A former burglar reveals the simple cleaning trick that could prevent a break-in

All you need is a dust cloth

You might think you know all the tricks when it comes to how to avoid a burglary at home. But one little cleaning slip could be leaving your home vulnerable to intruders.

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

Michael Fraser, a former burglar turned security consultant, best known for co-presenting the BBC's 'Beat the Burglar', told The Express (opens in new tab) that there is one cleaning trick that could stop your home being robbed

How to avoid a burglary

Michael Fraser revealed that neglecting to clean your alarm keypad could be leaving your home vulnerable to burglary.

house exterior with yale alarm

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Colin Poole)

'If you do have a digital alarm system, make sure that you are keeping it clean – if burglars know what digits you're using, they can easily work out your password as people are more likely to start with lower numbers and work their way up the keypad when it comes to numerical patterns,' Michael Fraser explains.

So when it's your next cleaning day be sure to give your alarm keypad a thorough clean. Make sure that you have removed all fingerprints that could give away your alarm code.

Another top tip from Michael Fraser to prevent an at home burglary is to close the curtains or blinds when you leave the lights on at night. Leaving lights on is a very common hack used to deter potential intruders.

living room with grey sofa and round mirror on wall

(Image credit: Future PLC/ Simon Whitmore)

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However, while leaving the lights on may signal an occupied house to would-be burglars, it could also make your valuables more visible.

If you are popping out for a meal or going away for the night and leave a couple of lights on, make sure that the curtains or blinds are closed. This will ensure potential burglars can't get a good look at the layout of your home and keep your valuables out of sight of prying eyes.

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

As the darker nights set in and your homes are more exposed, make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect your home.

Rebecca Knight
Rebecca Knight

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.