CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT)–With the summer season officially over, second homeowners are packing up and heading out for the winter season. And it’s during the offseason that unoccupied homes are vulnerable to burglary and fires.
“People realize that this is a beach community with a lot of rental properties,” said Officer Sandra DeLorme, a community resource officer with the Emerald Isle Police Department. “They know they’re full of great amenities, and they look for that sort of thing.”
So here are a few suggestions for keeping your home safe while you’re away.
Lock all doors including your sliding glass doors, close curtains and blinds, and you might also consider getting motion activated lights and security cameras.
“Cut back your shrubbery,” DeLorme said. “I know a lot of people want their privacy but having a lot of shrubs around your house, while it may keep your house hidden, it also keeps a criminal hidden. It gives them a form of cover.”
She also suggests turning off automatic garage door openers.
Crystal Coast homeowners must also prepare for potential weather events.
Patrick Lister, sales marketing coordinator for Bluewater Realty, offers several important steps you can take to weatherproof your house.
“Take any outside furniture and place it inside where it will be safe, not just for your protection but for your neighbors as well,” Lister said. “If there are any major wind events you don’t want your table and chairs blowing into someone else’s yard.”
He also suggests closing hurricane shutters and unplugging all appliances to prevent accidental fires.
Officers with the Emerald Isle Police Department check the doors and windows of 25 homes each day to make sure there are no signs of forced entry. DeLorme encourages homeowners to get involved in neighborhood watch programs as well.