Knock, Knock! Do You Know Who is at Your Door?

Home Alone and a Stranger Knocks at Your Door?

Knock, knock! Do you know who is at your door? Don't let strangers into your home before knowing who they are and what they want!

Being home alone and hearing an unexpected knock at your door can be creepy. Let’s be honest here, it would rattle me a bit! More times than not, it is someone you do not have to worry about. However, it is always better to play it safe. Do not open your door blindly! Statistics show that many burglars break in through the front door.

That is why at Strand Security of Myrtle Beach we suggest ‘proceed with caution’ when a stranger knocks at your door. The following are guidelines to help you when you have an unexpected, or unwanted, knock at your door.

Home Alone? Here Are a Few Suggestions to Keep in Mind

 

Take a look at the Stranger.

Try to get a look at who is knocking on your door. You may need to find a window in the house that makes your front door visible or use the peephole if you have one. You must have a way to see who is at the front door without opening it!

Keep Your Phone on You.

Have your phone visibly on you for the knocker to see. If a situation should occur you will have easy access to call 911.

Call Out to Someone in the House.

Can someone get the door?” or  “I’ll get it

Maybe you are alone but the knocking stranger does not have to know that! Make it evident that there are others in the house with you. This can deter any planned unwanted activities.

Do Not Ignore Them.

Sometimes the first reaction is to just ignore a stranger’s knock all together. However, in doing so, you are silently announcing that your house is empty and now is a good time to break in. So, it is better to say something no matter the time of day. A majority of break-ins occur during the day when people are thought to be at work.

Request Their Identity.

If a utility worker knocks at your door, ask for them to prove their identity with the company they work for. You can always call the subject’s company to check if they have sent someone to your house.

Do Not Share Information.

If you open your door and a stranger is asking you personal information, do not answer it. They may ask what hours you work, if you will be home tomorrow or about family members at the house. Do not answer questions like these.  Also, if they get pushy tell them to leave and that you will call the police.

Strangers may take advantage of you by saying they are in trouble, hurt or in need of help. As much as we all would like to help our fellow citizens, it may be a better choice to let them know you are calling 911 and help is on the way.

Knock, Knock. Do oyu know who is at your door?

Home Alone? Take Extra Precaution by Installing the Following Devices

Install a Door Chain

The purpose of a door chain is to allow you to communicate with someone without opening the door all the way. These can be used in conjunction with other locks on your door. Be aware that a door chain can be compromised. 

Install a Peephole

If you have no way to visually see your knocker, you should install a peephole. If you have to open a door to get a look, this may make you vulnerable.

Install an Intercom Speaker 

Two way communication is inexpensive and adequate way to speak with someone at your door, without having to open the door.   You can mount the intercom at the outside of the front door.

Install a Security Camera

Having a security camera at the front door allows you to see your knocker without having to open the door. It also deters burglars when they see a camera. Attach a sign to your house that indicates surveillance for an added bonus.

Get a Dog

Answer the door with your guard dog by your side. Click on this link,  TOP 10 GUARD DOGS and take a look at every burglars worst nightmare.

Not everyone has bad intentions toward you and your home, but it is important to take precaution when you are home alone.

Your Security. Our Business!

Contact Strand Security today

 

 

 

When it Comes to Shoplifting, is Your Retail Store at Risk?

Protecting Assets in Your Retail Store

When it comes to shoplifting, is your retail store at risk?

Retail theft may have a severe impact on your business! According to The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention more than $35 million worth of product is stolen from retail stores everyday.  This number is astronomical.  That is why it is important to stay aware and be prepared to stop the theft from happening in the first place.  Here at Strand Security we want to make sure our local Myrtle Beach and Maryland businesses know what it takes to win this battle. The following statistics will hopefully open your eyes; we believe every retail owner would want to know everything we are about to share with you.  

 

Don’t be a Statistic, Protect Your Assets!

  • Over $13 billion worth of goods are stolen from retailers each year.
  • Approximately 27 million shoplifters are in our nation today.
  • Employees steal more than the customers.
  • Only 3 percent of shoplifters are professionals. Shoplifting is not usually planned out.
  • Shoplifting can account for about a third of inventory shrinkage.

 

Protect your Assets by Knowing the Profile of a Shoplifter

There is no actual physical profile of a typical shoplifter. They come in all ages and genders, sizes and shapes, and all ethnicities. Shoplifters steal for many different reasons; some steal out of necessity, some out of peer pressure, desire, and some because it may be a business transaction.  

Although you may not be able to pinpoint a shoplifter by their physical appearance, here are some traits and signs to look for in a potential shoplifter…

  • Appear nervous
  • Wanders the store without buying
  • Returns to the store repeatedly
  • Avoids eye contact
  • Constant watch over store employees

 

Once you understands the signs, you can now train your employee’s in general shoplifting prevention techniques.

Have your staff

  • Greet all customers.
  • Stay alert.
  • Ask lingering customers if they need help.  
  • Be aware of where shoplifting is most likely to occur in the store.

 

Protect Your Assets by Reducing Employee Theft

It is unfortunate that when we hire people we think we can trust, that trust gets broken. Employee theft plays a large role in retail loss.  The following ideas and solutions will help prevent or at least, reduce in house theft.

  • Make periodic unannounced visits to your retail store.
  • Spot-check inventory and cash registers.  
  • Use a POS system (inventory-tracking system) that tracks inventory automatically.
  • Train employees on theft prevention, both employee theft and shoplifting.  Let the employees know the company is prepared to detect either.
  • Encourage anonymous tips.

When it comes to shoplifting, is your retail store at risk?

Protect Your Assets and Prevent Shoplifting

  1. Hire Secret Shoppers that blend in with other shoppers.  
  2. Video surveillance cameras.  Place cameras at all entrances, cash registers, and throughout the store.  You can’t put cameras inside to the dressing rooms, but you can put them just outside.  If security systems are put in place, you will protect your investment, your employees, customers and your overall sense of well-being.
  3. Electronic Article Surveillance is a method that attaches special tags (security tags) to the merchandise.  If merchandise exists the store without being removed by a store associate, an alarm will sound.
  4. Maximize Visibility by using mirrors to eliminate any blind spots.  Also, use shorter cases to make sure merchandise is completely visible.  Keep your shop tidy and neat, so at one glance you can tell if something is missing or out of place.
  5. Limit access to display cases and dressing rooms by locking them.  This requires associates to be present when opened.
  6. Implement a bag check policy, which does not allow customers to bring bags into the dressing room area.  
  7. Create a shoplifting policy and post that policy publicly. Post signs with statements such as “SHOPLIFTERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”.

Don’t let shoplifting have a negative impact on your business!  

 

Keeping Your Teenage Driver Safe on the Roads

Are You Worried About Your Teen on the Road?

Teenage Drivers - DOn't let yours become a statistic! Use Vehicle Tracker from Honeywell Totla Connect to track your teenager!

‘Slow down, the music’s too loud, put your seatbelt on, watch the road, don’t even think about touching your phone, pay attention!’

The list can go on and on, right?

We all wonder if what we teach our children about driving is enough. Even if we do, will they follow through with everything we taught them? The statistics for teenage driving (and the danger it produces) are staggering in this country. Strand Security wants to make sure all of our teens in Myrtle Beach are safe while on the road.

Let’s take a look at statistics and figure out why you may choose to “track your teen and stay in the driver’s seat

Teenage Drivers Are Not the Best Drivers!

The leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States is motor vehicle crashes.

● 1 in 5 teenage drivers has an accident in their first year of driving.

● Over 74,000 young people die or are injured each year by not wearing seat belts.

● Two-thirds of teen passenger deaths are in vehicles driven by other teenagers.

● Over one-third of teen fatal crashes are speed related.

● A 16 year old is 20 times more likely to be killed in a crash than an adult.

Teenagers Are at High Risk For Accidents!

● The risk of a crash is higher with 16-19 year olds than any other age group. Drivers ages 16-19 are 3 times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20. This is because teens are more likely to underestimate dangerous situations

● Teens that drive with other teenagers in the vehicle and the presence of male passengers increases the risky behavior (go figure!)

● Those that do not wear seatbelts. Did you know that teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use over all other age groups?

● Drivers with inexperience

● New drivers allowed to drive at night; from 2012 statistics we know that 49% of teen fatal crashes occurred between midnight and 3 AM.

 

Keeping your teenage driver safe on the roads

Preventing Accidents in Teenage Driving

So how can we prevent accidents before they happen, and make our teens safer on the roads?

Seat Belts!
Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related deaths and injuries by about half.

Practice

  • Practice and discuss certain situations.
  • Practice in all weather conditions.
  • Practice nighttime driving
  • Prepare with proper supervision such as a parent.

Parents Play a Key Role in Preventing Teenage Accidents

  • Discuss all rules of driving and the consequences for not following them.
  • Establish a Teen-Parent Driving Contract that puts the rules in writing and sets expectations.
    Here is an example contract to help guide you…
  • Attend a drivers education program.
  • Share driving situations with other parents with teenagers. It takes only a second to share information and may save a life.

The above information is a useful tool to help start off with a new teen driver. However, at Strand Security we like to take it one step farther with Honeywell Total Connect™. This is a tracking service we provide that will allow you to “track your teens and stay in the driver’s seat”

  • Honeywell Total Connect™ allows you to know exactly where your teen’s car is, where it is going and how fast they are driving. It will assure you when they have arrived at their destination, where they have stopped and for how long.
  • You can receive texts or email alerts anytime and anywhere from any smart device. This allows you to know of any exceeded speed limits or predetermined geographic boundaries.
  • Locates missing vehicles in the event of car trouble and emergencies.
  • Ensures that teens are driving only where permitted.
  • You will have real-time GPS location information.

Honeywell Total Connect™ allows your teen to be on the go and you to know!
Connect with us, your local Honeywell Total Connect™ dealer and we’ll get your teenager on their way, safely!

Contact Strand Security today

Restaurant Security Systems – How To Protect Your Assets

Restaurant Security Systems

Restaurant Security Systems

We at Strand Security, as business owners, know first-hand that opening a business is no small feat. When you open a business, it is like gaining a new family member; you want to protect it and nurture it and watch it grow. Whether it is a security company like ours, or a restaurant; the concerns we have are very similar. We at Strand Security would like to share some industry-specific tips for security systems for restaurants, as many of our customers here in the Myrtle Beach area are restaurant owners. We know there is huge competition in the restaurant industry in Myrtle Beach. Therefore, protecting every aspect of the business is important.

Having a security system, including cameras helps prevent (or catch in the act)

● Employee theft

● Customer behavior

● Vandalism

● Burglaries

● Suspicious Activity

Restaurant Security Systems  - How To Protect Your Assets

Monitor Your Restaurant Staff

Running a restaurant is complicated!
You have staff including waiters, cooks, managers, bartenders and more.

How many staff members handle cash and credit cards? Every waiter and bartender are constantly handling your money, right?

Unfortunately, it is far too easy for money to be stolen in the restaurant business. Annual revenue loss due to employee theft can shut down a small business. That is why we highly recommend installing security cameras as a precautionary measure.

  1. We recommend a camera facing each cash register throughout the restaurant.
  2. Install cameras in the bar of your restaurant. Unfortunately, not every bartender goes by your restaurant rules. Whatever rules you’ve set for your bartenders; no to drinking during the shift and no to giving out free drinks to their favorite customers, with cameras you can monitor and then enforce your rules. Alcohol has a large markup and that is money out of your pocket if you aren’t aware of what’s going on.
  3. Cameras in the kitchen! Are you sure your cooks are living up to local regulations? Are they cleaning properly? Are they preparing food properly? The last thing any restaurant owner wants, is to be written up and publicly humiliated in the local paper for bad kitchen habits. That alone could destroy your business, never mind being shut down by the health department. Cameras will help enforce regulations.

Hopefully, you do not need to use the security cameras to catch your employees in acts of defiance. But when it comes down to it, it is better to be safe than sorry. You will also have proof which will help you should you need to fire someone. One more benefit; when people know they are being watched, they are less likely to act on impulses.

Monitor Your Customers

Just like you need to monitor your staff, you will also want to monitor your serving area and your customers.

  • We recommend installing cameras in the bar area! Cameras may help resolve a dispute with an unruly customer, whether they had one too many drinks, or get in a fight. Having cameras in the bar area will definitely help to protect your bartender.
  • Cameras throughout the dining area will help you monitor wait staff and customer alike. How often do people dine and dash (leave without paying) or steal tips left on the table? You will know exactly how often, if you have cameras. You know how they say the customer is always right; a security camera may be your only way to prove they are wrong!

 

Parking Lot Security

Who knows what is lurking outside after the lights are turned off and the doors are locked, right? Parking lots are scary places.

You and your closing staff will feel more secure knowing there are cameras at every angle on the outside of your restaurant, as well as an alarm system.

Monitor from Afar

Did you know you can watch your employees and customers from the comfort of your home if you have Honeywell Total Connect™? You can monitor your business, your employees and your customers on your favorite device, wherever you are.

Go home, take a break!

If security systems are put in place, you will protect your investment, your employees, customers and your overall sense of well-being.

Contact Strand Security today

Keeping You and Your Home Safe From Burglars; What You Need To Know!

Home Sweet Home! Keeping your and your home safe from burglars; what you need to know!

Home Sweet Home, Except When a Burglar Wants What You Have!

Have you ever had the hair on the back your neck stand up? Ever have that instant feeling you know something is wrong?

This is a common occurrence when people come home to find a door or window broken in. Then they notice missing items from around the house. Then they quickly exit the house hoping whoever was there is now gone.

What’s missing?  Family heirlooms, great grandmother’s diamond ring, or even a child’s piggy bank.

Result: The family feels violated and angry.

Could there have been a way to prevent a burglar from breaking in? We at Strand Security want to make sure you are safe here in Myrtle Beach.

To do this, it is important to get into the mind of a burglar.

What do burglars look for when casing a house?

First off, they will not be walking around in a ski mask. They will most likely be scoping out your house dressed as a utility worker (cable or electric repair). Door to door salesmen can easily get an idea of the inside of your house when you answer the door for them. Or perhaps they will just post a flyer, while they look for a burglar alarm.

When burglars are looking for the right house to burglarize, they look for privacy fences and trees or shrubbery. These fences and the vegetation may prevent neighbors from seeing what is about to happen.

Speaking of vegetation, if your yard is not manicured that may mean you are not around very much.

Jewelry is a hot ticket item. Knowing an adult female is living in the house is an added bonus because there is more than likely jewels to be taken.

Dogs, they always look for dogs. Big or small, their barks can give a lot of warning.

How do burglars break in once they’ve decided on their target?

First they will ring the doorbell to make sure no one is home, making up a bogus story if someone answers.

Next they will check all doors and windows to see if they are unlocked. If they are locked, they will check if an extra key has been hidden around the perimeter of the house.

If it comes down to it, they will break a window or use a handy-dandy crowbar to get in.

A burglar spends an average of 8 minutes in a house.

What do burglars want from your house?

  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Money
  • Prescription drugs
  • Guns
  • Tools
  • Bikes
  • Clothes
  • Furniture

any or all of the above!

Do you have these items in your home?

Keeping you and your home safe from burglars; what you need to know!

10 Simple Ways to Prevent Burglaries or Deter a Potential Burglar

  1. Install a security system and advertise the fact. Put stickers on the windows and a sign out front. Make sure the system is always activated!
  2. Install security cameras.
  3. Consider adopting a dog and/or post ‘beware of dog’ signs around the house.
  4. Install motion-sensitive lights.
  5. Add stoppers to the windows and deadbolt locks to the doors.
  6. Leave the TV or stereo on while gone.
  7. Do not announce new big ticket items purchased by leaving boxes on the curb.
  8. Keep the garage door closed and locked.
  9. Do not allow for mail and newspapers to build up.
  10. Keep vegetation under control.

What the FBI has to say about burglaries!

(using 2010 data, the most recent data available)

  • There were an estimated 2,159,878 burglaries in the United States.
  • Burglaries increased 2.0 percent compared to the 2001 estimate.
  • Burglary accounted for 23.8 percent of the estimated number of property crimes committed.
  • Of all burglaries, 60.5 percent involved forcible entry, 33.2 percent were unlawful entries
  • Victims of burglary offenses suffered an estimated $4.6 billion in lost property.
  • Burglaries of residential properties accounted for 73.9 percent of all burglary offenses.

If you do not have a security system yet, we strongly urge you to get it taken care of today! Start here.

Contact Strand Security today

 

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