SAN ANTONIO -- In less than 24 hours, the mad dash to buy the hottest holiday items will begin a few hours earlier than last year.

In years past, folks have been injured braving the crowds on Black Friday. But now that shoppers are heading out to store earlier than ever, employees at big-retail stores have prepared to keep people safe.

The holidays have turned into a shopping frenzy, Myra Morales, a holiday shopper, said.

Black Friday and Gray Thursday have become a big deal.

Getting in a fight, pushed or stabbed -- it's just not worth it, Raquel Morales told KENS 5.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued crowd-management safety guidelines for retailers, after an employee of a store was trampled to death during a Black Friday opening in 2008.

We put a lot of plans in place to make sure it's safe, Andrea Cortez, an employee at Target, explained.

Target employees are trained months in advance for the holiday rush, in the hopes of avoiding a dangerous situation. Both outside and inside the stores, businesses have set up barricades.

We keep it single file, very civil, Cortez said. We also have tickets for a lot of the big door-buster items. So, there's no reason for anybody to trample anyone to try to get to it.

Walmart is doing the same thing to control large crowds. In addition, the retail giant is also enhancing the digital shopping experience. Customers can download a smart-phone app with deals. In person, employees will be providing shoppers with a useful map of the store.

It's a layout for our store and it shows exactly where the hot items are, Anne Hatfield, a Walmart spokesperson, explained.

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