Maybe you’ve heard of a break-in nearby in your neighborhood. Maybe you’re finally making the decision to purchase a home security unit to be prepared. Or maybe you simply want to make sure that you’ve taken all the necessary precautions to eliminate an event. Whatever the case may be, the decisions that homeowners make—or don’t make—impact the likelihood of a burglary.

A few small errors can lead to a burglar targeting your home, but minor adjustments can place you well on your way to a burglar preventing strategy. Here’s what you need to know:

Lacking a Home Security System

This may seem obvious, but the most likely variable that will impact whether or not you could be burglarized is if you have a home security unit.

Burglars are more likely to target homes that are not protected with home security units, and home security is not solely an external protection. These systems come equipped with signs, stickers, and other materials that you can place on front lawns and windows to alert that you are protected.

Of course, seeing an imposing camera pointed right at the front door will be a deterrent in and of itself. When protecting your home, never opt against the most sure-fire way to stay safe.

Property Neglect and Clutter

Burglars want as much cover as possible. If your home has untrimmed bushes, large trees, and dark spots with no lighting, they’ll have a better chance of getting away with their crimes, because they have somewhere to hide.

Seeing clutter outside also signals to a burglar that homeowners aren’t too concerned with taking care of their property. And if the clutter that is left outside is important or valuable, burglars may just make off with the readily available goods.

If It’s Obvious You Are Away

Burglars don’t want to target homes with home security systems, just as they don’t want to target homes with people inside of them. They notice simple details to realize if a homeowner is home or not. Is there a car that’s frequently in the driveway but it isn’t parked today? Have the homeowners failed to pick up mail and packages? Did the homeowners post to their social media accounts that they will be traveling?

These are common signs that alert a burglar of an absent home. To give the impression that you are home, simply keep the packages and mail from accumulating, keep a car parked, and use lights, televisions, and other appliances on timers. If the burger sees activity in the home—whether or not he knows it’s real activity—he’ll be less likely to risk attempting his crimes.

Neighborhood, City, and State

Not every neighborhood, city, or state has the same burglary rate. If you’re moving to a new location, it’s important to explore crime rates and get a feel for the neighborhood at night. You can do this by driving or walking through the neighborhood, and checking crime sites like Neighborhood Scout.

Having a 360-degree understanding of how to protect your home and the crime rates in your neighborhood will give you the best chance at preventing burglaries. But remember, home security is the most sure-fire deterrent.