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preventing fires

Safety Around The Fireplace: Let’s Sweep Up Some Facts!

Fireplace safety tips

Snow is Coming. Snow is Coming to South Carolina!

If you live in the south, and in South Carolina (the Myrtle Beach area) like we do, you know how exciting the words ‘snow in the forecast’ are!

> Kids are coming home from school talking about snow, Snow, SNOW!

> Parents are making a new shopping list to include plenty of bread and milk and worrying about whether last year’s snow boots and ski pants still fit their fast-growing brood.

> Retirees are canceling appointment for ‘the day the snow will come’.

Along with the snow though, come cold and chilly nights.

In the south, we’re not made for this type of cold weather and we certainly don’t have the homes and winter clothes for extended cold periods.

However, if you own a home with a fireplace, you might be getting very exited to be able to finally use it this winter! Right?

Getting Ready for Chilly Nights!

What’s better then being safe and warm, listening to the crackling of your fire?!
Sitting in front of a fire, mesmerized with the flames, smelling the wood, being toasty warm…

via GIPHY

But wait!

How long has it been since you last used your fireplace?
If you can’t remember the last time you did – CAUTION AHEAD!
The first thing you should do is check this guide:
In this guide several important points are made!
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.

We can’t stress this enough – a failure to plan ahead is planning to fail! In order to prevent all sort of disasters, planning ahead is key!

You NEED to make sure you and your family are safe when you use your fire place and that does not just mean adding a safety screen in front of the grate (which you should have – to protect your children and your pets!). We also means making sure that your chimney is clean and cleared from debris!

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Fire Places

Carbon Monoxide poisoning is silent. If your chimney is (partially) blocked, fumes form the fire will enter your home and could potentially be deadly. Instal carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries work!

Don’t be a victim!

In the afore mentioned article we read about a ‘level two chimney inspection’

A level-two chimney inspection is vital if you’ve experienced an earthquake or a dramatic weather event, like a tornado or hurricane; if you’ve made a major change to your fireplace; or bought a house.

In October 2016 the Grand Strand was hit by Hurricane Matthew, therefore it it even more important to take action now!

Fireplace safety tips to keep your family  safe

Additional Fire Place Safety Tips

If you have small kids and pets, a spouse, or even if you live alone, there are things to keep in mind when you stoke your indoor fire!

Here are 4 tips we feel are extremely important to remember when you light that fire place this weekend.

  1. Be certain the damper or flue is open before starting a fire. Keeping the damper or flue open until the fire is out will draw smoke out of the house. The damper can be checked by looking up into the chimney with a flashlight or mirror. Do not close the damper until the embers have completely stopped burning.
  2. Use dry and well-aged wood. Wet or green wood causes more smoke and contributes to soot buildup in the chimney. Dried wood burns with less smoke and burns more evenly
  3. Make sure the area around the fireplace is clear of anything that is potentially flammable (ie: furniture, drapes, newspapers, books, etc.). If these items get too close to the fireplace, they could catch fire.
  4. Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving the house. If you leave the room while the fire is burning or the fireplace is still hot, take your small child with you.

For additional fire place safety tips, read the full article by Healthy Children!

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

 

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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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