Halloween Safety Tips

candyHalloween is one of the greatest nights of the year!  It is one night when it is perfectly OK to take candy from strangers and parents won’t get mad.  Of course these are the same parents praying that their child will haul in a large amount of loot with the hopes that their favorite candy is in the pile.  But with all the excitement that comes with going from house to house, we need to remember some basic safety tips so that everyone can have a Happy Halloween, even those who do not wish to participate.

  •  No light, no service!  Remember to respect the homes that do not wish to give out candy and have not turned on their porch light.  There are many reasons why someone doesn’t participate in all things Halloween, so it isn’t necessary to cover their homes in eggs or toilet paper, nor do they need a relentless ringing of their doorbells.
  • Watch for cars! Although it is trick or treating hours in your neighborhood, it is also the height of rush hour.   Many people will still be returning home from work so utilize sidewalks if possible.  For all you drivers out there…SLOW DOWN, get off your phone (this includes emails, social media and texts) and keep a sharp eye out for rogue trick-or-treaters.
  • Teens LOVE Halloween mainly because of the freedom that goes along with trick-or-treating.  Rather than letting your teen out the door for a few hours (usually unsupervised), why not consider a Progressive Halloween Party?  It’s simple.  Designate several teen’s homes that will host several different activities.  A costume party and pizza at one home, scary movie and popcorn/candy at another and a haunted house at another.   This gives teens something to do and the feeling that they still went trick-or-treating because they still wandered from home to home in a pack, but with purpose.
  • The best safety tip is parental supervision.  All kids under the age of 10 should have an adult present to not only keep kids out of trouble but to also keep trouble away from kids. The trend of driving from neighborhood to neighborhood to increase the candy count is becoming more and more common which leaves a lot of variables when it comes to Halloween safety.  Just being a part of the action, is the best defense.

Have a Happy and SAFE Halloween!

Knock, Knock….Who’s There?

RepairsIf someone knocked on your door right now and asked to look in your home, would you let them in?  What if they said they were a plumber and they were checking for leaks in your home or some carpenter carrying nice equipment right there, top drills etc, would you let them inside your house without asking any questions?   I hope the answer is a resounding NO!

Recently two separate residents did let someone inside their home without a lot of questions.  In each case, plumbers in Maroochydore showed up at their door, unannounced and stated that they were there to check on a complaint from their neighbor regarding a water leak and they needed to make sure that the leak wasn’t coming from their home.  The residents allowed the plumber in, let them cut holes in the wall to help with the inspection and stated someone would be back to repair to the walls.   When someone didn’t show or make arrangements to make the repair, they called our maintenance department understandably upset and left our managers and maintenance staff asking a lot of questions.  Luckily, it turned out that each of the plumbers from the gilbert plumbing company had been hired by each resident’s community HOA to investigate a water leak complaint by a neighboring resident.  Because both residents lived in townhomes and shared walls with another unit, the plumber had to make sure that the leak wasn’t coming from our residents’ home.   The problem was that both residents thought T. R. Lawing Realty, Inc. or someone who was hired by T. R. Lawing Realty, Inc. were the people they willingly let inside their homes.

We hear stories of con artists and just plain old bad people every day that we know that we should never let strangers inside our house.  That is what we were taught, even as a young child.  So why would the possibility of something broken in your home allow you to open your doors to just anyone?

T. R. Lawing Realty, Inc. will make every attempt to notify our residents either by phone, email or by letter that a member of our maintenance staff or a company hired by T. R. Lawing Realty, Inc. will be inside their home.  In fact, in our  lease we (as Agent for the owner) will give the resident a 24 hour notice unless the maintenance need in question has been identified as an emergency.   One of our biggest obstacles is a lack of updated information.  Always be sure that whether you are a resident or an owner, you notify our office within a reasonable amount of time if your phone numbers or email have changed.  You can also rest assure that our staff will always be forthcoming about who they are and why they need access to your home.  If not, ask a lot of questions.  It is better to be safe than sorry.

Take Queens to Queens And Turn Left. When You Get To Queens….Hang A Right!

You know that Charlotte can be a bit confusing to drive around, whether you have lived here all your life or you have just gotten into town. You have to appreciate the sense of humor that city planners must have had to create streets that have multiple name changes or intersections with the same street name.

In Myer’s Park, one of the most confusing intersections in town is the Queens Road/Queens Road and Providence Road/Providence Road intersection. Here is how it works: You are traveling uptown (not downtown, we go up) on Providence Road and you wish to continue on Providence Road (which will eventually turn into 3rd Street and is also NC Hwy 16 – but that’s another story), you must turn right onto Providence Road instead of going straight through the intersection which will become Queens Road. Got it? Ok, I will try a different direction. If you are traveling uptown on Queens Road, you must turn left to continue on Queens Road and then before it has a chance to turn into Morehead you must turn right on Queens Road but that will end when it turns into Hawthorne Lane.  Ugh!  No wonder we all Charlotte traffic is horrible! 

Another great intersection is Sardis Road and Sardis Road. Traveling into town on Sardis Rd, you must turn left onto Sardis Road but that only half of the story, Sardis Road is also part of a long stretch of road that comes in from Mint Hill known as Idlewild/Rama/Sardis/Fairview/Tyvola Road. Seriously, I am not making this up!

Here’s the deal. A few years back (that’s southern for I have no idea how long ago) a lot of historic roads had to be spliced together to make major arteries and thoroughfares in Charlotte due to all the growth in the area. Once city planners began to reconfigure the roads to make long continuous arteries they decided to retain the original names when possible so as not to lose the historical aspect (this is why you see so many names a long stretch of road). At one time those were all individual communities and not part of the greater city of Charlotte when Charlotte’s city limits ended at about the South Park Mall area.

So there you have it folks! The next time you get some silly directions like, “OK just take Eastway until it becomes Wendover and just stay straight on Sharon which will then become Quail Hollow…”, know that you are not going crazy; we just planned it that way.