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If you aren’t sure what to answer, maybe it’s time for a home audit!
An audit is an official inspection.
To conduct a home audit for security and safety means conducting a thorough check up on the overall security and safety of the inside and outside of your home, identifying any problem areas to address.
Have you ever done a home audit?
This article will tell you how to do a home audit for security and safety.
Are you ready to make your home more secure?
Here is how to do your audit.
With the findings of this audit, make a plan to update or replace broken locks, replace burnt out light bulbs, adjust sensors and talk to an expert about security cameras.
The same way you conducted a home audit for security, you can conduct a home audit for safety.
Get started the same way with either a spreadsheet or a clipboard with paper to document your findings.
Then do this:
NOTE: This is not a complete list. Be a home detective and really look around for falling and tripping hazards and bend down and look up for things that could be hiding in plain sight.
Make a list or repairs and spend a weekend completing them.
While small changes are just that, small changes to your home for security and safety reason could end up saving your life of that of a person in your family.
You never know what might happen!
Listen to this ad and let us know how you feel!
If you can’t feel safe and secure in your own home.
That’s a problem!
Because your home is supposed to be your castle, right?
But the statistics say otherwise!
There are more than 2 millions homes burglarized every year in the United States. That’s about one every 13 seconds.
Home without alarm systems are three times more likely to be targeted than home with alarm systems.
So what does that tell you?
Get an alarm system; feel more secure!
If you don’t have an alarm system, talk to Strand Security. They’ve helped u out here at the radio station.
Our security system? That came from them!
You can go as far into this as you want and make your home or business a smarthome or business, with touch screens, remote control, they got keypads and mobile apps.
They got 24 hour monitoring available, security cameras, commercial, residential. Whatever is is, they’ll take care of it for you and again, make you more secure, well, make you hav one less thing to worry about.
Get a free quote today! Call the people at Strand Security. Free quote at 843-318-6392.
We started our business in Maryland in 2010 and this year in 2020 are celebrating 10 years in business! It sees like it was yesterday that we celebrated 5 years – which was about the time we started this blog, as well.
In honor of our 10th anniversary, we are celebrating all year long.
Each month, we will be publishing a new ’10 reasons to love…’ article!
Check out our first 4 articles:
During this time of uncertainty, businesses in the Carolinas come together as a community, to help our neighbors.
Have you been asked (or told) to work from home due to the coronavirus pandemic? How is that going for you? It’s been a few weeks and we sure hope that you have been able to hold on to your job; we do understand that many people have been furloughed, or let go due to loss of business.
While remote work has been the status quo for only 7% of the US workforce prior to the COVID-19, it has become the ‘new normal’ during this pandemic.
Whole office buildings are empty, and millions of people have scrapped their community to start working from home. Of the 80+ million American school children, 97% are home home, engaged in distance learning through the internet.
These remote workers and students now work at kitchen tables, in bedrooms, basements, or living rooms instead of cubicles and fancy offices and in schools.
Some have families or pets at home who might or might not distract them.
While many people are experiencing working from home for the first time, navigating and learning what works and what doesn’t, as they go, looking to those who already worked from home for tips is a smart idea.
Who has prior experience, you ask?
Freelancers, creatives like graphic designers and web designers, authors, customer service, sales etc.; whole industries are build on remote workers.
Here is an article filled with 30+ tips from those who have experience as remote workers! These kids can be applied to employees as well as students!
Now, we all know that due to social distancing and mandatory quarantines, we are spending way more time online than usual. Facebook is reporting that their usage is up by over 50%!
In times of stress and worry, humor is a great way to get relief.
Check out this funny video with excellent tips on how to stay married, employed and sane while working remote.
Whether you are working from home yourself, or your children are on the internet all day long for distance learning, here are the best tips to keep you and your loved ones safe!
🔥Be aware of phishing scams! Do not click on emails or messages asking you to check or renew passwords and login credentials, even if they seem to come from a trusted source.
🔥Recheck your Wi-Fi connection; update your password. While most Wi-Fi is correctly secured, some older installations might not be, which means people in the near vicinity can snoop your traffic or hack into your system – call us at Strand Security if you aren’t sure!
🔥Reset passwords frequently and if sharing accounts with coworkers, always use a password manager to share passwords, never in an email.
🔥Install anti-virus software and keep it updated.
🔥Back up all important files – we recommend backing up files on both a hard drive as well as in the cloud.
🔥Get into the habit of locking your computer and phone screens. While you are in quarantine with family members, this might not be of huge concern, but if you do have sensitive data on your devices, it’s always a good idea to keep your devices locked.
🔥Stick to HTTPS websites! Do not enter your credit card information unless you know and trust the site.
Don’t forget to share these tips with your elderly parents active online as well!
While we as Americans and world citizens are currently (mostly) homebound ourselves due to government restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 Pandemic, many of our seniors have been homebound for a lot longer.
Do you have an elderly family member who lives alone?
Have you given their continued safety enough consideration?
In this article, we will give you the best home security tips for homebound seniors! Please share with those you love.
The definition of a homebound senior:
being homebound or housebound means an individual is unable to leave their home without difficulty, and due to this difficulty, generally does not leave their home. It is usually due to advanced age, illness, or a disability.
Often, seniors deal not only with their advanced age, but they also have illnesses or disabilities that would prevent them from leaving their homes.
The best way to keep a homebound senior safe is to create a safety care plan with all parties involved.
Who needs to be included in this security and safety plan?
While this plan most often focusses on physical health; making sure meds are taken, doctor appointments are kept and food is delivered, cooked and eaten, there has to be ONE central command center, so to speak.
Once a plan has been formulated, it’s time to put it into action.
While the senior in your life might or might not have access and the ability to use technology, the care team certainly does.
We found several great apps to check out to coordinate efforts to keep the senior healthy and safe.
We liked these two:
Alzheimer’s Caregiver Buddy
The Alzheimer’s Association, a leader in action and awareness around the disease, developed this “caregiver buddy” app to help caregivers manage their personal stress, navigate family conflict and reach a 24/7 helpline.
The app includes features like daily care tips for tasks related to hygiene and meal times, and fun activities that will stimulate the body and mind of someone living with dementia. It also covers how to cope with new and sometimes overwhelming behaviors, like aggression or hallucination.
Communication is critical when dividing caregiving duties among multiple people — and that’s where CaringBridge can help. CaringBridge connects several caregivers through one app, allowing several people to keep track of appointments, changes in health and other essential information.
Users can also send each other inspiring messages and motivation through the app, which really helps pull together a team of caregivers in the toughest moments.
If the senior in your life lives at home, here are the best home security tips we’ve found to protect your senior. If the senior lives with you and your family, we recommend you read this.
This is the number one concern so set up your senior with a panic button so that help is on the way quickly. It could save their life!
If the senior in your life is still doing some home cooking, it might be time to install some additional safety measures.
Start with this checklist of prevention tips, and move onto these types of devices, if needed!
Then invest in an automatic stove turn-off device before the first fire even starts.
If you can’t be with them all the time, the closest, or second-best option is to install security cameras in your senior’s home. Both Alarm.com and Honeywell Total Connect offer apps with smarthome technology to keep an eye on your senior. While this is something the senior has to agree to, it might give all of the family peace of mind!
This goes without saying, and seniors might need to hear this more than once; not everyone who comes to their door is up to good. Remind your senior to not open the door to strangers.
While fresh air is great, open doors and windows could potentially invite unwanted visitors. We don’t recommend scaring your senior, but common sense should prevail. When living alone, they need to be aware of doors and windows and not leave them opened and unattended for long periods of time!
Keep this dialogue going! Local police will often warn of local scams, and putting a note near your senior’s phone might be a good start! The note should remind them to NEVER give out their Social Security number, a credit card number, or send money. When in doubt, they need to know it’s OK to disconnect the call!
We at Strand Security understand you might not live near your senior. If we can help you keep you in any way as you navigate keeping your loved one safe from a distance, do not hesitate to reach out!
No matter where you live or work, chances are that you’ve been affected by COVID-19. “In times like these” isn’t a phrase we can use because none of us have ever seen a time like this before. We are in this together, whether we like it, or not.
Whether you are practicing social distancing, self-quarantining or have been asked to shelter in place, please know we feel anxiety, stress and worries just like you are.
Unless you’ve opened your pool early this year, or you are using power tools, staying safe at home during this Pandemic means practicing and adhering to safety protocols as usual.
This is a bit trickier. Your mental health is important to be able to function at home for the long haul of being quarantined. Make sure to use technology to connect with loved ones, pick up new hobbies and above all, eat healthily and exercise! If you have a pet, taking care of your pet’s needs or walking your dog also helps relieve stress.
It’s easy to fall into bad habits; while we can’t go out and eat, this is a great time to cook, bake and enjoy some home-made recipes. Do go to the store once per week if possible to buy fresh produce; it’s more important than ever to take in as many vitamins and minerals as possible to boost your immune system!
As far as occupying your time and entertainment goes, we have some ideas to share.
Pull out old family movies, watch long-forgotten classics or stream the latest Hulu, NetFlix, Disney or Amazon Prime shows and movies. Home theaters at a time like this can offer great relief at the end of yet another quarantined day!
As far as technology goes, the sky is the limit. Imagine it and you can do it!
We’ve seen the gamut and encourage you to ‘think outside the box’ to stay connected while distancing.
After all, we really should call it physical distancing, not social distancing!
Stay safe, healthy and connected and give us a call if you need anything.
Burglars report that they will skip homes that display signs of a resident dog.
Signs that tell a robber that a house may have a canine occupant include
“Dogs are a deal-breaker for me,” said one inmate. “Big breeds, home protectors are the best to keep people out.”
Burglars don’t want any confrontation of any kind; not with dogs, not with humans either.
Were you aware that most burglaries happen between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM?
Guess who is often home during those hours? The dog.
Guess who is often not home during those hours? The pet owner!
If you need to leave your dog(s) home alone during the day, there is a chance s/he might need to defend the home!
How can you protect your pet in case of a home invasion when you are not home?
We recommend you supplement your pet security with a monitored, remove system with cameras!
The one that comes to mind and should work great is Honeywell Lynx!
From the article:
No matter where you are or what you may be doing, with this system, you can view up to four indoor or outdoor cameras right on the touchscreen or anywhere on premises on your smartphone, tablet or another WiFi-enabled device.
Lynx is a great system to keep an eye on your family, your pets as well as your property.
Check out this incredible story.
A child who was left home alone while his parents left to go pick up siblings at school, was confronted by a masked burglar.
Fortunately, the story ends well as the boy had the presence of mind to call his dog. The dog positioned herself between the boy and the burglar and thus chased him out the door after which the boy ran to a neighbors house to call his parents and the police.
What a hero dog!
If you watched the full video you noticed that at the end of the video, the TV reporter makes a point to note that the parents have not been charged with negligence, as there is no clear law as to when a child can be left home alone unattended.
We’ve written several articles on this topic, as it’s an FAQ of parents.
The short answer is
We also recommend speaking with your local law enforcement if you aren’t sure and to get additional safety tips.
If you live in South Carolina in the Myrtle Beach area, it doesn’t FEEL like fall, but when you check the calendar, it tells us it is Fall indeed!
As I write this it’s 90F and sunny, hot and humid.
No jackets or long sleeves for us, but more of what we’ve been wearing since March; shorts and t-shirts!
Whether you love it or hate it, there will be an end to this summer weather and October is a great month to get your home ready for winter.
As we get ready for cooler temperatures, homeowners should consider a few chores to get their home ready for winter.
Preparing a home for cooler weather in Fall and warmer weather in Spring is smart.
Putting off these types of chores might result in minor emergencies with regards to equipment, heating and cooling systems as well as security.
Homeowners, get your list ready!
If you have a working fireplace in your home, you should get your chimney swept every year.
A build-up of soot can cause fires.
From an earlier article we published we learn that
The byproduct of enjoying a crackling flame is creosote buildup (the major cause of chimney fires) and soot, which can restrict air flow and damage the fireplace chimney. Even a gas fireplace chimney can become blocked by a bird’s nest or other debris. Prevent problems with an annual chimney inspection.
Today is as good as any day to make that appointment!
At some point in the next few months, you will be turning the switch on your HVAC system from ‘cooling’ to ‘heating’.
Is your system prepared?
Get an inspection and service scheduled today. Fall is a great time to get everything working right so on that first day you turn on the heat, you do not have to call and get an emergency visit from your HVAC provider.
Maintenance and periodic testing prevent emergency calls, on any system, including your home security system!
If your home has screens for summer and storm windows for winter, you’ll be changing those out this season.
When you do, do NOT forget to lock your windows back up.
Unlocked windows are a way many burglars gain access to homes!
When asked this is what convinced felons had to say:
How did you typically break into a home or apartment?
Most inmates broke in through an unlocked door or window.
Whenever you or a service provider work on your windows, always double-check that your windows have been re-locked once the task is done.
Fall is when we experience the end of daylight saving time. In 2019, that day is Sunday, November 3.
When Daylight Saving Time ends, our evenings immediately become a lot darker, a lot longer!
Fall is, therefore, a great time to review your outdoor lighting.
If it’s dark around your home, add lights on timers and/or sensors.
Nothing says ‘I am not home a lot’ and ‘Come on in’ as leaving your front and backyards full of debris.
A well-groomed yard conveys the message that a caring homeowner lives in the house! More often than not, that’s the house a burglar will skip!
In a previous article, we touched on several other tips for the homeowner.
Go out and spend some time outdoors.
Enjoy the season and use caution around your home!
Clean up, test and maintain the systems that will keep you safe when an emergency arises.
We assume you want (and need) safety for your family above all else.
You do not want uninvited ‘guests’ to join you in your home unexpectedly, correct?
Besides putting locks on doors and windows to keep unwanted guest out, what else can you do?
A security system would be next on our list, and with a good security system comes security cameras.
Here are some reasons to have security cameras. We think some of these reasons might resonate with you.
Your home is in need of security cameras if you
Do any of these apply to your living situation?
It is tough to say what the best security cameras are for your home.
Your security alarm dealer can help you figure out what you need, but here are some parameters to work with.
All these factors what type of cameras you need and where they should possibly be installed.
The best person to ask this question to is your alarm system dealer. They have experience with this and can give you an estimated number of cameras needed to monitor your home, depending on the size, location and your needs.
The best part is that if you currently have an existing system without cameras, it is fairly easy to add cameras, and even easier to add additional cameras at a later date since you’ll be wired already.
Here are your steps.
If your home is not secure, then neither is your family nor are your valuable assets!
Peace of mind and security is everything; being able to fall asleep without worry or fear for safety, or leaving to go to work without a second thought about your home being invaded or burglarized should be a given. Not to mention going on a family vacation, or weekend trip; security and safety are important.
However, that’s not the case for everyone.
If you don’t live in a secure area, neighborhood or city, or if your home has not been properly taken care of, you might need to take action to clear up some home security issues!
Today we explore the Top 10 Most Common Home Security Issues.
This should be a given, but many people do not lock doors! Even when they leave for the day. The majority of burglaries do not happen at night as you might suspect! Instead, most burglaries happen during the day between 10 AM – 2 PM and most burglars walk in through unlocked doors. A simple fix is to make sure every occupant has a key and everyone understands the importance of locking the door they leave though, at all times. If you have teenagers, call a family meeting and start locking your doors today!
Depending on where you live, you might have opened windows during the day, or night, to let in fresh air. There is nothing wrong with that IF you are home and can set your security alarm system to ‘on’. However, if you leave windows open and/or unlocked, burglars can easily come in through those.
Have you recently had someone come in your home to do work (a painter, rug cleaner, HVAC technician etc.)? Double check your windows are locked after they leave!
It should go without saying that if locks are broken, not working or if you’ve lost the keys, you need to replace them asap! If you think you may have ‘compromised’ your security by giving out too many keys to neighbors, friends, family and the petsitters, and you can not account for the keys, it is time to redo your locks!
Landscaping matters. Burglars can use bushes to hide in and neighbors can’t see what is happening if landscaping gets out of control. At the same time, if you let your lawn get long and don’t clean your yard, it indicates to burglars that your house might be unoccupied at times which would mean a good haul for them!
Clean up your lawn, your yard and keep large bushes away from the house.
Replace light bulbs as soon as they burn out and install motion-detection lights it at all possible. This way, whenever someone approaches your home at night, the lights go on, deterring them from breaking and entering.
If your home is always dark at night, especially if you are away for an extended period of time, it would be beneficial to your security to add a few timers to the lights inside your home to make it look as if someone was home. A dark home is often equated with an empty home which in turn signals to burglars to it might be safe to enter undetected.
Overgrown lawns and bushed, unkempt yards and junk piled up in your front or backyard signals to burglars that your property might be abandoned, or if not abandoned, not high on your priority list. Unkempt outdoor space invites shady characters and you might even find yourself with the unwanted attention of local youth looking for an undetected space to hang out!
If you do not gather and collect your mail on a daily basis, it signals, again, that you are not home often, thus leaving your home exposed to possibly burglaries.
Anyone driving by your home can see when your garbage can stays at the curb longer than a day! If it sits there for 2-3 days, people will assume you are absent from your property. If you are going to be away, as a neighbor to return your can to your home or garage once it is emptied.
The number one sign burglars look for when scouting for homes to burglarize is that yard sign! If you have a yard sign and a security system, most burglars will move on to an easier target! Truth is, burglars do not want a confrontation with the homeowner. They’d rather skip your house and move on to the next, more easily accessible home.
If you have a security system; use it daily. Use it all the time.
If you have a security system; add that yard sign to your home. It works to deter burglars.
If you don’t have a security system yet, come talk with us!
Technology should be simple!
Technology should be beautiful!
We at Strand Security have just added QolSys to our line up.
Watch this introductory video to learn more!
We are thrilled to be offering QolSys and Alarm.com to our Strand Security customers.
Let’s learn more!
QolSys believes that
“technology can improve your life. From smartphones to computers, having access to information when and where we need it makes us smarter, more efficient, and more connected. Nowhere is this more significant than within the walls of our homes.”
The QolSys IQ Panel connects to an entire suite of mobile apps specifically designed for each platform.
With apps for iOS, android, windows, and even BlackBerry, you can be connected from your desktop computer, a tablet, a smartwatch, and a smartphone.
The user interface on each of these platforms was specifically designed to be consistent for an easy to use, intuitive experience.
It’s easy to find and download the app you need by searching for ‘Alarm.com’ in the application stores.
Alarm.com is the leader in Smart Home Security, giving you solutions to monitor, protect and automate your home. Take a tour of a Smarthome with Madison to see the possibilities!
Engineered for small and medium-sized business owners, Smarter Business Security combines intelligent intrusion detection, video surveillance, access control, and energy management into a single, cost-effective solution.
From the Alarm.com blog:
Traditional keys are a nuisance. You don’t need us to point this out, of course. You know how easy keys are to lose, or misuse. You know the inconvenience of tracking a key down when an employee leaves, and the expense of re-keying a lock when you can’t. You know about dashing to work to let people in when your manager gets sick and has to stay home.
But do you know about the new, easier, smarter alternative?
Smarter Access Control is a commercial access solution, engineered by Alarm.com to bring the benefits of modern access technology like smart locks and card readers to small and medium businesses. Powered by smart business security technology, it’s easy to use, enabling you to set up and manage secure, keyless access for you and your employees, across multiple locations, with no IT expertise or extra resources needed.
When we install your QolSys IQ panel, Alarm.com will power the system.
As an official Alarm.com dealer in the Myrtle Beach area, we serve Horry County as well as Georgetown County residents and businesses.
We can’t wait to show you the possibilities.
We welcome you to come to our Murrells Inlet showroom for a QolSys IQ panel demo anytime!
We would be honored to secure your home and business with QolSys and Alarm.com. Give us a call today.