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When planning to move to a new state, city or neighborhood, it usually pays to read up on local news, local crime and local events to get an idea on what’s happening! You want to be prepared for anything and everything, right?
The population growth in the Myrtle Beach area aka The Grand Strand shows no sign of slowing down: we have welcomed a lot of new residents in the last 18 months and there is no sign that things are slowing down anytime soon.
The housing market along the beach is competitive, houses are built left, right and everywhere in between and frankly, the roadways are busier than we’ve even seen them before!
If you are planning to move to the Grand Strand in the near future, or if you’ve just arrived, keep reading!
If you are still in the planning phase of moving to the Myrtle Beach area, may we suggest you read up on several topics.
If you’ve arrived on the Grand Strand and getting your bearings, you already know and might have experienced some of the challenges that come with a growing community like ours.
Congested roads, overcrowded school, a competitive housing market driving prices up, up and up and increased crime are all part of this growing community along South Carolina’s beautiful shoreline.
It’s simple math:
More houses are being bought and sold, the population is growing steadily, Horry and Georgetown Counties are building more schools, roads and hospitals – and with all these new people moving in, crime rates are going… UP!
The Myrtle Beach area has been a draw for those criminals who want to hide for years and years. As millions and millions of tourists pour into the Grand Strand each year, hiding out is an easy thing to accomplish! The transient community that is Myrtle Beach is a perfect place for petty criminals, human traffickers, thieves and convicted felons.
In this 2021 article, we read
According to the FBI’s latest US Crime Report, Myrtle Beach, SC is now officially the 3rd most dangerous city in the United States.
The best way to keep your neighborhood safe is to communicate and take preventative action. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood, it’s important to understand the risks you run by not protecting your home.
Here is the best way to keep your neighborhood safe: communicate with law enforcement officers and with neighbors. Then take action!
Did you know that most people purchase a home security system AFTER they are the victim of a crime? Why wait? Why go through this trauma, this anxiety, if it can be prevented? The same is true for your neighborhood! Why wait until cars are broken into, or vandals destroy property?
We suggest a neighborhood watch program as described here.
The last thing we want to mention is… that crime happens.
You can’t prevent crime, but by being prepared, you can prevent the severity of the crime – and reduce the time it takes for law enforcement officers to come to the crime scene, increasing the chance the criminals are caught!
Our clients homes are monitored by COPS Monitoring and have been for the past 10+ years!
Winter, Spring Summer or Fall…🎶
Who doesn’t know this James Taylor song? It does not matter what season it is, adjusting your thermostat at least 4 x per year, to work with the season, is always a great idea.
Therefore, the best time to adjust your thermostat is… now!
As seasons change, so does the barometric pressure, average temperatures and humidity levels. Weather changes rapidly and seasonally. Even in South Carolina where the weather seems to always sway between warm, hot and super hot, it is important to adjust your thermostat according to the seasons.
Before you do, grab your utility bill!
You will want to know
Did you know that setting your thermostat at 1 or 2 degrees higher (in summer) and lower (in winter) can lower your overall utility cost? It’s important to understand what you are paying for!
It might seem obvious, but here is a good guide to understanding who should adjust your thermostat, or to whom to look to adjust your thermostat. It is usually someone who spends a lot of time at home, or someone who is frail, old or sick!
Keeping an eye on those at home in-real-time, with security cameras is a great way to assure the temperature is set right!
Here are some things you should not do when it comes to adjusting your thermostat.
The BEST way to keep as many people in your household comfortable AND at the same time be energy efficient it to let smart technology help you out! Strand Security works with brands like URC and Honeywell who can take a lot of the guesswork out of this task. Use thermostat automation to dominate your home thermostat!
If you can’t remember the last time you checked your thermostat, do it today. Have a family meeting and involve everyone. Ask them how they feel and if they are ever hot or cold.
If your family can’t agree on a temperature that is ‘just right’ consider adding ceiling fans to bedrooms to cool off someone who is often hot, and buying robes and winter slippers for someone who is frequently cold!
Simple changes like that might make a big difference in the comfort you get at home.
While we as parents should be talking with our kids often about stranger-danger, it’s a subject that is often overlooked or dismissed as scary or as a difficult conversation to have.
Many parents rely on the school system to help educate their kids about imminent danger, both online and offline. Professionals encourage parents to keep the lines of communication open and talk with their children often about the dangers of befriending new people in-person and online.
This article provides tips on how to get this most important conversation started. Don’t stop there. Make it a topic of conversation often. Don’t think kids will know it all the first time the subject of stranger danger comes up.
Let’s start with the beginning.
Know what the schools are teaching your child about sex, human trafficking, cyber security, human trafficking, abuse, self defense and more. Be aware what they are teaching, at what age, and what might be missing from this line up.
If you know your child has sex ed for a semester, lean in on that and have your own talk with your child. If the school is offering a self-defense class during PE, aks your child to demonstrate some moves and ask them when they should use self defense. Build upon what your child already knows about stranger danger and online danger to star the conversation.
Don’t go into too many details when talking about difficult subject. Be clear, honest and get to the point quickly.
At the same time, use easy to understand words and a vocabulary that matches their age. Don’t use hard to understand words unless you are willing to repeat yourself over and over. Explain things in simple ways.
Take time to listen: Once you’ve explained something about stranger-danger or cyber security, stop to listen. Ask the kids if they have any questions!
Talking about stranger danger and online predators is not a one-and-done conversation! Use news stories are a catalyst to bring it back up and to continue the conversation. Let your children read news stories that talk about cyber security, human trafficking, especially if the cases are about kids meeting strangers online. Talk about what went wrong.
Use real life examples to talk to kids about what can go wrong. Being abducted, opening the door for strangers, meeting someone online who is not who they say they are. Trusting strangers. Don’t ever lay the blame with the kids: always make sure your child knows to come to you with concerns for themselves or a friend.
It’s easy to say “do this, do that”, but be sure to emphasize what NOT to do! Especially if you talk about using technology to keep kids safe: talk about using security cameras, an alarm system and the importance of phone tracking and being in touch with family members at all times.
No matter what stories you read online about kids being kidnaped, hurt or deceived, don’t judge them in front of your child. Your child needs to know they can come to you even if they’ve made a mistake!
Last but not least – always, always, always keep your door open for follow up questions! Kids are curious and might need clarification. Stranger danger and the danger online predators pose won’t disappear just because you’ve mentioned them to your child. As your child grows into their teenage years, continue education them about these topics.
Arm your child with knowledge, confidence and self-defense tactics!
Heather of Strand Security teaches self-defense classes to kids, teens and adults on the Grand Strand. Email email@example.com for details, and check out Myrtle Beach Self Defense today!
Kids are going back to school and that means parents who work outside of the home, will have help with caring for their kids after-school.
Whether it’s a babysitter, family member, neighbor or whether your child teenager is old enough to come home to an empty house, it’s important to go voer home safety rules every so often. Take the month of August to reevaluate your family safety plan.
Being aware of potential danger is the first stop to preventing harm!
School bus safety and rules come from the school district. Take the time to go over the school bus rules with your child so that they know what to expect. It is important to tell your child(ren) to let you know that the ride to and from school isn’t safe any longer for a variety of reasons (bullying, unsafe driver, unruly students, heat or cold)
If you child walks home alone, or with a group of friends, make sure you have a system set up to check on them each day right after they arrive home. Go over the rules (no lingering, don’t bring friends home) so that you both know what to expect!
When is your child ready to stay home alone after school? It depends on each child as well as the area you live in, technology you currently have installed in your home, the maturity level of the child and the state you live in (law)
Read more about how to know your child is safe to stay home alone after school.
If you think your child might be ready to be home alone without a babysitter or after-school care, read this!
If you do need to give a babysitter, tutor or neighbor access to your home, it’s important to have a security system installed with a mobile app so that you can have a visual of what’s going on at home!
Tips about how to handle a stranger at the door, from a previous article here on the Strand Security Blog. We suggest you share the following with your teenager who might be home alone!
1 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!
2 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.
3 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.
4 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.
5 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.
6 Do Not Share Information.
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.
Technology can help in this situation! Read more about which devices can help here.
THIS is the time to talk to your kids and teenagers about online safety: cyber security! Not when they start to act strange, not when they are upset, scared or sad. Talk to them before leaving them home alone for extended periods of time!
Set rules, boundaries and check in often!
Last but not least… house rules are house rules whether you are home as a parent, or not! Make sure you instill a sense of responsibility in your child or teenager, to build mutual trust. Respect goes both ways. Always be sure to tell the kids you’ll be checking the cameras remotely if they are home alone. They need to know you can see them or talk with them.
Your house, your rules, and that includes rules for friends and rules for pets, too!
We wish you, your family, your kids a fantastic 2021-2022 school year. We are here to help you navigate it all. If you need smarthome solutions to keep your family safe, need (additional) security cameras, or a panic button for your employees or elderly parents, we can help you with all of that!
If you are thinking a home theater would be great to have at home, we can help with the design, installation and servicing for that as well! Just give us a call!
School is back! Schools in the Myrtle Beach area go back on August 17!
Those big yellow school buses will be rolling back out of storage where most of them have been all summer, and the roads will be filled with not just these buses, but also with many young, new drivers!
Road safety and school bus safety is just one piece of the larger puzzle of keeping your kids safe and secure as school starts back up!
What does it take to keep your kids, your family safe as they go back to school?
Planning! This article will give you guidelines for putting together a back-to-school family safety plan!
The first thing to remember is that going back to school means new routines.
Maybe your child’s mode of transportation has changed, s/he is attending a new school, has a new carpool or babysitter, or maybe you moved and have a completely new routine to establish.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important to write down new routines and make sure everyone in the family is on the same page! That means going over the new transportation plan as a family – during a family meeting, and making a backup plan for when things change!
Next, going back to school will bring new friends. That’s an exciting part of growing up: creating new friendships with classmates. This is also the time to keep repeating conversations about what to expect when visiting friends’ home. Talk about gun ownership, bullying, and other things that might happen. If you child is too young for a cell phone, make sure s/he knows your phone number, and be sure to meet the parents and be straight about what you expect. “If you go on the boat, I expect my child to wear a lifejacket at all times.” Your child should know these same ‘rules’ and be expected to adhere to them.
At the same time, when your child brings a new friend to your home, you as a family need to include that person in your family safety plan. Explain the pool safety rules, riding bikes rules etc. Don’t expect your child’s friends to stick to your rules: most likely you will have to reinforce them over and over until they’ve visited a few times. Your responsibility for your child’s new friend includes riding in your car, water safety etc.
This is a family matter – keeping friends safe at your home – so adding it to your family safety plan is important!
We also know from personal experience, that as your children grow, new after-school activities are added to their calendars. That means new buildings, new sports complexes, new car pools, new coaches and teammates. You certainly will want to add all this information and expectations toy our family safety plan!
Know who will pick up, drop off, how to reach the new coaches, new tutors, new babysitter!
Last but not least, back-to-school in South Carolina means going back to school during an active hurricane season! Your family safety plan needs to include reference to your hurricane prep plan! Be aware of supplies you might need to purchase now, a generator that might need to be serviced and links to your school districts email and social media platforms as you need to keep an ear out for important hurricane related announcements!
Failing to create a plan, is planning to fail!
Writing down a plan gives you peace of mind and less stress as you navigate the new school year ahead! With as many chances as we’ve seen in the last 18 months, it’s fair to assume more changes and adjustments are on the horizon! Planning and anticipating what’s next can help you alleviate stress and worries. Being prepared for whatever comes at you will accomplish many goals, one is staying safe and secure at home!
Stay safe and secure this fall, and give us a call if we can help you accomplish this in any way!
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is
a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels.
CO is found in fumes produced by furnaces, kerosene heaters, vehicles “warmed up” in garages, stoves, lanterns, and gas ranges, portable generators, or by burning charcoal and wood. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned and can die from breathing CO.
How deadly is Carbon Monoxide?
Every year, at least 430 people die in the U.S. from accidental CO poisoning. Most of these accidents happen in the home.
Approximately 50,000 people in the U.S. visit the emergency department each year due to accidental CO poisoning. it is important to know the signs and symptoms of CO Poisoning as to prevent a deadly outcome!
As CO gas is colorless and odorless, it’s hard to detect without technology!
Here are the general signs and symptoms of CO poisoning per the Mayo Clinic:
If you suspect that you or a family member have nee exposed to this deadly gas, don’t wait. Call 911 immediately and get help!
Let’s look at places in and near your home for potential hazards.
If you are like a lot of South Carolinians, you might have a camping stove among your hurricane supplies. Do NOT use this type of stove inside your home!
Watch this video on how to prevent CO poisoning when using a generator during the hurricane season!
Another potential cause of CO poisoning is charcoal when used inside a home, a garage, or even a vehicle, or tent. Do NOT use charcoal anywhere but outside in a well-ventilated area!
Do NOT leave your car running indoors! If you have an (attached) garage, do not run the engine, even with the garage door open. ONly ever leave your car running outdoors.
Any gas appliances such as ranges, ovens, or clothes dryers to heat your home can emit Carbon Monoxide. As a reminder, this gas is odorless and colorless.
Do NOT use unvented fuel-burning appliances in any room where people are sleeping. If they were to malfunction, anyone in the room could be overcome by the deadly gas and never wake up.
Be sure to get your chimney swept each year before using your fireplace, and to not black vents or chimney. CO can build up quickly.
Here is the good news.
CO poisoning is entirely preventable
Prevention + Detection make CO poisoning totally preventable. Carbon Monoxide Detectors are your back up for when an indoor system (like a dryer, oven or stove) fails.
System Sensor carbon monoxide (CO) detectors provide the highest level of CO protection available. Our system-connected devices enable 24/7 central station monitoring that ensures occupants or building management will be alerted if the detector goes into alarm, is disabled, or has reached its six-year end-of-life and needs to be replaced. Furthermore, this system monitoring provides an extra level of protection in cases when occupants are unable to respond to the alarm.
We recommend your Co Detectors be hard-wired into your existing home security system. Give us a call today and we can make that happen ASAP.
It’s time to make a plan!
No one wants their family to get hurt or worse, and therefore it is imperative you have a family meeting to talk about safety rules as they pertain to all things fire!
In a previous article we touched on Summer Water Safety Tips and we believe this article is JUST as important.
Ready? Let’s review how you can keep your family safe from fire this summer!
You and your children should sit down and create a written fire safety plan. Need to know what that looks like? Start here.
Next up, be really prepared by not just purchasing several fire extinguishers for your home, but learning where and how to store them, as well as learn how to use them!
Fire is oh so tempting.
Summer is a great time for families to relax and to spend more time outdoors. What’s more fun than making an open fire for roasting marshmallows or hotdogs. Kids love this activity.
Be sure to assign at least one adult to supervise the fire and the children at all times!
When grilling outdoors, it’s easy to forget something and think about running back inside to the kitchen to get the forgotten item.
Instead of running back inside and leaving the hot grill unattended, use your phone to call or text a family member to bring you more oil, spices, meat or veggies! Safety first!
Before starting a fire to burn garbage or firewood, always check with the local fire department or county to see if a fire ban is in place. Summers are hot and dry in the South. One spark can easily set off a huge forest fire. Don’t be that person. Always call, check and adhere to local fire guidelines.
While the 4th of July just passed, we aren’t out of the woods as far as fireworks. In many states, fireworks are illegal so that means when tourists visit the beach, they are tempted to buy and set off fireworks!
Last but not least, this is last fire hazard can be so deceiving yet is so dangerous!
Let us know if we can help you with any of your home or commercial security needs this summer.
The crime rate in Myrtle Beach, the Grand Strand, Horry County and Georgetown County is high. Business owners on the Grand Strand and in the Myrtle Beach area need to stay vigilant to keep their staff and customers safe from harm.
Crime on businesses include
During some of these incidents, the safety of staff and customers was in jeopardy.
What is a business owner to do?
We have 3 tips to share with you today. Tips that will simultaneously deter criminals and will give your staff and customers peace of mind.
First, let’s go over some basic parking lot safety tips for those who park their cars.
The first and best tip we have for you to keep your staff as well as your customers safe it to hire a security company to install a complete commercial security system.
A professionally installed system will allow you to keep tabs on inventory, customers and staff as they work for you.
Having video recording of a possible crime will help speed up the stolen product recovery process. Cameras as well as security signs with a “monitored by XYZ Security Company” help to deter criminals from even approaching your business!
Not all security systems include lighting: we highly recommend installing security light systems in your parking lot. Some of the lights should include sensor flood lights that are activated as criminals approach the building.
Other lights should provide ample light for customers and staff to feel safe enough to walk to their car in the dark.
Last but not least, we give you one more tip to keep your staff and customers safe in the parking lot.
Organize a self-defense class for your staff. This can be a powerful way to make your staff feel more secure, more confident and more self-assured when working late at night or alone. Self-defense classes are a great team building activity!
Many of our customers come to us as victims of crime. We are always so sorry to hear about their ordeal and their trauma. Some, not all, crime is preventable. Putting safeguards in place before a crime takes place can prevent a lot of heartache, headaches and trauma, and we aren’t even talking money yet!
Please contact us today and we’ll get your staff and customers the best protection we can offer!
When I grew up, I only went to the beach a few times each summer and the pool I swam in was a community pools at the local rec center. I remember learning how to swim, getting a certificate and always looking for the lifeguard for guidance on when to swim and when to get out of the pool or the ocean.
While lifeguards still man the public pools and public beaches, there are a lot of private pools, beaches and other bodies of water that pose a danger to our children.
In the Myrtle Beach area, we have not only the atlantic ocean, but also the Intercoastal Waterway, rivers and private community pools, almost none pay a lifeguard to be on duty!
Kids want to play with friends, we visit friends on weekends, maybe we go to a hotel for the weekend to relax and guess what, the hotel has a pool too!
Today, we will be taking a closer look at water safety and kids, as South Carolina families spend a lot of time in, on and near water in the summer!
From the CDC website we learn:
drownings are a leading cause of injury death for young children ages 1 to 14, and three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children 1-4 than anything else except birth defects.
They go on to state:
thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from drowning.
FACT: No one is drown-proof, and drowning doesn’t discriminate.
FACT: Drowning is fast and silent. It can happen in as little as 20-60 seconds. Drowning doesn’t always look like we would expect.
Would you like to know what you can do to prevent drowning? Let’s learn together!
If you own a pool, set some ground rules. Rules about who can come over, when they can swim, and when it’s not ok to swim. Have a conversation with your own child(ren) and teenager and make sure that kids who come over, with or without a parent, also know your pool rules.
For adults visiting, consider creating a sign with pool rules and placing it on the pool deck, as a reminder of the importance of pool safety!
While technology can help prevent disaster around bodies of water, technology cannot replace adult supervision!
Technology that can help keep kids safe includes:
Small children can drown in a large bucket (and they are top heavy). Kids have drowned in hot tubs, bathtubs, pools, waterparks, rivers, lakes, oceans and more!
No matter where you go, keep an eye on your kids at all times when you are near water.
Have a fun and safe summer!
The 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 until November 30, 2021. NOAA predicts this will be yet another active hurricane season.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”
As we are coming out of a Pandemic, life as we knew it is no more. Many of us are now working from home, requiring internet access to work. this means that while you may want to “ride out a hurricane at home” as you’ve done previously, this time around you will need to evacuate in order to work because of that needed access to electricity and Wifi!
NOTE: renting a car is nearly impossible these day – to find one available, or to find one that’s affordable. This is a result of a global chip shortage that has disrupted auto production.
We found this article by consumer reports to be helpful in finding ways to rent a car, but in case of a hurricane headed your way, you will NEED to have secured transportation before hand!
While cars are hard to find (to rent OR buy) there is a shortage of other supplies as well, leading to soaring prices. Wood is another hot commodity that’s become up to 3x the price.
If you do not have hurricane shutters, or leftover plywood from previous hurricane prep, NOW is the time to get that wood! While it’s expensive now, it will be more expensive and nearly impossible to find once a hurricane approaches the Grand Strand.
Want to keep an eye on you home, your cars, your business, your boat?
Smarthome technology will let you keep an eye in-real-time on what you leave behind when you evacuate. Get your loved ones out of the way of a hurricane and keep yourself abreast of what’s going on at home!
Start here (FREE DOWNLOAD)
No matter what you decide: evacuate or stay, you have to have a detailed plan.
A failure to plan is a plan to fail!
Don’t get caught without a hurricane prep plan.
To stay up-to-date on all thing Atlantic Hurricane Season & Grand Strand Hurricane prep, join our Facebook Group today!
We are here to help you if you need guidance.