

Area retailers operating under a heightened sense of alert

Reynolds gave some tips on what shoppers can do to enhance their own safety. Walking around while chatting on a cell phone or texting isn't wise, he said.

"Situational awareness is a big piece of it," Reynolds said. "If you're oblivious, it's easier for bad things to happen to you."

Another tip: Remember where you parked. People who "lose" their cars and have to wander the parking lot put themselves at greater risk.

And finally, Reynolds advises parents to have a plan in case they get separated from their children.

Parents should take a digital picture of their children when they arrive at the mall, to preserve an image of what they look like and are wearing.

"Oftentimes people don't have a plan if they do get separated," Reynolds said. "Their plan is they won't get separated."