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holiday home safety

Don’t Become a Victim of Holiday Package Thieves!

Myrtle Beach Home Secuirty - Do not become a victim of holiday package thieves

Have You Been Holiday Shopping From Your Couch?

It seems that no matter where you live; Myrtle Beach, Maryland or Massachusetts the delivery trucks know where to find you this time of year. I bet like us, you rely on UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Services to deliver the packages loaded with the gifts you shopped for online!

Are You Home When Those Packages Arrive?

If you leave for work early in the morning, these packages will be delivered to your home and left unattended on your doorstep until you come home.

There are TWO PROBLEMS with this.

First off, this alerts would-be-thieves that you aren’t home. Packages left on a doorstep signals to them that the house is empty – not just empty now, but empty aaaaaallllll day.

Second, packages left on doorsteps also signals to them that you have money to buy packages and that you are holidays shopping online. This might spike an interest in your home for ‘future reference’ meaning you might be put on a criminals’ home invasion hit list!

Keep Calm and Keep Shopping - Don't let Thieves steal your holiday packages!

Holiday Packages Get Stolen Right Off Of Doorsteps!

Watch how this happened to a family in St Louis County, Missouri and how savvy the 65 year old thief was! She was caught of course, because of the home security cameras installed in and outside this home, and police have this to say as a warming for others.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Police are cautioning: Tis the season.

“You just think ‘Two-day shipping, I’ll pick it up when we get home from work that night,’” said St. Louis County Police Sgt. Shawn McGuire. “This time of year is really known for this type of stuff. Criminals know that packages are being delivered to people’s houses for Christmas.”

You may expect all those packages to draw criminals, but maybe not a criminal like this one.

“The (surveillance) video shows an elderly woman, almost looks like someone’s grandma,” said the victim, who asked not to be identified. “She just bends down, grabs them like they’re hers, and walks away.”

The victim had three packages stolen from his front porch in Oakville late Wednesday afternoon, just before 5:00 p.m.

His home surveillance camera caught what he and his wife missed: the same black, H3 Hummer passing their driveway four times in less than five minutes. Two minutes after the Hummer’s last pass, the thief walked onto the porch and took the packages.

“If you see any suspicious vehicles following a UPS truck or FedEx truck or you see a car non-stop circling around a certain neighborhood or a street, going back and forth at a slow rate of speed like they’re checking out a house, please get that license plate and call us immediately,” McGuire said.

“No one would expect an elderly (person), whether or not it’s a disguise, it sure looks like it’s just an elderly woman to me,” the victim said. “I would love for people to know and be aware this does happen. You see it on the news and you don’t think it’s going to happen to you. I’m just thankful we were able to have cameras and get some evidence for the police.”

Police suggest having packages dropped at your back door or arrange to pick up them up at the Postal Service, UPS, or FedEx, and let trusted neighbors know when you have an important delivery coming.

Prevent Your Holiday Packages From Being Stolen!

Here is another – local Myrtle Beach – cover story by ABC News about packages being stolen and crime prevention.

WATCH THAT STORY HERE

Prevention tips:

“If you’re having a package that’s going to be shipped to you, one, make sure that you’re home if you’re able to. If you’re not, try to have it shipped to your place of work or, if possible, have someone that’s a close friend or relative accept that package for you so that it’s not sitting outside,” Crosby said.

FedEx and UPS allow customers to re-route or reschedule their packages, which can be a good option for some people, Lisa Bradford said.

Bradford owns JerriBob’s Mail Service, and she said about half of her customers ask about their packages’ safety.

She has some advice for everyone who shares the same concerns: “Require the signature, especially if there is anything of value. You want to make sure that somebody is home to sign for it. You can also do the scheduling of the delivery.”

The St Louis police also had several good suggestions:

Here are a few things you can do to prevent your holiday packages from disappearing

  • Ask to have them delivered to your back door
  • Arrange to pick up your packages at the delivery warehouse
  • Ask a neighbor to keep an eye out for them and put them inside their house, or yours.

We can add ONE MORE suggestion to this list

  • Install a security camera pointed at your front door and use the Honeywell Total Connect App to check in to see if your packages have been delivered. You can then ask your neighbor to put them inside, or drive home to do so yourself!

We Wish You Very Merry Christmas!

We wish you a happy, healthy, safe and secure Merry Christmas.

Contact Strand Security today

 

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How To Prevent Holiday Home Disasters

How To Prevent Holiday Home Disasters

Holiday Threats

Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year! Its a time to give thanks, a time to give, a time for family, a time for travel, and a time for smiles.

Unfortunately there are several threats that can happen over the holidays that can put a damper on your holiday partying. We do not want to be the doom and gloom for this holiday season, but Strand Security wants all of our Myrtle Beach, Grand Strand and Maryland families to be safe for the holidays.

That is why we have come up with four common mistakes that can be prevented in order to assure you and your family have the safest, most wonderful time of the year!

How To Prevent Holiday Home Disasters

Prevent Identity Theft

The amount of shopping done during the holiday season puts us at greater risk for identity theft. With technology, more shopping is being done online, as well as applying for new credit over the internet. This all leads to a greater exposure to identity theft.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers lost more than $1.6 billion to fraud in 2013.

5 Ways To Prevent Identity Theft

  1. Monitor your accounts. Make sure all charges add up to what you have spent.
  2. Use credit cards, not debit cards or checks. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, you are not liable for fraudulent purchases with a credit card.
  3. Stay secure when shopping online.
  4. Watch the point of sale. “Skimmers” are devices that can be used to steal information by placing them on a card reader.
  5. Check your credit card statements at the beginning of January.

Prevent Holiday Break-ins

The amount of break-ins rise during the holiday season as a result of peoples increased financial needs. Close to 400,000 burglaries occur in the United States during the holiday months. Motive for the rise in this rate may be a result of wanting to provide gifts and food for loved ones.

10 Ways To Protect Your House During The Holidays

  1. Display holiday gifts and valuables away from windows. Burglars are looking for gifts under the trees! Do not leave empty gift boxes on the curb for pickup.
  2. Keep some lights on (best to use timers or motion sensitive lights) to make it appear as if someone is home.
  3. Install a security system and advertise the fact that you have one.
  4. Install security cameras. If you are lucky, maybe you will get some footage of Santa and his reindeer.
  5. Leave the TV or stereo on while gone.
  6. Keep the garage door closed and locked.
  7. Add stoppers to the windows and deadbolt locks to the doors.
  8. Do not make it obvious if you are going to be traveling during the holidays. This includes not announcing your plans on social media!
  9. Do not allow for mail and newspapers to build up. Ask a neighbor to collet items that may buildup outside.
  10. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed.

***If you want a security system, but can’t afford one right now… apply here! We are giving away THREE security alarm systems in the month of December!

Prevent A Christmas Tree Fire

A Christmas tree can become fully engulfed in flames within seconds. “Christmas trees were the first items ignited in about 200 fires annually between 2010 and 2012, resulting in 10 deaths, 20 injuries, and about $17 million in property loss, according to the Safety Commission.”

Scary? Sure!
Here are

6 Ways to Prevent A Christmas Tree Fire

  1. Always turn off the lights on trees and other decorations when you are asleep or not at home.
  2. Remove all wrapping paper from fireplace areas.
  3. Water your tree daily.
  4. Never light candles within the vicinity of a tree.
  5. Never use any electrical source such as a electric heater next to a tee.
  6. When purchasing your tree, make sure it is not dry.

Prevent a Cooking Fire

Cooking is a big and enjoyable part of the holidays! Families come together from all over to join together for their traditional holiday feasts.

Not to make light of the situation, but if your cooking is anything like mine, you may want to pay close attention to this next tidbit.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires. Unattended cooking is the cause of almost 90 percent of kitchen fires. Every two and a half hours someone is killed in a home fire.

9 Ways to Prevent a Kitchen Fire

  1. Keep anything flammable such as pot holders, paper or plastic bags, or towels away from your stove top and oven.
  2. Prevent grease buildup by cleaning surfaces regularly.
  3. Never leave cooking food unattended.
  4. Stay in the kitchen when frying, broiling, or grilling.
  5.  Purchase a fire extinguisher and keep it in your kitchen.
  6. Always check to make sure all appliances are off before leaving the home or going to bed.
  7. Avoid wearing loose clothing that can dangle over the hot stove.
  8. Use a timer to remind you of when your dish is complete.
  9. Smoke alarms save lives! A smoke alarm should be installed in your kitchen, as well as on each level of your home and inside and outside of each bedroom.

 

A little advice can go a long way and Strand Security wants you to have the most enjoyable time of the year!

Don’t forget to nominate someone for our Security Alarm Give-Away here!

Contact Strand Security today

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