A former burglar reveals how to prevent a break-in while you're on holiday – as seen on This Morning

You'll be rethinking that wall calendar

When the heat rises, sadly so do burglaries. People jet off on holidays leaving their homes empty for weeks at a time, possibly panicking as they go about whether they've shut the bathroom window.

Related: If you home was built in THIS decade you could be at greater risk of burglary

But even if you've shut every window and turned every lock, burglars can still find a way into your home. However, we have a few simple burglary prevention tips that can help secure your home against opportunist thieves, straight from the mouth of a former burglar turned security expert.

Burglary prevention tips

exterior of house garden with white walls and chair

(Image credit: Future PLC/Colin Poole)

1. Think like a thief

'It's being sensible, looking at your property and imagining you haven't go the keys – how would you get in?' explains Michael Fraser on Wednesday's edition of This Morning. So if you've ever bragged to your neighbours about losing your keys but managing to wriggle in through the bathroom window, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. If you can do it, what would stop a burglar slipping in the same way?

2. Buy a smart doorbell

When it came to smart doorbells that allow you to see who is at the door via and answer when you are outside the home, Michael Fraser says that they are worth investing in. He insists you don't need to worry about a burglar becoming wise to the doorbell. 'You could be in the bath, you could be anywhere and you don't want to answer the door, he's never going to know that,' he says.

door with white walls curtains and carpet on flooring

(Image credit: Ti-Media)

'The problem is an opportunist is always looking for the least difficult option, where you don't have any security. If he sees this [smart doorbell] he's going to think – "hold on, these people think about security",' he explains.

3. Deadlock your door

When it comes to locking your front door, he points out that if you have two locks you should use both of them. 'If you don't engage the [second] deadlock, the burglar can tell. They will put a foot up against the door and push, and can tell that lock isn't engaged. So don't have two locks and not use them,' he insists.

4. Think again about a 'Beware of the Dog' sign

However, surprisingly he insisted that a 'beware of the dog' sign, rather than a deterrent will actually encourage an opportunistic burglar. It tells a potential thief that if the dog can move around without triggering an alarm then so can the burglar.

kitchen with white cabinet table chairs and wooden countertop

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Brittain)

5. Buy a timer

If you are going to be away for a while, a timer plug is also worth investing in. You can attach it to a plug or radio, and set times when a light or music comes on and off each evening and morning. 'Try and keep it where they can't see where the lamp comes on, so in a hallway,' says Michael. 'You don't want a would-be thief catching onto your security tactics.'

6. Keep calendars out of sight

One of former burglar's top burglary prevention tips was something that all of us are guilty off – hanging a calendar in full view. 'A lot of people put calendars up in the kitchen and a lot of them are filled with dates of when people are out. What [homeowners] don't realise is the burglar can read,' Michael explains. 'What the burglar will do is come round the back, have a read, and if he sees you're due to be on holiday, he'll come back.'

Related: Your home is three times more likely to get burgled if you live in THIS area

However, even after you've locked all your locks, plugged in a timer and moved your calendar, investing in a security camera can be worthwhile investment to achieve that extra bit of piece of mind while you're lying on a beach. They can often carry a hefty price tag, but can you but a price tag on peace of mind?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.