The warmer weather means that it's yard sale season. Check the classified ads in the TIMES NEWS and you'll find a long list of weekend sales; from individuals to multi-families to complete blocks and neighborhoods.

Often yard sales mean good bargains. Sometimes you'll find collectibles. Whether you're looking for toys, clothing, appliances, yard tools, books, or virtually anything else, there's a chance somebody has it for sale at pennies on a dollar.

In Lehighton, the yard sale season has become a little frustrating to borough officials. The borough has an ordinance prohibiting signs on utility poles, especially the placement of them with nails or tacks. Yet, people constantly utilize the poles to advertise the sales.

Lehighton Police have been issuing citations to such offenders.

The signs on the poles, borough officials claim, present a danger to utility workers.

Police say they will continue handing out such citations.

Lehighton isn't the only town that has tough rules on yard sale signs. We stopped at a yard sale in Newfoundland, Wayne County and while there a police officer also stopped by and ordered the property owner to remove signs he had placed a block or two away. The police officer threatened the yard sale holder with a citation if the signs were not promptly taken down from along a highway.

One borough official in Lehighton suggested that if such illegal signs continue, that the borough might consider requiring permits to hold the yard sales.

There are numerous communities which require yard sale permits. The main reason is that there are some individuals who have turned yard sales into a regular business, holding them not only weekly but virtually every day.

It's always a few inconsiderate individuals who ruin it for others.

Another thing to think about when placing your signs is to not put them on private property without permission from the occupant.

One more thing to consider when having yard sales is safety.

Especially if you have a garage sale, be cautious of what's on display. Individuals attending the sale might merely be casing you garage to see if you'll be worthy of becoming a burglary victim.

Make sure you keep all doors that are out of sight locked.

Yard sales can be fun. They're a way to get rid of unwanted items. They bring camaraderie.

They can be an educational tool for your children, teaching them some basics of business.

They also can net you a few dollars.

But obey municipal regulations.

Try to provide adequate parking for visitors if you have room in your yard.

Most of all, stay safe. Don't make your property an invitation for burglars.

And by the way, when your yard sale is over, be sure to take down your signs.

By RON GOWER

rgower@tnonline.com [1]