We’ve been busy here at Strand Security in the Myrtle Beach area, not just with installing new home security systems and home automation features, but also with writing this blog and several of the articles we’ve been writing lately are about home automation. The Grand Strand area is growing rapidly and new homes, new neighborhoods, new businesses and new roads are being build at incredible speed!
It’s a popular topic to write about as it’s a growing trend among home owners!
People like you want the right information to make the right decision about their home before they invest time and money into home automation. Believe us when we say ‘we get it’!
Want to know more about home automation and what home automation can do for you, here are some of the most recent articles on our very own Strand Security blog that talks about automation and smart technology.
🔴 How to convert an old home into a smart home. Read it here
🔴 Smart home. Safe home. Secure home. Read it here
🔴 How to give your home a voice. Read it here
🔴 Party like a rockstar at home with SONOS. Read it here
🔴 How to program your universal remote the easy way. Read it here
🔴 Smart homeowners get smart home demos in Myrtle Beach. Read it here
We hope these articles have inspired you and made you excited about using home automation to turn your home into a smart home! We are here to help you…!
In case you are still hesitant, here are 5 reasons you will want home automation now!
Of course you will get improved security with home automation! Your systems will work together and the possibilities are endless. The best part? Once it’s set up, your overall security is enhanced by it. For example, you might be able to watch your home security cameras in real time from an app on your device! Nothing will get by you.
As your home is automated, many ‘daily tasks’ will be automated. With voice activation simple commends like ‘good morning house’ could lower the temperature in your home, raise the blinds and unlock your front door all at the same time without you lifting a finger!
Since everything is automated, it is, well, automated! No more frustration that you forgot to change the thermostat before your left the home. No more frustration that you forgot to set your security alarm system. No more frustration that you can’t remember if you fed the dog…
Home automation will automatically save you… money! Of course it does. Your thermostat will be automated to give you the perfect temperature when you are home, saving energy when you are not!
If you are ready to sell your home soon, home automation features can be an important selling point and enhance the overall feel for your home to a potential buyer. Getting the best and latest and greatest gadgets is something most home buyers would want!
Call your local professional to consult with. Our phone number number is 843-318-6392
After doing research, like reading this and other articles online, you might have an idea of what features you might want and need in your home. The next step would be to have a professional come out to your home and give you an even clearer picture of home automation possibilities.
Yes, you read that right! Planning and prepping for the next hurricane starts now.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you start your hurricane preparations before the next hurricane threat arrives. These are tips from the experts at FEMA and NOAA and other government agencies tasked with keeping you safe!
Now that you know how to start preparing for the next hurricane, let us check on some hurricane myths floating around the internet…!
From the Tampa Bay Times come these myths that have been floating around on Facebook and other social media sites this past week as Floridians prepared for Hurricane Irma to make landfall. People just keep sharing these over and over and over!
Have you heard these myths? Have you SHARED these myths on social media? Please stop!
Do not take your advice from Facebook. Do not take your hurricane advice from ‘friends, families and neighbors’ reposting ‘copy & paste’ tips from who-knows-where. Instead follow the guidelines from FEMA and your local government agencies experienced in hurricane preparedness.
You can connect with FEMA on ready.gov to get started.
Another great agency for up-to-date hurricane information is NOAA.
We understand that sometimes reading these official government sites can be intimidating, so take care to always check your sources if you do read non government information on non government sites.
If you have never made a family emergency plan, start today.
That includes making a plan for a tornado, hurricane, flood, fire or other natural disaster.
We hope you never, ever have to implement such a plan, but in case of emergency, you will be so happy to have a plan to refer back to to help you move forward.
As always, if we can be of assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us!
We at Strand Security are very much concerned with your personal safety, not ‘just’ your security!
Years ago Heather was robbed at gun point. After this traumatic experience, she’s used her knowledge and experience (about self defense) to educate women and young girls about the importance of self defense. Strand Security has been offering FREE CLASSES to their customers under the Myrtle Beach Self Defense umbrella. Community members can also attend for a small fee. These classes have been fun, educational and most of all, empowering to women and girls.
However… can knowing and practicing self defense protect you at all times?
In these classes, we don’t only teach and practice self defense techniques, but we also talk about ways to stay safe and to prevent being a victim. We understand that we can’t always prevent crime from happening, but learning to recognize warning signs, and not putting yourself into a bad situation to start with can do a lot to prevent an attack on your person.
While we have these discussions in class, the subject of carrying a concealed weapon comes up every single time!
We can’t make a judgement call for you whether you should be a concealed weapon carrier, or not. What we can do is give you some additional resources for you to check out so that you yourself can make a more educated decision about how to protect yourself and those you love.
We searched google, of course and found the following articles.
Please read these at your convenience and learn as much as you can.
From the piece
To convict a person of murder or voluntary manslaughter based on the use of deadly force against another person who is attempting to enter his home, the State is required to negate that person’s claim of self-defense. Under South Carolina law, a person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense if: (1) he was without fault in bringing on the difficulty; (2) he was in danger of losing his life or of sustaining serious bodily injury or he actually believed such; (3) if his defense is based on belief, his belief was not unreasonable or, if his defense is based on actual danger, the circumstances would warrant the fatal blow; and (4) he had no other probable means of avoiding the danger of losing his own life or sustaining serious bodily injury than to act as he did.
From the piece
South Carolina has a “stand your ground” law which protects those who use force in self-defense. The stand your ground law is found in the Code of Laws in Title 16, section 16-11-440.
According to this law, if a person is not doing anything illegal and that person is attacked in any place where he or she has a right to be (including your home, your work, or a public place), that person has the right to stand his ground ground and “meet force with force, including deadly force,” as long as he “reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.”
For stand your ground laws to protect you, you must have actually believed that you or someone else would be hurt or that a violent crime would have been committed if you had not taken action. Your belief of an imminent risk of harm must have been a reasonable one.
From the piece
Self-defense in South Carolina is a concept that many people probably think they know and understand or at the very least have heard of it. However, what is self-defense and what self-defense is not is probably drastically different from what the average person understands. This article discusses the law on self-defense and how it is applied in South Carolina.
From the piece
According to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (“PPPA”) a/k/a “Stand Your Ground” law, a person has the ability to protect himself or herself, even through the use of deadly force, if someone else is unlawfully and forcefully entering a home or occupied vehicle, or if someone is removing or attempting to remove another person against his will from the home or occupied vehicle. A reading of the current law doesn’t appear to require it to be YOUR home or vehicle, so long as you were invited to be in the home or vehicle by the owner or person living there.
The PPPA DOESN’T apply if:
The “intruder” has a right to be in the home or occupied vehicle, such as being a resident, an owner, a tenant, or titleholder to the property or vehicle. We caution you that if you invited this person into your home, and then later kick them out, you are likely not entitled to protection under the law. On May 7, 2014, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in State v. Manning which stated that “Stand Your Ground” does not apply if the person was invited into your home. If you shoot someone and go to trial, the jury may still be told that they can consider other defenses, such as the old Castle Doctrine Law or the law of self-defense, but immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” statute is out.
The person being removed from the home or vehicle is a child, grandchild, or person under lawful guardianship of the “intruder.”
You are engaged in unlawful activity or using the home or vehicle in furtherance of unlawful activity. The law does not define “unlawful activity.” However, if you were conducting a drug deal in your house when the incident occurs, you are probably not protected by the statute.
- The “intruder” is a law enforcement officer performing his duties, so long as the person defending himself knew or reasonably should have known it was a police officer.
Whichever way you want and need to protect yourself and those you love, do it with a plan.
Know you rights!
If you want to learn self defense, get in touch with us at Strand Security. Fall classes are starting back up. As always, classes are free to our Strand Security customers.
With Hurricane Irma barreling down on the Caribbean and headed for Florida, people in the Carolinas are faced with this question:
Should I stay or should I go?
Instead of asking that question, take action and prepare now, regardless whether you stay or go evacuate!
Prepping for a hurricane should not be taken lightly. There are many things to consider.
In the last few days, we’ve seen this post do the rounds on Facebook – especially among our Myrtle Beach, Grand Strand and Florida friends.
The advice on how to prepare for a hurricane is solid. Check out these tips.
Here are some Hurricane Prep Tips:
1. Start running your ice makers now and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill as much space in between your freezer items as you can.
2. Freeze regular tap water for pets, cleaning or drinking in tupperware-type containers. REMEMBER to leave a small bit of space between the top of the water & the lids so the ice expands but doesn’t crack the container.
3. Start using up your perishables to make more room for ice in the freezer.
4. Fill up all vehicles & check tires & oil.
5. Cash from ATM, at least enough to get you through tolls and gas out of town. Call your bank if you plan on leaving the state so they don’t freeze your card for out-of-area “suspicious” transactions.
6. All important docs screenshot & send to your email. Take originals in sealed bags or plastic bins.
7. Pet & livestock food & supplies. Vet records in case you need to shelter then at a storm-safe facility.
8. Evacuation plans and share with family members so they know where you’re headed.
9. Consider putting heirlooms & photos in plastic bins in a high place, second floor, or safe room if you don’t plan on taking them with you.
10. SECURE ALL FIREARMS & AMMUNITION PROPERLY.
11. Old rags & beach towels on your windowsills. Even with the best windows & shutters, water seeping from the wind pressure happens. A few damp towels is better than soaked drywall or floors!
12. Shutter windows and doors and bring everything outside into your garage or house NOW. Do not wait until the day before. Better to get done early and relax than wait until its too late, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE MANDATORY PERSONNEL (hospital employee or first responder).
13. If you don’t already have your hurricane supplies, you might want to get them now! Before the shelves get empty!
We think this is great advice and it certainly is a great place to start prepping.
However, the question remains – “should we stay or should we go?” and only YOU can answer that! While you watch the weather station, the news stations and make your own plan, you might need a bit more guidance on how to properly prepare than that Facebook post alone.
We’ve collected several more hurricane prep tips and created this handy, shareable infographic.
Be safe and secure whether you evacuate or stay for the storm.
Whether you own one, want one or don’t care either way; drones are here to stay!
Many new businesses have sprouted up with the introduction of affordable drones sold to the general public.
Drones are used for taking photographs and video, and have been used to conduct land surveys and to find ships lost at sea, just to name a few uses.
After drones became affordable for just about any amateur photographer and videographer, many towns, municipalities and cities reacted by instituting ‘no fly zones’ for drones for the safety of air traffic and their citizens.
Flying drones is a great hobby. It can also be part of a great business model, if you can make money off of the videos and photographs taken with your drone. But are there any safety concerns with flying drones just about anywhere?
Sure there are!
Safety first when it comes to drones, especially if drones are flown near airports, busy highways or cell towers!
How about near your home? Will flying drones impact your home security? Will flying drones enhance or hinder your home security?
New technology will enable drones to be part of your home security system – if not now, in the very near future!
In this article in Digital Trends we read about a new home security system that deploys a drone to patrol your property! Sounds like something out of a sci-fi book? Think again! The technology is here and soon most, if not all, security systems will have this capability. This article predicts
“The idea of a security camera that doesn’t fly will seem like the dark ages.”
That will be an amazing day…!
Sure, drones can interfere with your systems, that can happen, and it has happened. However, it’s not the main concern you should have about your home security system. If your Wifi system is password protected, drones should not be able to interfere with your home automation or security systems.
But there is a much larger security concern with drones…
Drones can pretty much fly wherever they are guided! That means the lines between private property and public land are not so clear anymore – from the air, there are no gates, fences or lines drawn in the sand…
Case in point (and we know – this was a helicopter, not a drone) are the fly-over pictures released on July 4 weekend of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
The point is; helicopters, and now drones, give private citizens access to private property and that means your neighbor could decide to fly a drone over your backyard to SPY on you…! Or worse; someone who is out to hurt you, your family or wants to burglarize your home, could use a drone to ‘scout’ the area before striking.
We feel that’s all pretty scary to think about!
So what can you do to protect yourself from drones?
The first step to preventing a crime is to be alert and aware. When you do notice a drone flying over your property, take notice. Find out where it is flying back to; who is flying the drone. Take a picture of the drone if you can, and notice the size, color and time of day it’s flying over.
The next step is to make sure all family members know your family emergency plan and go over and practice this plan at least twice per year.
Last but not least, activate your security system when you are home alone, and when you leave your home. It might be a good idea to have at least one of your outside cameras pointing up at the sky!
Whether you like drones, or not, they are coming to a neighborhood near you, very soon.
They are coming.
Whether you own a restaurant, a retail store, an accountancy or any other business, if you have employees and customers, you can lose inventory. Not all loss can be accounted for. Not all loss can be prevented. However, theft on a larger scale is mostly preventable and that’s what this article is all about!
According to Loss Prevention Media one sure way to limit your losses is to remove the opportunity for malicious loss
Individuals typically consider four questions before embarking on an act of theft.
First, what is the risk of being caught?
Second, how easy will it be to carry out the act?
Third, is the likely reward worthwhile?
Four, if I do get caught, what is the likely punishment?
Once we have a better understanding of how and why theft takes place, we can go about putting systems in place to prevent theft from happening.
I would think you’d agree with me that preventing theft is better than catching a thief in the act.
Therefore the first tips deal with prevention:
The next tips deal with catching a thief in the act of stealing (in case your ‘warning signs’ didn’t work)
Not all theft can be prevented.
Not all thieves can be caught.
However, having a clear plan in place on how to handle situations as they occur will help tremendously. Investing a bit of money into your business for a security system, surveillance cameras and loss prevention employees might in the end, save you money, and time and lots of headaches along the way.
We are sure you are excited, overwhelmed and scared all at the same time. There are so many things to do and take care of before you purchase a home, and then many more details after the contract goes through.
So how can we at Strand Security in Murrells Inlet be of help during this exciting time?
We’ve put together a list for new home owners just like you; a list of 5 quick and easy security tips you can implement right away. More security means less stress and better sleep and we all know that more sleep keeps you happy and healthy!
So really, this list will be something you can use to stay, happy, healthy, secure and safe!
No matter what the previous owner tells you (‘we only ever made 3 keys’ or ‘we didn’t give a key to anyone’) you can never be too sure. Don’t take the risk of some stranger still having access to your home; change the locks immediately. People who might have a key to your new home could be parents, adult or teenaged children, pet sitters, babysitters, neighbors, or friends of the previous owners.
When you go to your new home to take measurement, meet contractors, or move some things in, make it a point to meet your new neighbors. Stop by for a quick chat to introduce yourself. Eventually you might become friendly enough for them to have an emergency key for you. Neighbors are also a great resource for local contractors and services you need as they have experience with plumbers, electricians, roofers, HVAC personnel and yes, security companies.
Since you might be new in town, and most likely at least new in the neighborhood, make a list of emergency numbers and make a new family emergency plan. This list of phone numbers might include but is not limited to your HOA, the local police and fire stations, the schools your children will be attending, the cable and phone companies, the electric and water companies and more.
Technically, you should have done this before you purchased your home. You should know about break-ins, burglaries, robberies etc. Staying informed about what happens after you move in, is also a great way to stay safe. If there is a rash of car break-ins in your neighborhood, or mail is being stolen out of mailboxes, you’d want to know, right? Find out where and whom lists these crimes and adjust your security accordingly.
Not everything you read and not everyone you meet will be on the up and up about crime stats in your new neighborhood. Why take a risk? Talk to a reputable security company today and install a system with Hi Def cameras, remote access and more to keep your loved ones safe and your new home secure!
Security cameras seem to be everywhere.
Not just in homes and businesses, but on the streets, in public places, near our beaches, in hotels, on buses, trains and schools. It something we know yet don’t often think about. Even though ‘they seem to be everywhere’ they really aren’t! Much is still left to be done to keep everyone safe on the streets and in public places.
Crime happens and when security cameras record the crime, there is a much better chance of the criminals being caught and prosecuted then if there was no video evidence.
Security cameras help solve crimes.
If you are a home owner with a family, we know you want to keep your family safe. One way security cameras keep you safe is that security cameras serve as a deterrent to criminals.
Homes without security or alarm systems are up to 300% more likely to be broken into!
Add security cameras toy our home security system and those numbers go up even more! No criminal wants to be seen on camera committing a crime – so when they spot your cameras, they most likely will scram and go elsewhere. In the event a crime does happen, the video recording can help with finding and convicting the criminal(s).
85% of police officials surveyed believed that home monitoring systems help deter burglary attempts.
Want to know more? Read these 3 Strand Security articles on our blog!
Security cameras help prevent crimes.
The efficacy of public security cameras varies and is largely dependent upon how the surveillance system is set up and how it is monitored, and by whom. If there are many cameras around in one area and police responds quickly when crime happens, crime rates go down immediately. If the cameras are ignored, crime rates don’t change and the cameras do nothing to increase safety and security.
Public security cameras can help reduce crime and help public officials catch criminals.
🔴 Public security cameras account for reduced crime rate in public places.
This includes public parks, public transportation, train stations, highways, tollroads etc.
🔴 Public security cameras account for safer neighborhoods and reduced crime rates.
This includes stores, neighborhood parks and roads.
🔴 Public security cameras account for reduced automobile theft and transit crimes.
This includes parking lots, parking garages, trains, trams, subways etc.
This is one thing to remember; criminals do not like security cameras. They do not want to be caught on incriminating video. They will avoid the area, that neighborhood, that rain station, that business, that house if they know there are cameras around so it’s important to show and tell your cameras where appropriate!
🔴 If you are a business owner with a restaurant, there are some very specific challenges you deal with, least of all security and safety of your staff and location.
🔴 If you offer outdoor seating at your restaurant, that restaurant patio will come with its own security and safety issues (as you might already know if you own such a venture).
🔴 If you are new to owning a restaurant, or need to fix some ongoing safety and security issues, and are interested in adding a patio, read on!
Staff and customer safety should be most important, so let us start with potential restaurant patio safety concerns. Here are some safety concerns to consider.
If you allow smoking on your restaurant patio, be prepared for potential fire safety issues. You will need to provide portable ashtrays and have a fire safety plan in place for your employees and review this plan often, especially with newly hired help. Also, have a fire extinguisher on hand and its location clearly marked.
These heaters are great for extending your outdoor seating season. They are also a great attraction to (young) children yet they are so dangerous as they can burn someone so quickly! Review the location of each heater and make sure your staff is fully aware and trained to avoid hitting these hot heaters while serving your customers. Having a designated ‘heater patrol’ staff member for each shift will prevent accidents like accidental overheating or leaving these heaters on overnight.
Not all furniture that states it is ‘Indoor/Outdoor’ furniture is suited for outdoor use. Metal furniture can heat up in the sun and cause burns. The glare off of glass table tops can also burn customers, or if the glass breaks it can cause a big problem for your customers and staff alike. Cushions that aren’t water repellant or aren’t meant to use outside can produce mold and mildew and untreated wood furniture like picnic tables that aren’t finished, can cause splinters. Just be cautious as you pick the outdoor furniture for your patio and be diligent as to keeping it clean and functional.
Certain plants and trees are poisonous. Make sure to speak with a master gardener who is familiar with your local flora and can steer you towards the right plants, trees and shrubs to plant near and on your patio. Even common house plants can be poisonous and have poisonous leaves. It would only take a minute for a child, or a pet, to eat these and get sick.
As far as safety is concerned, allowing dogs on your outdoor seating area, your restaurant patio, can land you in a precarious situation. The most important thing to remember is to have a pet policy in place and train your staff to adhere to this policy, no matter what you decide – to allow or to disallow. If you do allow dogs on your outdoor seating area, have water dishes handy and even some dog-friendly treats on the menu. Be aware that trained service animals should never be denied access to your restaurant.
If you patio is near a road, or near water, make sure to have adequate fencing or any type of barrier in place, as well as clearly marked warning signs. Parents with small children should be made aware of the dangers of the traffic and/or water nearby as to keep a close eye on them.
Now that you understand some of the restaurant patio safety concerns, let’s look at the security issues.
The main security issue of an outdoor seating area or restaurant patio is theft. This can mean people leaving without paying, or theft of cash and furniture. A close second security issue is personal safety.
Here are some deterrents and equipment to help you keep your restaurant patio, and your outdoor staff, secure at all times.
Security cameras trained on your personnel can keep them safe from harm, but it can also help you keep your business secure as you can monitor your staff at the cash register, the bar, the kitchen etc. preventing mistakes and theft.
Security cameras on the patio can help monitor your outdoor area for theft and vandalism during off hours, when the restaurant is closed. Tie the cameras into your security system and you should be able to monitor this area in real time, for example using the Honeywell Total Connect™ app.
We have found that most outdoor seating areas do not have a point of sale area; those are mostly left inside for obvious security reasons. However, your staff does work outside and their safety and security is important enough that you should consider adding panic buttons in strategic areas (easy to reach, easy to disguise) on your patio in case of an assault, fight, theft, or robbery. Training your staff will be important for these panic buttons to be effective.
Lights add a layer of security – no criminal wants to be in the spotlight! We suggest you instal motion-sensitive floodlights on your patio to trigger when trespassers enter the private patio area during off hours.
Enjoy your summer – enjoy your outdoor seating, but above all, enjoy a thriving business without safety or security issues!
We do! We think you do as well.
We bet you read a lot about security then, to make sure you are up-to-date on all the latest and newest gadgets and features of your favorite brands.
We at Strand Security in the Myrtle Beach area care about your safety and security as it’s our business!
We realized years ago that knowledge is power, so we started a blog – this blog – to educate our customers, our local community and those who are interested in home security at large.
Can you believe this is article #85 on our Strand Security blog?! Slow and steady ‘wins’ the race – point in case; we are recently added to the Top 100 home security blogs & websites aka “The Best Home Security Blogs on the Planet”
If you want to check out the other 100 top security blogs, we are cool with that, of course. We do pride ourselves on providing our blog readers with the best security information, updates on the latest features and news about new gadgets and new products available to you, the customer.
We can’t let this opportunity go by without serving up our best and Top 5 Strand Security Articles!
These have been our most popular and well-read articles, enjoy and share.
“Planning for emergencies is not an easy thing to do, since, well… they happen when you least expect it! However, having a PLAN does help you ‘take control’ of the unexpected, as far as that’s possible.”
“While you are patiently waiting for the day to arrive that you can leave, burglars are also patiently waiting! They are waiting for homeowners like you to make simple mistakes that give them the opportunity to burglarize your home while you are away.
Did you know that over 2 million homes are broken into each year in the USA? Did you know that a large chunk of those home invasions happen during the summer months of June, July and August?”
“We love having these Sonos speakers in our office and our home. We always have great quality sounds whenever and wherever we want it. These speakers are also great if you have an outdoor kitchen or a pool, a restaurant or entertainment venue. They are easy to set up, easy to use and come with a great app. Of course, being able to stream Apple Music doesn’t hurt one bit!”
“I want to share with you my very personal story about an armed robbery, in hope of bringing awareness to the importance of security and self-defense. It has taken me almost six years to get to this point – being able to tell my story without breaking down. I know it’s time to share it with you though, so that even if only ONE person can learn enough to survive an armed attack, it’s all worth it.”
5) 5 Reasons Why Security Cameras Rock!
“We hear this question all the time. “Do I really need security cameras?” and “Is having my security alarm system not enough on its own?” The answer might surprise you. Having a security system is a huge deterrent to would-be thieves so yes, in theory, it’s all you’ll need. However, and of course there’s a however, security cameras add additional value to your system and once you understand what that value is, we guarantee you’ll want them!”
If you have questions about our services, a product or anything else pertaining to security and safety, please ask us!