Protecting Yourself Against Home Burglaries - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Protecting Yourself Against Home Burglaries

Metro Police Sgt. John Patton Metro Police Sgt. John Patton
Dan Morrison, who lives in East Nashville Dan Morrison, who lives in East Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Every month there are hundreds of residential burglaries in Nashville.

A Metro detective visited one Nashville home and demonstrated ways to prevent a burglary and stay safe.

Metro Police Sgt. John Patton has investigated home burglaries for more than 20 years. He knows how a burglar thinks.

"Most criminals want to get away," he said. "They're not trying to see how fast they can get caught. So they want to get in and get out."

"No one wants to be a victim.  I don't want to be a victim either," said Dan Morrison, who lives in East Nashville.

He invited NewsChannel 5 and police to look for ways to defend against home burglary. With the exception of a stolen lawn mower his household has been crime free.

But he knows that could change. Since June 20, there have been 400 residential burglaries in Nashville.

Police said July is a busy time of year.

"You can't lock a thief out of your home.  What you can do is make your house less attractive to him," Patton said.

Examining the front door, Patton recommended that Morrison install a deadbolt lock and reinforce the door frame with wooden screws 10 to 12 inches apart.

"As strong as your frame is, you can have a real good door, but have a frame that's not secured properly," he said. "Then what happens is the person kicks the door and that frame just pops loose."

Patton said you have to think like a criminal.

"Think about at night and think about somebody actually trying to get into one of these windows right here," he said.

On the side of the house Patton recommended adding spotlights that are controlled by motion sensors.

"When the person crosses that beam it automatically lights up the whole area back here," he said.

He also suggested foliage between Morrison and his neighbor. 

"You also got storm windows. That's a good deal, too," he said.

Patton also said that guard dogs are great deterrents.

Morrison has a privacy fence on the other side of the house. Patton said if anyone builds one they should put the smooth side facing away from the house. That way it's harder for someone to climb the fence. 

Inside the home, Patton recommended window spikes. They are protruding screws placed in the window tracks that prevent the windows from being opened all the way.

Patton also said that neighbors should become better acquainted.

"If you never speak to somebody or have dialogue with neighbors they have no idea who lives there," he said.

And no idea if there's a stranger trying to get into your home.

"I think the window spikes are a great idea and also the motion lights," Morrison said. "We have one in the back, but not on either side of the house, so we'll make a change there."

Click here to read the National Sheriff's Association's burglary prevention checklist for homeowners to keep their properties safe.

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