Sell Homes Faster When You Do This

Sell Homes Faster When You Do This: Pre-wire for a security system, a home theater and add a central vacuum!

Three Things To Add To Your List When Building A House

When building new houses from the foundation up, there are many things to take into consideration. Things such as cabinets, paint colors, lighting, and flooring to name just a few. However, there are other items that are not so cosmetic that are also part of the process and very important. Electrical wiring and plumbing are two of these examples.  We all know that both electrical and plumbing systems have to be installed during the building process. May we suggest three things to add to your list that may help sell your house faster if they are pre-installed?

Wiring and cables for things such as home theaters, Central Vacuums, and security systems are much easier to install before the drywall goes up.  It is far cheaper and easier to install these during the building process rather than later. Can you imagine the cost of having a central vac added after the walls go up and everything is completed?

“It is a competitive Real Estate market; having extra features can help sell your homes much faster.”

Here are a few great reasons to consider having your new spec homes wired for a home theater, security system and having a central vac installed.

Sell homes faster when you do this

Home Security System

Why pre-install a Security System?

Both homeowners and builders should consider the statistics when it comes to protecting their families, and clients. Statistics paint an interesting picture as to how home security systems and alarm monitoring can affect crime rates and home burglaries. According to the FBI, there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes in the United States during 2014. A major deterrent to home burglaries is a home security system. With crime rates increasing in metro cities especially, now is the time to pre-install a security system.

According to a study done by University of North Carolina, when interviewing burglars, a security system is a deterrent.

  • “Within a broad set of potential target hardening deterrents, alarms and outdoor cameras and other surveillance equipment were considered by a majority of burglars.”
  • “About 60% of the burglars indicated that the presence of an alarm would cause them to seek an alternative target altogether. This was particularly true among the subset of burglars that were more likely to spend time deliberately and carefully planning a burglary.”
  • “Most burglars would try to determine if an alarm was present before attempting a burglary. Among those that determined that an alarm was present after initiating a burglary, about half would discontinue the attempt.”

Pre-wiring and installation by professionals during the building process assures that the security system will be in place the moment you move in. That means you can feel safe immediately upon moving in. For decades, home security systems have kept houses and their occupants safe and secure. 

 

Central Vacuum

Why have a central vacuum pre-installed?

Central Vacuums are very convenient! Are you sick of dragging a heavy and awkward canister vacuum around the house and even up the stairs?  Give your back a break and install a Central Vacuum. Another added bonus, the Central Vac canister only needs emptied about 2 to 3 times a year! They are also economical to install and will add value to the home.

“EPA estimates that indoor air may be up to five times more polluted than outdoor air.”

Pollen, dander, fur, dust and more remain in the canister vacuums and will escape back into the air. A central vacuum removes them all to the outside of the house, while only taking approximately 30 minutes.

Central Vacuum Cleaners are the best solution for healthier air!

 

Home Theater

Why pre-install a home theater?

If you greatly enjoy watching movies then it will likely be worth the investment for you. Experience being at a movie theater in the comfort of your own home! The surround sound alone will put you in the drivers seat of your favorite movie.  

You can upgrade your home with more than just granite countertops; a state of the art home theater system. By pre-wiring the whole house, you allow a new home owner to choose whether to add a home theater immediately or later, without having to reconstruct anything.

Investing in a security system, Central Vacuum, and home theater takes a great deal of research, knowledge, and confidence. That is why it is convenient to go ahead and get your systems pre-installed when your home is being built. Strand Security of Myrtle Beach can do all of your installations for you!

Remember that pre-installation is cost effective and will save a lot of work in the long run and it may just be the ticket to selling your homes faster!

To learn more  about how we can help you, give us a call today!

Contact Strand Security today

 

3 Ways To Know If Your Child Is Ready To Be Left Home Alone

Home Alone

Is your child asking for you to leave them home alone but you aren't sure if they are? Here are three ways to help you determine whether it is the right time, or not!

There comes a time when every parent questions if their child is ready to stay home alone. For some this is a sign of growth and independence in their child, for others it is a time they dread. Either way, it is bound to happen!

There is an ongoing debate on what age is appropriate for children to stay home alone. To make it easy for you, we’ll start with a simple answer; it is not a one size fits all!

The first way to know if your child is ready to be left home alone is to check your state laws! Several states in this country – The United States – have a minimum age requirement for children being lawfully allowed to stay home alone, while other states leave the decision to the parents by not providing a law or clear guidance. Click here to see your state law regarding age. It goes without saying, that all state laws should be followed.

The maturity and the safety of a child should be the main points taken into heavy consideration after checking your state law, before leaving them alone. Just because some state laws may say your child might be left home alone at the age of 10, some children that age may not be ready. Strand Security of Myrtle Beach wants you and your family to feel comfortable with this new stepping stone in your child’s life, therefore we are offering some ways to consider maturity and safety of the child and your home.

Home Alone: Is Your Child Mature Enough?

Before leaving your child home alone their maturity must be taken into consideration and thus this is the second way to know if your child is ready to be left home alone!

First of all, you will want to know how your child feels about being in the home alone. If they feel anxious then they probably are not ready. However, some children may feel excited and have a sense of pride about being alone at home.

There are several questions to ask before leaving a child…

Can the child lock and unlock all the doors, as well as the windows?

Can they use the telephone and operate appliances properly?

They must be able to read and write a message, give directions, and follow emergency procedures.

Do they know basic first-aid procedures?

Also consider how your child handles certain situations…

Is your child showing responsibility with following directions, homework, and chores?

Does your child panic or get anxious when things do not go as planned?

Do they follow rules and safety measures?

How does your child react to strangers?

 

Home Alone: Keeping Your Child Safe

It is important to take certain measures to assure the safety of any child left home alone and if you feel your home provides a safe place for your child to be alone this is the third way to know if your child is ready to be left home alone. The following suggestions will help protect your child.

  • Schedule times for parental contact throughout the alone time.
  • Discuss how the telephone should be answered and what information is ok to share and not share. (Never let a stranger know the child is home alone.)
  • Establish a code word in case you need to communicate to your child through a third party.
  • Discuss and determine who should be allowed in the house.
  • Rehearse possible situations your child might face. Rehearse what to do in case of a fire, power outage, tornado, security alarm set off etc.
  • Make a list of rules. Is it ok to play with neighborhood kids or play outside? Which activities are not allowed?

3 Ways To Check if Your Child Is Ready To be Left Home Alone

Home Alone: Prepare Activities And A To Do List

Prepare a list of fun activities and chores for the child to do. This will keep them active and will help pass the time.

  • Make a craft center.
  • Make a list of certain chores to be completed for each day.
  • Create a homework checklist.
  • Set ground rules for electronics and TV.
  • Create an appropriate snack list.

 

There are several factors to consider before making the decision to leave a child home alone. Discuss the factors with all family members and set consequences for breaking the rules.

Once you feel that you and your child are both ready for this next step, it is important to do a practice round for a short period of time where you go out an maybe run a quick nearby errand or visit with neighbors. If everything goes well, then you are all set. You and your child have now reached a new stepping stone in life.

Contact Strand Security today

 

 

 

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

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