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New Resident? What You Need To Know About Crime on the Grand Strand

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!

Are You Planning to Move to the Grand Strand?

If you are still in the planning phase of moving to the Myrtle Beach area, may we suggest you read up on several topics.

Read about

  1. Housing market
  2. Healthcare facilities
  3. Population Growth
  4. Crime Rates

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.

Rapid Growth Along the Grand Strand Brings Challenges

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.

How To Keep Your Neighborhood Safe

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.

Crime Happens. Be Prepared!

Cri

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!

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

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The Best Time of Year to Adjust Your Thermostat is Now

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!

Why Should You Adjust Your Thermostat?

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

  1. What your overall usage is (electric or propane – to cool and heat your home)
  2. Your monthly spent
  3. Who is always cold or warm in the house?
  4. Who in your household adjusts the thermostat most, and when?

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!

 Whom to Adjust the Thermostat in Your Home 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!

  1. Stay-at-home-parent or work-from-home adult. The person who spends the MOST time at home should be considered.
  2. Infants and small children. If there are infants or kids in the home, what helps them regulate their temperature? Are they always complaining that they are hot or cold? Do they feel hot or cold after a nap? Are they asking for extra blankets or jackets?
  3. Older Adults. An elderly person might be cold in the winter due to bad circulation and get overheated due to their age in the summer.
  4. Obese family member. An overweight person in your household might also want to control the thermostat. It’s important they have a say in regulating the temperature in your home.
  5. Anyone with a chronic disease. If there is someone in your household who is taking medication for a chronic disease, please adjust your thermostat according to their needs.
  6. Pets. Pets can get overheated if the air conditioner is not adjusted for them. If you are not home, but your pet is home all day, make sure you know your pet is comfortable.

Keeping an eye on those at home in-real-time, with security cameras is a great way to assure the temperature is set right!

Things to Avoid When Adjusting the Thermostat in Your Home

Here are some things you should not do when it comes to adjusting your thermostat.

  • Ignore a broken thermostat
  • Ignore a broken heating and cooling system
  • Let guests fiddle with your thermostat
  • Set it too cold or too hot for the season just to try save a few dollars
  • Fail to adjust your thermostat when you go on vacation
  • Forget to adjust the thermostat for the next season
  • Never look at your utility bill
  • Ignore a higher-than-usual utility bill
  • Fail to service your heating and cooling system
  • Fail to change out filters to your system
  • Open windows and doors when the system is running

Automate To Dominate Your Home Thermostat Settings!

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!

Adjust Your Thermostat Now

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.

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

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How To Talk To Your Child About Online and In-Person Stranger Danger

online and in-person stranger danger

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.

How To Talk To Your Child About Online and In-Person Stranger Danger

Let’s start with the beginning.

Ask the School What They are Teaching and When

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.

Be Clear, Honest to the Point

Don’t go into too many details when talking about difficult subject. Be clear, honest and get to the point quickly.

Use Easy to Understand Words

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.

via GIPHY

Encourage The Kids To Ask Questions

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!

Make It an Ongoing Conversation

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 Examples of What Can Go 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.

Talk Not Just About What to Do, But Also About What NOT to Do

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.

Be in the Non-Judgement Zone

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!

Keep Your Door Open For Follow up Questions

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 heather@strandsecurity.com for details, and check out Myrtle Beach Self Defense today!

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

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After-School Home Safety Tips To Keep Families Safe and Protected

after school safety tips for families

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!

The Ride (or Walk) Home

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!

Kids Home Alone

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!

Babysitters, Tutors and Neighbors, Oh My!

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!

Hiring a babysitter should not stress you out , instead focus on creating a back-to-school family safety plan!

Strangers at the Door!

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.

Cyber Safety at Home

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!

Cyber safety and security should take an important, prominent place in your back-to-school family safety plan.

Set rules, boundaries and check in often!

House Rules

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.

Safety rules about pool usage, opening doors for strangers or or operating dangerous tools are all important enough to warrant a frequent reminder!

Your house, your rules, and that includes rules for friends and rules for pets, too!

After-School Activities!

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!
Call Chuck at Strand Security with all your Security questions in Myrtle Beach! 843-318-6392

 

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Why Your Family Needs a Back-To-School Family Safety Plan

back to school family safety plan

 

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!

Back-to-School Means New Routines

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!

Back-to-School Brings New Friends

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!

Back-to-School and After-School Activities

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!

Back-to-School During Hurricane Season

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!

Planning Ahead Gives You Security and Safety for the Near Future

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!

Call Strand Security in Myrtle Beach at 843-318-6392

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