“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Recently, a study by Insurify using the FBI’s crime data and statistics identified Myrtle Beach as the top place in the nation for property crime. Property crime burglary, theft, arson, larceny, motor vehicle theft, shoplifting and vandalism. The property crime rate in Myrtle Beach is 112.34 per 1,000 residents and nearly four times the national average. Here’s how you can protect your property.

1. Lock it up – Lock your windows, doors, vehicles, gates, sheds and any other outdoor entry point to anything you own. And don’t forget the second floor windows. Thieves have been known to climb trees or use easily accessible ladders to climb to the second floor where windows are more likely to be unlocked. Also, don’t leave items like ladders or tools lying around in the open that burglars can use to break into your home. Keep these items stored in a locked garage or locked shed.

2. Light it up – Install motion sensor lights at the corners of the home and near entry points. Thieves need darkness to cover their activities as they attempt to gain entry to your home or vehicle. Deny them the darkness they need and they’ll target someone else instead.

3. Arm it – Have an alarm system installed in your home. There are a variety of alarm system options at a number of different price points so having an alarm system is more affordable than you might think. For the ultimate in safety, include outdoor cameras that record to a DVR system, doorbell cameras and driveway alarms to protect every bit of your property from burglars. Most thieves will move on to another home if they see that the home they were targeting has an alarm system. If your alarm company provides signage and decals, use them. This alerts thieves that you have a security system and to move along. Just make sure you arm it and actually use it so you get all the protection possible from your investment.

4. Maintain it – Maintain your yard and landscaping to prevent giving criminals a place to hide while they attempt to break into your home. Large or untrimmed shrubs and bushes provide great cover for burglars looking to gain access to your home or vehicle. Make sure shrubs and other plants are trimmed back and there is a clear sight line to the door, window or vehicle to prevent a thief from using your foliage to hide and break in.

Myrtle Beach is not the only city with a high property crime rate but currently, it’s number one in the U.S. so it makes sense to take measures to protect your property such as your home, shed, vehicle and garage. A security system, when used regularly, can provide a major deterrent to would-be thieves as well as the other measures listed above. Taken together, these 4 tips can make the difference in being safe or becoming a victim of property crime.