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A butler to the rich and famous says home invasions and being gassed by burglars are a real threat.


Like any career, Daniel Prattley's role as a luxury butler has its downsides.

But the issues Prattley has faced — including home invasions — could be considered on the more severe side.

Prattley told Insider he became a full-time butler in 2005 after being inspired by the late Joan Rivers.

Prattley and Rivers met in the 1990s when she was performing at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, where Prattley worked as a theatre manager. She asked him to assist her in hosting after-parties, some of which were attended by royals and celebrities, Prattley said.


Joan Rivers onstage during Comedy Central's "Roast of Joan Rivers" at CBS Studios on July 26, 2009, in Studio City, California. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Rivers was impressed with Prattley's skills, which inspired him to pursue butler work on a permanent basis, he said. Today, Prattley works for wealthy families in their vacation homes throughout the UK, France, and other countries across the world. He shares glimpses inside some of the homes and documents his career journey on TikTok, where he has more than 53,500 followers.

Prattley says he has experienced several burglaries while working as a butler

While Prattley said he loves his job, he also said he has faced "terrifying" experiences at the hands of burglars while working at luxury vacation homes.

"I've been gassed in my sleep three times by burglars," Prattley said.

"I remember the first time I got gassed, the next day I didn't know what hit me. I thought it was the flu or I had eaten something terrible," he added. Prattley said he believed he had been gassed as a "test run" by intruders who wanted to see how long it would leave him unconscious for.

Anesthetic-based gas is usually used by burglars through air conditioning intake vents, according to an operations director for security firm SRX who spoke to the BBC in 2015. Celebrities including British racing driver Jenson Button and soccer manager Patrick Vieira said they believed they were gassed while vacationing in France, according to the same article.

Anesthetic gas, including nitrous oxide, halothane, isoflurane, desflurane, and sevoflurane, is most typically used in a hospital setting to sedate patients during surgeries or procedures, according to the National Library of Medicine. Those who have experienced this type of gas during home invasions usually wake up groggy to find that their belongings were stolen during the night, according to the BBC report,

"It can have a side that's quite terrifying. I don't want to terrify anyone — if it's you and me traveling to the south of France, we're not going to experience this. But crime at the high net-worth level is more sophisticated," he said, adding that high-profile and wealthy people are more likely to be at risk of experiencing these kinds of crimes and home invasions.

Simon Cowell recently sold his home in Holland Park, London, after a number of security threats, including allegations that a criminal group had sold the exact lock to his front door, the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday. Celebrities including Benedict Cumberbatch, Sandra Bullock, and Robert De Niro have all experienced home invasions, Fox News reported in June.

On another occasion, Prattley said he was staying at a cottage on the grounds of a luxury villa when he heard a tapping on his window in the middle of the night. The next morning, he said he received a call from the owner's alarm company saying that the alarm system had been disabled by intruders, although nothing was missing from the property.

When the police arrived, the intruders were nowhere to be found, Prattley said. The officers told Prattley that the intruders had likely tapped the window and disabled the alarm as a "test" to see how long it would take law enforcement to arrive, he said.

"It's an occupational hazard I guess," Prattley said.

That being said, Prattley said he has learned from the experience and it inspired him to implement several rules for his own safety. Now, he is unlikely to stay at homes where he doesn't know the owners, and will instead opt to live in separate accommodation in a nearby village.

Alternatively, if he does decide to stay at a property, it must be "well secured," Prattley added.

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